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What advice do you have for recent graduates that want to go straight into product management?

Mamuna Oyofo, MBA
Mamuna Oyofo, MBA
Shopify VP of ProductFebruary 9

1. Understand what about product management is interesting to you

2. Research roles and opportunities that speak to what you find interesting

3. Identify the gaps in your skills or experience 

4. Fill those gaps :) Take a course, read, volunteer to build something.

5. Network and build a group of people who can help advocate on your behalf when roles come up in their companies

6. Start the application process

7. Develop relationships with recruiters or hiring managers

963 Views
Anton Kravchenko
Anton Kravchenko
Carta Sr. Director of Product ManagementMarch 14
  1. [If available] Intern as a PM before applying for a full-time position would put you ahead of other candidates.
  2. Read Cracking the PM Interview by Gayle Laakmann McDowell and practice, practice, practice. 
  3. Use LinkedIn to reach out to other PMs at your dream company. Speak with them to get a better pulse of the company and the work they do. Often, showing that you go the extra mile matters.
340 Views
Orit Golowinski
Orit Golowinski
Jit.io VP of Product ManagementApril 17

While embarking on a product management journey, it's important to acknowledge that most companies typically do not seek out fresh graduates for product management positions. The role demands a high level of strategic thinking and decision-making, often requiring years of expertise and a comprehensive understanding of both technical and business aspects.

However, while securing entry-level roles in product management may be challenging, it's not impossible.

Seeking out internship opportunities, continuous learning, and mentorship can significantly enhance your chances of breaking into the field. Additionally, being proactive in networking and showcasing your skills through projects or relevant experiences can also help demonstrate your readiness for a career in product management.

It's essential to recognize that transitioning into product management may require persistence and dedication, but with the right approach and a commitment to continuous improvement, recent graduates can certainly carve out a path towards success in this dynamic and rewarding field.

To embark on a successful journey into product management, recent graduates can consider the following strategies:

  1. Explore Internship Opportunities: Consider seeking out internship opportunities in product management to gain practical experience and exposure to real-world scenarios. Internships provide invaluable learning opportunities and can serve as a stepping stone to a full-time product management role.

  2. Embrace Continuous Learning: Educate yourself about product management principles and best practices through courses, workshops, and relevant literature. Recommended reading materials include books by industry experts that cover topics such as product strategy, user research, and roadmap prioritization.

  3. Read about Product Management: Reading books authored by experts in the field offers invaluable insights into key principles and best practices.

    Here are some highly recommended books that can help you deepen your understanding of product management:

    1. "Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love" by Marty Cagan (Silicon Valley Product Group)

    2. "The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses" by Eric Ries

    3. "Influence, New and Expanded: The Psychology of Persuasion" by Robert B. Cialdini

    4. "The Product Manager's Handbook" by Linda Gorchels

    5. "The Lean Product Playbook: How to Innovate with Minimum Viable Products and Rapid Customer Feedback" by Dan Olsen

    6. "The Product Book: How to Become a Great Product Manager" by C. Todd Lombardo, Bruce McCarthy, and Tom Cummings

    7. "The Art of Product Management: Lessons from a Silicon Valley Innovator" by Marty Cagan

    8. "Cracking the PM Interview" by Gayle Laakmann McDowell

    9. "The Product Manager's Desk Reference" by Steven Haines

    10. "Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days" by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, and Braden Kowitz

  4. Seek Mentorship: Connect with experienced product managers who can provide guidance and mentorship as you navigate the transition into the field. Or join a specialized Product Management mentorship program such as Product League.

By adopting a proactive approach to skill development, seeking mentorship, exploring internship opportunities, and leveraging available resources, recent graduates can position themselves for success in product management roles.

400 Views
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