How Vaishali transitioned to Product Management from a Non-Tech background

In our latest addition to the Success Stories blog, we feature Vaishali, who is a Product Management intern at JoGenii. She shares her story of switching from a non-technical/coding background and then moving towards new beginnings in the Product Management industry. Get to know more about her as she guides us through this amazing process.

Q1. Tell us about your current role and background.

Hi, everybody, I am Vaishali. And I’ve been recently selected for the product management internship at JoGenii. And I’ll be starting off this May for about three months, where my role is about creating features strategy and adapting to the features strategies they’re going to do. 

We will be collaborating with the engineering & design team to bring out operational activities that have to go on to the website as a product. And then we’ll be improving the product feature and a few engagement metrics that will be taken into account. 

Apart from this, we’ll be ensuring that the average order value is increasing in the particular product using the feature that we are going to implement. So this is the gist of what I am  going to be covering in the internship.

Talking about my background, I’ve done engineering. I completed my Bachelor’s in electronics and instrumentation engineering. And then I started my career with Amazon and I’ve been working for several ecommerce companies throughout. I’ve been working in the catalogue and support & services side which is non-technical background with an engineering degree.

Q2. What challenges did you face while exploring a Product Management role?

There were several challenges that I faced when I was trying to transition into a product role, because firstly, I did not have a computer science degree or background and I was from a non technical role. This was needed sometimes to get into product roles, but not quite compulsory. 

Usually, as business analysts or some product taking roles by product marketing, etc, engineers find it easy to make the transition. But me being completely from a non-tech background, it was a little bit difficult in the initial stage by looking for an opportunity to learn the product development lifecycle and get into the knowledge of it. 

I did my learning with Accredian and I got to know the basics of the entire product lifecycle. So that is how it all started.

Q3. How has Product Management helped you in your new role?

Once I had the opportunity to gain knowledge, I did not stop. I learnt about the entire product lifecycle, and what is happening in the product lifecycle from the beginning, at least till the marketing and launch.

What I had gained was theoretical knowledge and it helped me gain product sense, and it has given me a strong analytical thinking too. This will help me implement things practically in this role. I will get to see the impact that I can create through what I have done so far.

Q4. What was the interview experience at  your current company?

I had to go through 3 rounds of interviews, namely:

  • Round-1: General Screening
  • Round-2: Case study/Improve the product
  • Round-3: Interview with Product Manager

So initially, it was the screening. And the next would usually be a case study round. Either it could be a case study round, or it could be to improve the product that they are actually working on. 

So for me, the task was to improve a product that they were working on. They had given me a scenario and asked me, “What would you do as a product manager to include this particular feature?” 

I was given some time to think about it, and then came up with an answer. At that point in time, even if I was not 100% sure I fixed that as my perfect answer. I gave my best shot which was at least close to the answer

I got feedback that it was close to the answer. I was told that we should at least be close to whatever the answer is. Then we had a discussion about ‘Why do you want to get into this internship?’, ‘Why did you switch to product management?’ and all the basic questions on first principle.

Q5. Why Accredian? How did it help you? 

Accredian has helped me gain knowledge of the product life cycle. And they have been helping me in preparing for the interview by giving me a glimpse of how the interview question could be. 

Apart from this, we had several discussions on product topics and speaker sessions. I’ve also had a career coach help me in building my personal brand on LinkedIn. Because of this, I was able to gain several interview leads.

So if I have the knowledge, and I’m unable to show it off, it would have been difficult for people to know that I have the knowledge. Personal branding really helped me let people know that I have the skills to show. 

With the career coach I understood where I am lacking and what are my transferable skills from roles that I have been in so far. Accredian really helped me know my strengths, and where to work upon. We have also had a session on resume review and portfolio review which is going very well and is helping me keep track.

Q6. What advice would you give to Product Management beginners?

I would say, always be curious to learn. Be open. I would recommend networking, whether you are looking for a job or already working or in need of a product role, networking always helps. Stay connected with like-minded people, connect with the tutor, connect with entrepreneurs and always be in the game.

Keep reading different blogs, and follow YouTube channels about products. There are several good influencers that make it easy for us to learn because they’ve already been there. So it’s all about learning and just spend about three days a week in continuous learning on whatever topic you like, and it’s done.

We hope you found this success story interesting. If you have any Product Management questions, please fill this form and we will get back to you.

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