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The virtual format enabled twelve alumni with impressive product management and product marketing management experience to engage with Chicago Booth students for the day, by sharing career insights and helping us prepare for these types of roles. 


Before starting at Chicago Booth, I had no idea product manager or product marketing manager roles existed. I was just an engineer with a plan to build a marketing career and become a director. Throughout my time at Booth, I have transitioned my career goals to focus on the experiences I want to have, the type of work that gives me energy, and the roles that challenge me to continue to grow. I believe that the field of product management does this effectively for me. 

The alumni panelists discussed the importance of the product manager, focusing on developing soft skills such as building trust, managing vision, influencing without authority, leveraging your network, working cross-functionally, and asking the right questions. 

Gleacher Center

"From a process perspective, a key insight that resonated with me is the ability to fail fast. You cannot get too caught up in the strategy and analysis—you have to actually do things and learn."

— Taylor Barker

From a process perspective, a key insight that resonated with me is the ability to fail fast. You cannot get too caught up in the strategy and analysis—you have to actually do things and learn. That’s what we did next as we put our frameworks to use on thought-provoking cases provided by the alumni. We learned to remember to always keep the customer at the center of our problem and focus on their pain points, and then ensure our recommendation truly addresses the problem. 

 

As I bid on my final classes, I am confident that Booth has more than prepared me and allowed me to develop these skills through the diverse academic curriculum, the thoughtful leadership programs, and the broader connections with the Booth community. 

For those preparing to embark on a product management journey, I would encourage you to network with current product managers as the roles vary significantly based on company and/or product. You will want to determine if a role is a right fit for you, and to decide what skills you want to focus on developing. 

Learn more about the Kilts Center for Marketing.

Taylor Barker

Evening MBA Student

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