Product School

A Day at Product School - What It’s Like to Study Product Management

Nathan Thomas

Nathan Thomas

June 23, 2023 - 7 min read

Updated: January 24, 2024 - 7 min read

There are a number of ways to study at Product School so our classes fit your schedule. You can study live online from anywhere in the world, and learn part-time on weekends or weeknights, or full-time with our accelerated 5 day program. Here's how a typical day could look with our part-time Product Management Certification (PMC)™ program...

Class is about to start! You make yourself a refreshing drink (nothing too strong, you're going to have to focus!) and login to your student portal. You check what you will be learning today, and cast your eye over the previous few lessons to jog your memory. Then you jump over to the chat, and say "hi" to your classmates.

Your peers will be from a diverse range of backgrounds. Some will be software engineers. Others will be startup founders. Some will already be working as PMs. Others may be working in sales or business. Many will end up being part of your professional network for life!

Your instructor logs on. Chances are, she’s signing on straight after work where she leads a Product Team at a major technology company (our current instructors work at Airbnb, Google, and Meta, to name a few). Before you begin, she’ll no doubt have a few stories to share about her day at work, and how her company solved Product-related problems and kept the team on track.

Class Begins

blog image 1: a day at PS

Roll up your sleeves, it's time to get to work! Oh, did you think you'd just be sitting through a lecture? Think again! At the start of the class, your instructor will divide you into groups, and give you a real project to work on.

Maybe you need to add a feature to an existing project, or balance the conflicting demands of stakeholders for a new product you are building. Your team will brainstorm and together you'll devise a plan and come up with a final presentation to share with the class. Your instructor will analyze this, and give you feedback based on her years of real world experience.

Particularly if you’re studying our flagship Product Management certification, your instructor will focus not only on hard skills like creating user stories, conducting user research, iteration and product launches but also on soft skills. These are skills like public speaking and leadership, the more subtle characteristics that are essential for any successful product leader. Practical group work happens in every class, so when you login to your student portal, you know that you gotta bring your A-game!

Rather than just sitting through lectures, you're forced into group exercises that test your knowledge of the frameworks and processes you learn each week. Homework is due every week so you also have accountability to get things done.

-Product School Graduate, Kel Wu, Senior Director of Product Management

Have a Question?

blog image 2: a day at PS

As you're working on your group project or learning from your instructor, you and your colleagues will frequently pause the lesson to dive deeper into specific situations.

You may have a question about how this particular method on quantitative analysis can be applied to your industry, or maybe you’d like the instructor’s opinion on how to better prioritize features for your new app. No doubt your classmates will have opinions to share too, and these new perspectives will help you move forward.

There were slides that the instructor would talk through, but discussions would quickly evolve. We’d talk through different aspects of Product Management - How to create a persona. How you create a story. How you identify your superpowers. Everyone would describe their different situations and ask real world questions. There’d be a lot of debate.

-Product School Graduate, Jesus Cagide, Product Leader at Intuit

Work on Your Project

Throughout your cohort, you’ll be working on an ongoing project that you will present to your instructor at the end of your course. This could be an MVP based on your own idea, a concept for an improvement to an existing product, a new feature you want to introduce at your company, or even a new procedure for gathering user feedback and analyzing data. It’s up to you!

Whatever you choose, your project will take you through the entire lifecycle, from hypothesis to execution. This will show you what it’s actually like to be a Product Manager working in a high-pressure environment.

Today, you may talk through your progress with your classmates, and ask your instructor for some feedback. Because your classmates are from a range of backgrounds, they will all bring different perspectives and maybe give you a few “aha!” moments that you wouldn’t have reached on your own.

I dug deeper into how I wrote specifications, gathered requirements and justified the reasons of how I made decisions in the past. We talked about the times when it was hard to get engineers and others on board with an idea and how I went through that.

-Product School Graduate, Jessica Uelmen, former Product Lead

Grab a Virtual Coffee?

blog image 3: a day at PS

The class is over. It’s late, but you’re not tired anymore. Your mind is buzzing with the new ideas and insights that you have learned. One of your classmates suggests jumping on Zoom to brainstorm ideas. Of course, you say yes!

When you have some downtime the next day, you may work more on your homework project. This is going to be a key asset when you start applying for real Product Management jobs because it shows that you can develop and execute ideas that stand up to scrutiny. If you have any questions, you can reach out to your instructor and peers on Slack. You’re excited to attend the next class!

Thanks to Product School, I got to meet brilliant minds hailing from different sectors. I have a powerful network that I am moving forward with.

-Product School Graduate, Parul Joshi, Senior Product Manager at Cisco

Advance Your Career

The course is over, but your learning is just starting. You're now equipped with a portfolio of impressive Product Management projects, a network of alumni and instructors to reach out to, and the foundational skills you need to hit the ground running in your next Product Management role.

With 15,000+ alumni, many of them working at top tech companies, you're in good company!

This certification covers everything you need to know about Product Management to jumpstart and land your first PM job. The best part is that it isn’t all theory - you get to apply everything you learn to your own project and the instructors provide feedback to help you improve.

-Product School Graduate, Medha Ghatikesh, Product Manager at Meta

Product School impacted my career by helping me adjust my thinking and invest in myself. It offers amazing courses with knowledgeable instructors. I would constantly use my network to get second opinions on interviews that went well and went wrong. The end result of Product School was a priceless network and multiple offers from top companies and doubling my salary twice since 2019. I am forever grateful.

-Product School Graduate, Tristan Pennicott, Senior Product Manager at Amazon

When I wanted to transition to Product Manager, Product School community and the various free offerings were extremely valuable. They not only helped me understand more about the PM space, but also provided me valuable content to refine my own storytelling. 2 years into Product Management I felt the need to refine my industry awareness, Product Management skill set and prepare for the next level. I had also hit my financial goal and wanted to present myself with something invaluable. A certification from Product School was the right fit from my tried and tested source!! And lo and behold!! It was the most valuable experience I would not trade off for anything. Working on projects with fellow PMs, listening to experiences, sharing stories and ideas. Again when I was interviewing for my current role, I had leveraged everything I had learnt at Product School to scale!

-Product School Graduate, Deepti Tadala, Senior Product Manager at PayPal

Have any questions about a typical day at Product School? Contact us here and let us know what aspect of your course you're most excited about!

Updated: January 24, 2024

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