Last week, Product School hosted Prateek Batla, Adobe Product Manager, for an exclusive #AskMeAnything session. Prateek shared his experiences working in PM roles at Adobe and provided advice on scaling your product management career through patience and growth.
Meet Prateek Batla
Prateek is a Product Manager with experience across several companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Oracle. Currently, he’s a Product Manager at Adobe and is responsible for defining key opportunities for Adobe Experience Cloud products. Working alongside their Sales, Marketing, and Engineering teams, he has launched multiple features to synergize the ecosystem delivering innovative experiences for customers. Prior to this role, he worked as a Product Technology Manager at Google where he developed a beta launch plan for the unification of two products in Ad Manager. Prateek also improved the overall beta feedback collection process in the business unit.
How can a PM make the best use of the Engineering Manager given that he is already working with the technology lead regularly?
I think it’s very important for PMs and Engineers to work hand in hand. If you are getting all the support form the Engineering Lead then I would say just have a regular monthly type cadence with Engineering Managers. Use this time to get feedback and propose ideas that were tough for a Tech Lead to get buy-in.
What would you suggest someone looking for job opportunities in both the Project/Product Management field during this pandemic?
Building on your previous experiences to job hunt is now more important than ever. I want everyone to think about the previous work they have done and how it can be related to your future role. For example, think about any experience full-time/ internship and what you did. You might have had some customer conversations. That’s great to showcase to the hiring manager as I believe the product manager’s most important skill is to have empathy for customers. Try to approach your interviews and conversations with this lens.
How does one scale their career in Product Management?
In my conversations especially with MBAs, I have seen everyone wants to grow up the ladder fast. The most important thing I would recommend here is patience.
As Product Managers, we need to keep launching the best products possible. While doing so try to be responsible for everything that your new/ promoted role demands. This way you are already ready for the promotion. On another note, once your learning stops in a role/ firm, you know that growth is not possible and it’s time to change.
What can I do to become a great candidate for a PM role before I graduate from university?
This question can go in a lot of dimensions depending on your school and course you are persuing. Generally speaking, my advice is to keep on developing and balancing both soft skills and hard skills to be successful in the PM role. You can try to do a hobby project/coursework where you launch a product.
The focus should be on learning all steps that it takes to launch a product. In parallel, there might be courses related to developing the above skills. Negotiations, communications, analytics, strategy, marketing are just some of the courses I loved in business school that help me in my role.
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Can you please describe what your first week as a Product/Project Manager was like?
The first week should focus on understanding the product, company, and people. Try to learn what all your company offers and what is the focus of your team. Have 1×1 conversations with your peer PMs, all stakeholders including engineering, design. The idea is to learn as much as possible and also connect with everyone on a personal level.
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From your experience, what are some of the challenges that a PM should watch out for when productizing new ideas?
In my experience, the main challenge while working with new ideas is to focus on the customer problem and not get lost in the implementation details. While some other challenges lie in getting early customer feedback and stakeholder buy-ins to pursue the opportunity.
Can you explain the hiring process at Adobe, detailing on resume screening and factors that make applications stand out from the hiring manager’s view?
Resume screening, 1 or 2 phone screen followed by 4-5 onsite rounds is a typical hiring process for PMs here.
In terms of resume screening, my advice will be to relate your previous experiences to the new role. Also, try to answer your impact in the projects you did.
Any final piece of advice especially during COVID?
We are all living in extenuating circumstances. It is not business as usual for anyone. I want to thank you all for taking out some time to learn something new today. Being curious is one of the most important skills for a Product Manager. Please keep connecting and learning from each other.
Did you miss this event? Check out our events page to sign up for the next #AskMeAnything session!