Richard F.

Richard F.

=== Overview ===
I would definitely recommend this class to anyone who wants to transition into Product Management.  Remember though that: [ what you put in (effort + contributions) = outcome ]

I wrote this to the PM facilitating at the last day of class:
“Thank you again for all your contributions on the last day of class. It was really great having you there and coordinating everything with all the PM’s there. The last day was by far one of the most valuable days I had at Product School. I learned more in that day than I had in 6+ months searching for jobs in Product Management and studying online materials.”

=== Elaboration / Details ===
–  Resume feedback and mock interviews from experienced / seasoned PMs
–  Small group to allow for personal feedback, small group collaboration, and face-to-face time
–  Developed a portfolio throughout the course
–  Worked with a real feature and its data to apply PM skills
–  Personal and timely feedback
–  Frameworks and toolkits that are applicable for a PM
–  Class diversity
–  Course adapts based on students feedback and needs/wants

–  Materials were lightweight
–  No whiteboards, post-its, and other such tools to engage students in group collaboration
–  The Vault has horrible acoustics
–  First week or first two weeks were not in-depth enough
–  Some tools are discussed but not in-depth
–  Lunch was not provided

Like any Product, Product School is actively testing hypotheses to ensure the curriculum is moving forward and engaging the students.  Their success metrics are the number of students who move into a Product Management role and the feedback they receive for the course.  However, what makes this so much better than taking Product Management at UC Berkeley Extension or other universities is that this course is taught by passionate, full time PMs who truly want to help you get a job as a Product Manager.

Josh Anon was the instructor for the weekend class I enrolled in and his was an amazing person.  He always offered out his ideas, support, questions, and feedback.  I had pinged him late at night and in less than 24 hours he had responded back.  That seemed pretty amazing given his busy schedule–though I admit I didn’t start reaching out to him until week 3 or week 4.

Let me contrast the many positive things about this course with some of the negatives or rather concerns.

First off, this class had a large group of engineers in the course.  This isn’t a bad thing since diversity is a great thing and helps with empathizing from different professional backgrounds.  However our class tended to fall back onto their own roles instead of putting themselves into the mindset of a PM.  This stood out and unfortunately there’s not much you can do about that if you have unmotivated peers.

Secondly, I had already spent a great deal of time studying and getting experience in Product Management.  The first two weeks did not blow me away in the course curriculum and tended to bore me.  If you’ve done your work, you may find yourself nodding off like I did.  However, after about the third week, the material started to get “hearty”.

On my last gripe, there was a lack of materials to get people to collaborate as a group and tools/frameworks weren’t always discussed in depth.  My peers would stay stuck on their laptops a lot of the time, which is unfortunate.   The largest skills a PM needs are soft skills and you cannot develop those being glued to your laptop.  As for the frameworks and tools, those were a mixed bag.  Some were covered in great detail, which was wonderful, but others were glanced over.

Overall this course was wonderful!  There were many opportunities to network and to learn from Josh and other PMs.  Stany who is the Program Manager was coordinating job postings and offered many opportunities to us.  The course did have us understand the role, the skills needed to succeed, and develop our soft skills as future Product Managers.

=== If you take the course, then take these two things: ===
1) Stick around for the mock interviews and resume feedback.  This was the greatest experience I had with the course next to getting to know Josh.

2) Remember that: [ what you put in (effort + contributions) = outcome ]

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