Learning about product management here at the University of Waterloo.
Iris Guo: PM at Arteria AI & Founder at Neutrify
Today we’re here with a very special guest, Iris, who is a Waterloo alumni and has previously worked in product management roles across both Canadian and American landscapes at companies like Google X, Microsoft, Neo, and Scale AI. Currently she is working with Arteria AI. On the side, she is also completing a Masters degree in Analytics and AI. Iris formerly founded an impact-driven non-profit called OpenMeal and led a team of 50 at her own startup, Neutrify.
Frank Lapinski: Product Manager at Microsoft
In this podcast, Frank, a recent graduate and currently a PM at Microsoft, shares his journey into product management. Despite his initial lack of technical expertise, Frank's determination and strategic approach enabled him to gain valuable experiences through various internships and leadership roles in college. He found his passion for product management early on and leveraged his experiences to secure a PM role at Microsoft, showcasing a blend of leadership and technical skills in his career progression.
Frank's highlights his proactive approach in pursuing his passion for product management from high school to college. His early exposure to the field through a podcast and interviews with industry professionals sparked his interest, leading him to establish a product management club in his senior year to help others navigate this career path. His insights into the differences between working as a PM in traditional and technology-centric industries, along with his diverse experiences, showcase the multifaceted nature of product management and the importance of adaptability and continuous learning.
Frank's Blog: https://frankthoughts.substack.com/
Justin Ford: Co-Founder at Javelin
In this podcast episode, we meet Justin Ford, the co-founder of Javelin Sports, a company on a mission to combat social isolation through sports. They initially set out to create a platform for adults to connect through sports but had to pivot when the pandemic hit.
[00:00:02]: Introduction and Welcome
[00:00:33]: Introducing Justin Ford, co-founder of Jafflin Sports
[00:00:44]: Javlin Sports' mission to tackle social isolation crisis
[00:02:05]: Choosing volleyball as the focus for Javlin Sports
[00:02:40]: Initial challenges and the pivot during the pandemic
[00:05:32]: Success with COVID screening app and relaunch into sports
[00:06:57]: Importance of timing and execution for startups
[00:08:08]: Identifying timing trends and executing on them
[00:08:57]: The importance of having one great idea in a startup
[00:09:10]: The opportunity for improvement in skill level at games
Manan Modi: Product Manager at Amplify
Discover the captivating journey of Manon Modi, a product management expert with a diverse background in government and big tech. Join him as he explores the dynamic world of startups, fintech, and the profound power of making a positive impact. Tune in to the UWPM podcast for an inspiring and insightful episode you won't want to miss!
00:00-Introduction and Background
3:15-Work before PM
5:15-Skills for PM
6:30-Role at Big Tech vs Startups
8:05-Projects worked on
10:10-About his book
13:30-Problem identification as a PM
15:43-Developing product sense
18:00-Side projects in school
18:55-School things that led his career progression
21:25-Thoughts on hustle culture
24:00-Things you do in free time
25:20-Why PM is so entrepreneurial
28:50-Side projects Manan is working on 28:50
Catherine Hoang: Program and UX Strategy at Adobe
Hey UW PM listeners!
We are switching it up a bit for our design folks by welcoming UW PM alumni Catherine Hoang! Soon to graduate from the GBDA program Catherine currently works as a Program and UX Strategist at Adobe. She also used to create gaming content on Youtube and worked previously as a Go-to-Market Manager Intern for Microsoft’s Minecraft for Education.
In this episode, Matthew talks with Catherine about her journey transitioning from business to design and the key learnings she grasped in the industry from numerous informal chats and external internships. This episode functions well as a starting point for students to understand the field of program management as well as career development in the business and design space.
0:00-Who is Catherine Hoang?
2:34-Business & Design Roles
4:19-Product vs Program Management
7:20-Tips for External Recruiting
10:50-Transitioning into UX & Marketing Yourself
13:23-Design Specific Resources
15:05-PM Related Resources
15:34-Soft Skills to Highlight during Interviews
19:03-Life Near Post-Grad & Work as a Contractor
23:19-Final Advice From Catherine
Kasey Fu: Search and AI Product Manager at Microsoft
Welcome back UW PM listeners! It’s been a few years and we’re super excited to start the podcast back up again!
What better way to kick off the podcast than to talk with previous UW PM podcast host Kasey Fu! Kasey is a Waterloo and UW PM Alumni currently working at Microsoft as a Search and AI Product Manager. Kasey is also an avid writer, publishing medium articles related to AI and Product Management. He has a passion for creative writing, publishing 2 books!
In this episode Josh talks with Kasey about his journey navigating the PM industry, the clubs he’s been part of at Waterloo and the internships he’s experienced along the way. Kasey talks about his current role at Microsoft, the challenges he faces as a PM, and the AI industry. We also talk about writing and his contributions to the Product Coalition, the world’s largest independent Product community. We talk about Kasey’s passion for creative writing and his view on the future of writing with the advancements of Generative AI.
Learn more about Kasey: https://seykafu.com/
Check out Kasey’s Medium Articles: https://seykafu.medium.com/
Product Coalition Medium Articles: https://productcoalition.com/
1:23-Breaking into PM
4:20-Clubs & Community at UW
14:40-Working at Microsoft
18:30-Navigating the AI Industry
23:40-Writing & Product Coalition
30:00-Creative Writing vs Generative AI