5 Things To Know Before ‘Product Management’ Internship By Rinku Stephen

“A great product manager has the brain of an engineer, the heart of a designer, and the speech of a diplomat. “ – Deep Nishar, UX at LinkedIn. Steve Jobs, Sundar Pichai, Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates were all “Product Managers” initially. Would you like to be as successful as them and kick start your career as a Product Manager? Read on to know 5 things that are MUST KNOWS before applying to be one. These helped me during my internship at Flipkart as a Product Manager.

What is a Product?

From an Ecommerce perspective, many are confused as to what exactly is “Product”. They think product is the “product” such as shoes, apparels, etc that are sold by the Company. This is “NOT” the product. In most companies, they have a “Category Head” to take care of these products. The product is the service rendered by them on their website or app. For example, the search feature is a product too.  

Who is a Product Manager ?

“Product Manager” is one of the hottest jobs of the 21st Century.  A product manager is the CEO of the assigned product. He decides the what, why and how of the product.  This is a cross functional role and requires working with Engineers, analysts, marketeers and just about everyone in the Organization.

Product Managers Execute and Research!

Product Managers are required to be present across the entire life cycle of the product – ideation, design, implementation, testing, deployment to end users and maintenance. This requires long periods of brainstorming, researching and quiet times just thinking like a potter who takes time to think what he wants before moulding the clay. The stronger your research and ideation, more detailed and less ambiguous will be your product. This will make it easier for the Engineers to develop. However, the duration of your internship might not be long enough to be there for the entire duration but research is the foundation and most important.

Product Management is NOT about Extracting Work from Others

While a product manager has to be a leader in order to keep the team motivated and the project on track, he is  not required to be a “Cowherd” or a “Shepherd”. He has to be willing to do the work, come up with creative solutions  and show the team how the work is done. Articulation is very important.

Work hard and Work Harder!!

Nope. A product manager is highly organized and plans their work. It is important for the team and the Manager to balance work and life. Yes, “deadlines are sacrosanct” but by paying attention to details from Day 1 and scheduling with buffer time, the product manager will be able to mitigate risk and manage. This will also ensure that the team is motivated and you’re not seen as a nag.

So.. What are you waiting for? Go nab that role of a Product Manager.. Have the coolest job of the century and party hard..!!

Rinku Stephen

Rinku Stephen pursued Computer Science and Engineering just because she was fascinated by the law of cartoons. But later during her course, she was smitten by the tech bug and went on to develop developed Peer to Peer Application for NFCs, automated healthcare claims and solutions to clinical trials. She also had a brief stint as the IT consultant for a Startup – Praise Foundation. Currently, she is a Product Manager in Flipkart. Setting the geek side aside, Rinku loves to trek, try new sports, read crazy, and of course.. GOT.

Comments

7 comments

Nipunn Vepakomma

Good article. However, I heard product manager role is not given to MBA grads straight out of B school. We need to work for some years in Sales role, then get promoted to product manager role. Then how can we expect an internship itself in product management?