What to Expect in an Associate Product Manager Program

Many Product Manager roles require at least a few years of experience. Many people, especially recent graduates, fail to qualify for most of these roles. An Associate Product Manager program is probably one of the best options out there to get into the Product Management field as they require no prior experience.

While these programs are top-rated among prospective PMs, little to none is known about what the expectations from these Associate Product Manager (APM) programs are. That’s why we’re going to dig into the details of an Associate Product Manager program in this article.

We’ll give you an idea of what to expect, with a first-hand account from Chris Beck. Chris is a MediaMath Product Manager and Product Gym senior member and mentor who went through the Associate Product Manager program route to get into Product Management.

If you are new to the concept of an Associate Product Manager program and want to learn more, watch Chris’s coverage here:

Here are the top five aspects to expect from an Associate Product Manager Program:

Product Requirements

The first expectation, and perhaps the most important one, is understanding and communicating product requirements.

As an APM, you will have a more detailed view of the product than your Product Lead. It will be your responsibility to figure out the details and how they fit into the bigger picture. You will be expected to know what situations your user may encounter or the possible problems that the product might run into.

This is an excellent opportunity for you to learn the inner technical workings of product. You’ll gain the tools and knowledge to work with an engineering team to deliver and enhance the product at a lower level.


The second factor to expect is researching the product. You may think research is more of a Product Lead task, but your knowledge about the product should always be on point: you are the second set of eyes.

Research doesn’t have to be only external and customer-facing. Many internal scenarios require an in-depth thought procedure. This is where you come in as an Associate Product Manager since you will be expected to know the nitty-gritty of the product.

Examples of your research items might include how many more queries would be added to the product to incorporate a new feature or how many more users would be acquired with a given modification.

Research is an excellent opportunity for you to work your critical thinking muscles. Your inquiry will focus on how a particular feature might impact the way customers interact with it.


This leads to the third item on your list, which is questioning. Because you are the second set of eyes on the product, your team will look up to you as the person who knows the product inside out.

Being the subject matter expert on the product is an excellent opportunity for you to shine, especially among the senior leadership. They will turn to you when they need to assess the success of the product. Your questions will determine the product roadmap and lead the building process.

Internal Resources

Your questioning process will lead to internal resources creation, which will be the primary material for sales and marketing. Creating these resources in a clear and concise way is critical because you want the whole team to understand the product thoroughly.

You should also be able to pinpoint your audience and have a clear understanding of the how and why of the product. This way, the resources you create will be for the target market.

Close Contact with Senior Leadership

As a resource creator and subject matter expert, you should expect to be in very close contact with your product head. This last expectation is common to Product Managers as well. As an Associate Product Manager, this brief amount of time you spend with the seniors is precious.

Not only will you be asked for your research, observations, and suggestions, you will also have the opportunity to ask questions and receive mentorship from them. This is the golden opportunity to get feedback, and so the main activity you should be doing here is listening! Your seniors will assess your product management practices and suggest improvements.

Associate Product Manager Program: Know What to Expect

Starting a job with knowing what to expect is essential, and it will put you ahead of your colleagues. Ensure your role entails these items as they set you up for success and more responsibility in the future.

If these expectations sound like what you want to do in your next job, make sure you learn more about Associate Product Manager programs. Are you a new grad looking into an associate Product Manager program? Chris has specific insight and advice that you might find helpful:

Still, have questions about APM programs? Schedule a free consultation with us today to learn more and find out how we can help you.


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Access Our List of Product Manager Job Openings, Updated Daily

Short-cut your search process, free with our list with full links to the product job, company and application link.

Not hearing Back on Job Applications?

Speak with a PM Career Coach

Don't Know Where to Apply for Product Manger Roles?

Get FREE access to our list of Product Manager job openings. Updated daily.

Schedule a Call with Us

Interested in learning more about how Product Gym can help you secure your dream Product Manager job?