Kevin Park – Member Spotlight
Thank you, Product Gym for helping me transition successfully into an amazing job.
What was your background before Product Management?
I went to UCLA to study psychology. Once I graduated, I knew that I wanted to be in business, so I went into sales because I wanted exposure to soft skills that could potentially carry me into product and product development. I needed to better understand different business organizations, and while I was doing sales, I realized that although I can hit numbers, I'm very much a task oriented person. I like seeing things from start to finish, and started researching what other areas can I tap my skills into, and product management came up. I actually took a class at Product School, where I learned the fundamentals of product management, but it didn't prepare you for the interview process, how to market yourself, and if you didn't have the traditional engineering background, why are you there?
Did you feel that your youth had any impact on whether or not you were able to secure a Product Manager job, or advance in the interviews?
I graduated UCLA in 2016, but I never saw age as a barrier to breaking into this field. I seem like a youthful soul, but I care very much about carrying myself with a professional brand that is trustworthy and able to get along with. As long as those qualities are reflected in the way I carry myself, it doesn't matter how old I am — people are going to want to talk with me regardless. So I think it's like a perspective that everybody has to overcome on their own, and realize that it doesn't matter at the end of the day; what matters is how much are you willing to ask the right questions to the right people at the right time. If you can't figure that out, it's going to be tough anywhere you go, not just for Product Managers.
Did you feel that you weren't getting enough support from taking Product Gym remotely?
Personally, no. I think having the weekly coaching call was a good way to make sure that I reflect and gather any questions I have for the call. I always felt comfortable asking those common questions when it came to the coaching call. Outside of the coaching call, I felt that whenever I emailed you guys questions, I always got an answer, and the more specific I was in my questioning, the better answer I'll get. So it was a matter of how much do I really need this question answered? How can I provide the most details, so I can get a faster response? So it was very much, how can I help you help me? That was very clear from very beginning.
You know, I actually didn't want to get on the weekly coaching calls. Sometimes I'd be like, "why am I on this?" But, I quickly realized that you always need time to reflect on your week and get better. That type of mentality is always going to be helpful no matter where you're at.