W.P. Roe – Member Spotlight
I managed to land three offers and average 10 to 12 interviews a week from working
with Product Gym.
What was your background before Product Management?
I started my career in strategy and operations consulting, did that for a lot of companies and lots of verticals, lots of different types of projects. I did that for four years and moved on to business school. I went into business school, thinking that I'll come out in Finance or maybe an entrepreneur. In the process, I got to work for a lot of early stage companies and really liked it. So, I was investing in early stage companies like in venture capital. I was working in them in a product, BD, sales, and operations mix of roles. That's what I continued to do after business school. I was working in a mix of roles, but was not an official Product Manager yet.
How was Product Gym able to help solve some of your job hunting challenges?
I didn't really have a story crafted around my experience. My experience is kind of interesting and broad, and it had elements there to talk about, but I wasn't really packaging it well enough to resonate with folks who are looking for specific types of experiences and mindsets. Product Gym helped me position my applications, from before meeting a person to the in-person interviews, to be a lot more effective. The volume-driven approach was refreshing to see, as it carried over into the application process. Don't spend too much time on one role, thinking about whether it was perfect or not, and tweaking specific things for that one application. This program reminds me to get my reps in, get tons of interview experience, learn along the way and build confidence along the way to be ready when the time's right.
How would you compare Product Gym with Product School
and an MBA program?
I think that Product School was actually quite valuable, in terms of being a primer on a lot of really good content. You'll find some overlap, even between their content and some of the Product Gym classes. However, the major difference that stuck out was the intention and clear focus on helping us get a job. Product Gym wants to help you land your first PM job, be successful in it, and help you find your next job if the first one doesn't turn out to be perfect. That sort of results-driven approach was quite different.
For my MBA, at that point, I was looking at a lot of things: start-ups, finance, doing my own thing, working in corporate, going back to consulting. I think those programs are actually better suited for those paths. But once I decided I wanted to do something more in tech and a little more early stage, I would say it was less relevant. I was already committed to the program, so I finished and wrapped it up, and I'm still thankful for it. My advice around getting an MBA has become more nuanced. It really depends on what you want to do with it.