Student Spotlight: Kristen Ablamsky

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Product Institute is an online school for Product Managers looking to level up their skills. We’re featuring some of our recent graduates and asking them to share their experiences, both in the field and in our class.

Our next student is Kristen Ablamsky, a co-founder of a very new, very exciting startup. With a background in social and digital strategy, Kristen is new to Product Management and looked to Product Institute as a core resource for learning on the job. 

Can you tell our readers about your current role, and how you got into Product Management?

I’m the co-founder of an early stage startup called Start Hatching that helps nonprofits and social impact organizations find high quality freelancers who are passionate about their cause. Soon into my adventures in company starting, it became VERY clear that we needed someone to focus on not just our business strategy, but our people strategy. Someone to answer, “what do our customers need and how do we keep building a better solution?”

What was your favorite part about being a student at Product Institute? 

The videos are incredibly engaging, and the downloadable takeaways are priceless. I tap into my “Product Institute” folder every time I’m searching for a better way to find new answers. The Slack channel helped to apply these class materials to the real day-to-day, and to connect with others in the PM field- if you’re in NYC, we’ve got a routine meet up and you’re more than welcome to join us!

How has the Product Institute impacted the way you approach product management? 

I’ve learned that making good decisions in product management comes down to your ability to look at the facts with a fresh point of view. This means knowing how to collaborate with your team to identify user truths. There’s no one way to do that, more like one million ways, and you just need to find what works for you and your team.

What do you think is the hardest thing about product management? 

Knowing that every product roadmap is paved with lots of unkown unknowns that will completely twist up potentially ALL pre-existing notions of what will solve for your customer’s needs is frankly…frightening. But it’s also what makes product management so. much. fun. How can we, as Product Managers, get better and better at identifying, listening, and creating based on new truths?

Why do you love product management? 

Product management uses logic and reason to fuel creativity. It requires a knowledge of people, and not just the willingness to collaborate, but the desire to. And all of it is damn right challenging. For me, it doesn’t get much better than that.

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If you’re interested in learning more about Product Institute, you can visit our site for a full curriculum outline, an introduction to our Product Management coaches, and answers to FAQs.

Enrollment for our next two online classes is now open

For a limited time, get $100 off of our April 3rd class with code APRIL17.

We also have executive level options for VPs of Product, CTOs, Directors of Product, and CPOs. If you have a team of 5 or more you would like to enroll, please reach out to me at melissa[at]produxlabs.com

Student Spotlight: Dave Masters

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Product Institute is an online school for Product Managers looking to level up their skills. We’re featuring some of our recent graduates and asking them to share their experiences, both in the field and in our class.  First up: Dave Masters, a Product Manager with 8 years experience in the role, most recently at Doorsteps in NYC.

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Hi Dave! Can you tell our readers about your current role, and how you got into Product Management? 

Sure! I work for a company called Doorsteps, which helps to remove the frustration of finding and renting an apartment. I head up a cross functional team and set the strategic direction of our product. I got into Product Management via sales and support roles which took me into working on internal systems products. From there I’ve evolved more into consumer facing products.

What was your favorite part about being a student at Product Institute? 

Lots to choose from! The class is filled with super relevant content for PM’s of all levels. It’s presented in a digestible, entertaining format, which I legit looked forward to working on each week. Additionally, it has an international community of students who share great articles & provide alternate takes on issues that Product people deal with regularly. Also, here in NYC, I’ve connected with a few other students and we’ve been meeting in person to talk shop!

How has the Product Institute impacted the way you approach Product Management?  

As product management evolves, our toolkits need to evolve. This course has helped bring forward ideas and frameworks for all steps of the product lifecycle. Some of it was brand new to me like the Product Kata,  and reinforces themes such as focusing on outcomes instead of output. It’s also helped me reverse some bad habits that are easy to fall into.

What do you think is the hardest thing about Product Management?

It’s probably a tie between stakeholder buy-in and developing a comfort  level of uncertainty in a product roadmap. Getting comfortable myself with that way of thinking is not nearly as hard as getting others to buy in to outcomes & goals realized vs features delivered.

Why do you love Product Management?

I love the challenge of it all! It’s a big role which no two days are the same. Not to mention the satisfaction of hearing/seeing people get value out of products you help deliver!

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If you’re interested in learning more about Product Institute, you can visit our site for a full curriculum outline, an introduction to our Product Management coaches, and answers to FAQs.

Enrollment for our next two online classes is now open.  For a limited time, get $100 off of our April 3rd class with code APRIL17. We also have executive level options for VPs of Product, CTOs, Directors of Product, and CPOs.