Future career paths

Questions I answer:
  • What connections do I see between the work I’m currently doing and potential future career paths?
  • In what ways has my experience shaped my thoughts about the careers I am interested in pursuing?

This internship has definitely been very eye-opening and has exposed me to the field and role of a product manager. It has been a career I have wanted to pursue for a while, and my current experience has cemented my passion for the field. However, I have to say that the startup environment is not at all what I was expecting. The actual internship program is not very structured, and the flexibility allows interns to choose their responsibilities and projects for the most part. I love this because I can put all my work and effort into projects and products that I really care about and have more impact. At such a small company like Adventure Corporation (where the current team size is around 30 employees and interns), I definitely have a lot more ownership and responsibility, which I truly enjoy.

I have always wanted to work at Big Tech and other corporate companies, but know the culture is much different from working at startups. This work experience has highlighted the startup route as a potential career path, rather than working at a big company straight away (although I would still really like to gain experience at a larger company). Being a product manager at a smaller startup is definitely much different than being one at a large company, just because of the scale of the products and teams you are working with. And with these different environments comes different responsibilities and experiences.

Even with my internship solidifying my interest in product management, the variety of roles and responsibilities I have done so far has definitely exposed me to other roles and fields in the technology industry. These include data science, business analytics, strategy and design. Since product management is such an interdisciplinary field, I have had the chance to gain experience in each of these other fields, so would not be opposed to pursuing these as possible career paths. At the end of the day, I just want to be in a role that I enjoy and help to create a positive impact in communities.

Through my internship experience so far, I have understood the importance of having a growth mindset. Dedication and hard work lead to results eventually and can be a driving force for change. Hard skills are important to develop but I feel that soft skills are even more important to hone, since they play a crucial part in any job. These include teamwork, communication and leadership skills as well as building up your EQ (emotional intelligence). I am constantly asking the founder and the team questions and developing these soft skills through working cross-functionally with different people in a remote setting. I have learnt there is an art to asking powerful questions and this is what helps organisations thrive. Because innovation starts with a problem, and a problem can only be defined after asking powerful questions!

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