8451 1440 X 420 Employee Spotlight Template Final 07

Hometown: Columbus, OH
Office Location: Cincinnati, OH
University: Purdue University
Major: Multidisciplinary Engineering
Start Date: June 2021
Starting Role: Product & Design Development Program

Describe your role.
My role is to map out the work that the team does. I do this by talking to users to figure out what changes they want to see, talking to the business to understand what changes align with our priorities, and talking with the developers to understand what is feasible. Once we have work, I help to break it down into small enough pieces for the developers to tackle and I prioritize the order in which things in our backlog are done.

What was your experience like in the Development Program?
I really enjoyed the Development Program because it gave me time to learn about the business and about my role. Within the P&D (Product and Design) Development Program, we did a case study which was a helpful way to practice what I would be doing in my role without feeling too much pressure. I also enjoyed the role shadow that we did because it helped me understand the role of a product manager and the roles that work with and around a product manager.

How do you believe the 84.51° Development Program compares to other comparable Programs?
I like that there’s time to learn but still a quick path to placement on a permanent team. In other comparable programs that I was looking at, I would have rotated between roles for 2-3 years which would have provided less stability. However, if someone doesn’t know exactly what they want to come in and do, I could see how there’s value in that, too.

How do you believe the Development Program equipped you for success at 84.51°?
I feel like I got a really comprehensive understanding about what we do at 84.51°. This has positioned me well to figure out how we can improve our product using the features that are already available in other products at the company. Additionally, I can see how things from one business team inform things that another business team does. I was also equipped for success by being given the time to learn about Product. Product management is not something that you can study in school so there is a lot of learning to be done and 84.51° gave me the time and space to do that.

What did you learn from the Development Program that you have transferred into your current role?
Honestly most of the day-to-day tasks of a Product Manager are things I learned in the Development Program. We had a session about how to break down work into sizable pieces that I think about often as I am figuring out how my team can best work through an initiative.

Is there anything you wish you had known about the Development Program prior to enrolling?
This isn’t necessarily something I wish I knew, but I wish I would have been more patient during the Program and really soaked up all the learning I could do. I think I was impatient because I felt like I wasn’t contributing a lot of value to the company but really the value came in the learning. The learning that I did in those first few months has helped me be much better in my role today, which in turn provides a lot of value.

What has been the most memorable experience or favorite project you’ve worked on?
My team is currently trying to figure out ways for users to have more personalized experiences within 84.51° Stratum. As part of this initiative, we have introduced some folder options for saved groups and are currently working on the ability for users to pin their favorite report templates at the top of the page. I really like working on this initiative because it is helping our users feel like they have more control over their experience in our product.

What advice would you give students who are interested in working in the product & design industry?
My advice would be to talk to all sorts of people on a development team to figure out what might be the best fit (this may include product managers, developers, experience designers, agile delivery leads, and data scientists). I would also learn about entrepreneurship if possible because I have found some interesting overlaps between product management and entrepreneurship.

What’s your favorite part about working at 84.51°? Do you have a favorite benefit or perk that is offered?
My favorite part about working at 84.51° is the culture here and specifically the culture within the Development Program. I really enjoyed starting at the same time as a lot of other people that were around my same age. I was able to make a lot of friends because of that and I still really enjoy hanging out with the people I started with.

What do you like to do in your free time outside of work hours?
In my free time I like to read, spend time with my friends, and play pickup sports. I was on the 84.51° flag football team last fall which was a blast!