Laura Wong recently started a new job as an associate product manager at Hotjar. She previously spent several years in a specialised marketing role. Here’s how she got into product.
Roles and responsibilities
My current roles and responsibilities are still developing. As an associate product manager, my main goals are to learn and be as open as possible. It’s important at this stage to ask as many questions as possible and be a sponge. For those starting in product management, you have to be good at communication, articulation and be efficient at shortening things down into digestible, easy to understand, nuggets of information.
What were you doing before this job?
Before I decided to transition into a product career, I was working in social media marketing in a specialised role. There are several transferable skills from marketing to product that I use daily.
What was the job process like?
Hotjar has a unique job application process. It is a fully remote company so everything was done over a video call. To start with, I went through a standard application of submitting a cover letter and resume. Once I progressed to the next stage, I had to answer a few questions on video. After that, the final stage is a live interview which was followed by a short task.
What is your educational background and, if relevant, how did this help you to get this role?
I studied business and specialised in marketing. So it was clear why I got into the previous phases of my career in social media marketing. The business degree provided me with an ambition to help organisations of all sizes.
I don’t think a marketing degree directly aided me in landing a product role. Although indirectly everything I’ve done up until now certainly led me to this point. This has provided me with a plethora of transferable skills that helped me in the job application process.
What do you enjoy about your role and your company?
I have always wanted to try out a career like product management. It is more of a generalist role rather than a specialised one. It brings together a lot of different kinds of skill sets, and I always felt like that was my strength.
What additional things did you do to land your role?
I immersed myself in product by listening to podcasts. Many product managers advised me to read books and consider attending courses. I wanted to make my transition as efficient as possible. I started with shadowing a product manager, and that’s what gave me a sense of the actual day to day work.
In my cover letter, I created a chart that stated what the overlaps between marketing and product were. This helped to showcase the existing skills that I need which is needed for a product manager to deliver.
Tips on landing a role in product
- Have interviews with existing product managers to dig into what they like and don’t like about their roles. Come with very specific questions
- Shadow a product manager if they are in your organisation. If there isn’t, get hands-on work where you can. Start a side project where you follow the key roles and responsibilities of a product manager
How did you get your job in product?
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