I received most of my admission decisions and I could not be happier with the choices I have at this point.
I have to make a choice between attending a Top-20 Full-Time MBA Program, a Management Program for Engineers at one of the M7 Business Schools and a Masters program based in the Silicon Valley that focuses on Product Management in a School that is widely regarded as the best in the world for Computer Science.
I never thought I would be in this dilemma and it is wonderful to have such incredible options. All of these institutions are world-renowned, have a great overall ranking and reputation and are leaders in each of these fields.
At this moment I will most likely be attending the Program most relevant to Product Management in the Silicon Valley. This puts me on a very specific career route, something that I must consider because of my age and work experience being on the lower side than most B-School candidates. In the short term, I will gain more from this program and the reputation in Tech is unparalleled. The location is excellent too, making it a choice I just cannot resist. The MBA program will be more valuable in the long run, but there also is the risk that I do not get the career boost I hope for immediately since I am younger and maybe the ROI will not be as good as this other program. The Engineering Management Program carries the prestige of the M7 Schools, has a fantastic network but lacks the location and focus on Tech.
I guess I cannot go wrong with either choice, and I am excited that I will be attending a fantastic school! It has been a long wait but it has been worth it.
Working at a Tech Giant on Enterprise Cloud Products has been better than I could have imagined. I absolutely love the whole process of building successful products. It is extremely fulfilling to know that the work you put in impacts not only your organization but also thousands of individuals and enterprises across the world.
Over the past two years, I worked on nearly every aspect of product development and the opportunities I received have been fantastic. I got to work on cutting edge technology, innovate and work alongside talented people who have inspired me to work harder.
Prior to working in this role, I had interned in various positions working in Graphic design to marketing and sales in Technology product companies. I love these roles too and I realized that I would love to take on more responsibility to build successful software products – Something at the intersection of Technology, Business and Design. I am passionate about building innovative products and that has brought me to this goal – The Goal of Becoming a Product Manager at a Technology company where I can lead innovation.
As a techie, I think my mind is trained to seeing any problem as binary – there either is a solution or there’s not. Business, on the other hand, is trickier than that. There are too many grey areas, it’s not black and white. Making data-driven decisions under uncertainty and taking calculated risks is something I must master in order to succeed as a product manager. I lack the business knowledge I must possess if I want to take on responsibility for the whole software product. A good product manager does not just take credit for the success of the product, he/she also takes responsibility for the failure of it. It’s not only about knowing the technicalities but also about managing teams, driving innovation and being a leader within your organization.
With this in mind, I decided it would be best to augment my technical background with a formal management education. Of course, This does not guarantee the job I hope to land, but I think bridging my gaps will bring me closer to my goals. There are definitely several routes to achieving the same goal. I understand my own strengths and weaknesses by now, and I believe this is the best path for me.
It is easy to get lost with the herd mentality at B-School so I think it is crucial to know EXACTLY what you want before you enter any graduate program. The key is FOCUS. I am determined to achieve this goal, and any professional decision I take will be keeping in mind this goal, until I accomplish it.
Breathe In. Breathe Out.
There is SO MUCH ANXIETY involved in this process, I’m going a little crazy around deadlines.
My day is a little bit like this:
Wake up. Go to work. Procrastinate my actually work because I’m thinking ‘OMGIMDOOMEDWILLIGETANINTERVIEW’ as I type away on my keyboard surrounded by my fellow techies. Except I’m not typing code. I’m typing away my essay drafts :P. Then I do my actual work. Go back home. Do essays and applications. Get 3 hours of sleep. Repeat.
Anyway, Now that I actually got started on all that work, It became apparent to me that I need a better plan and time to figure this all out. Especially since next week I have 3 deadlines on 3 consecutive days. (Yikes)