Recently, we had a chat with Product Manager, Sinta Reynolds about how she came into her line of work, what her field of study was and what she loves most about her career.
Sinta says it was during completion of her post graduate degree that she found something which grabbed her attention. “I worked on gaining experience in different fields (from sales to life coaching to finance and business), until I found something that really grabbed my attention as a career path. I didn’t even know Product development existed when I started working but I was fortunate enough to work for a tech company, where I started learning more about the fields in the tech industry – product development really spoke to me as a career path.”
Sinta tells Careers24 what her field of study was and how she came about her interest in product management. “I did a BA undergraduate degree in social dynamics (3 years) and a BComm Honours degree (1 year). At the time that I was studying my undergraduate, my interest and focus was primarily about societal constructs and the study of human behaviour. My interest grew as I studied, and I extended my interest to Business and finance when I did my honours degree. In the near future, I would love to further my education in consumer behaviour and e-commerce.”
Sinta says what she loves most about being a product manager is the intersection between three fields. “For me, being a product manager, you will find yourself in the intersection between 3 fields: Tech, Business and User behaviour. You will be responsible to ultimately ensure the success of innovative and scalable products customers will love - What is not to love about that? Alongside that, this is an industry that is growing rapidly, so being able to continuously upskill in a self-sufficient manner is a must and one of my favourite things!”
The advice Sinta provides for aspiring Product Managers is that one should place the most emphasis on whether this is the right career for yourself. “There is not one clear-cut career path for getting into Product development. I do not believe the emphasis should be placed so much on what path you should take or what you should study. The emphasis should rather be placed on whether this is indeed the right career for you. There is an article I read that describes one of the attributes a PM needs quite well: “Vision & Discipline: You need to know what’s important to solve, who are you solving it for, why is it worth solving, and how do you measure success?”
She also shares advice on what makes a great Product Manager. “If you would like to dive more into what makes a great PM, read some articles on Medium from the tech community.If the qualities a PM needs to possess, speaks to you, then I would advise that you get as much exposure and experience in a product environment as possible. If you are lucky enough to be in the tech industry already, ask your UX/UI team to sit in on customer interviews & usability testing sessions – get to know your company’s customers inside and out, scrutinize their product and come up with solutions and ideas you can take to your product team. In addition, in your own time, upskill in all 3 verticals (business, tech & user behaviour) - There are great Product Blogs out there that are truly helpful!”