Skillful Digest (11/04/2021)

Community Newsletter

Welcome to the sixth issue of the Skillful digest!

This is our bi-weekly round-up of community news, relevant content and anything that can help us level up together. As always, reach out if you have any feedback or if you’d like anything featured in here.

Now onto the update 👇

Insight we’re pondering 💭

This one is for all aspiring product leaders 📣 Virtually every company preaches the value of diversity. But few properly articulate why a multitude of perspectives actually leads to better products. Sasha Pang, a Product Manager at Facebook, fixed that on the latest episode of Need to Know. As with most things product-related, Sasha’s framework boils down to user empathy. She just happens to go a level deeper than most.

The best PMs do, to be sure, strive to be the voice of the user. But, according to Sasha, this merely focuses on inputs - the data that PMs use to make product decisions. The problem is that inputs are only one half of the equation. To truly empathize with a user, you must meet them halfway; it's impossible to fully appreciate what perspective a user brings unless your team possesses as wide an aperture on human experience as possible.

The more diversity of thought, background, gender, you name it - the more likely your team is to appreciate its users on a deeper level. That’s when your products - the output - will do a much better job of meeting the needs of the people who rely on them. Listen to the full episode here 🎙️

Skillfuler Spotlight 💡

Today we’re featuring Wafic El-Assi. Wafic is a Product Operations Manager at Uber, where he drives global product strategy and roadmap execution for the Uber Eats pricing team. Wafic is also an engineer, data scientist, polyglot, founding mentor at Skillful and a friend. It’s almost impossible to overstate the impact he has had on the Skillful community, the enormity of which spans the culture we’re building to how we structure Skillful and more career-changing advice to Skillfulers than we can count.

Lucky for everyone, he’s beginning to document his learnings and wisdom for the benefit of current and aspiring tech operators, including a new Product Ops Sprint at Skillful that he is co-leading, together with some excellent writing.

Bonus: In case you were wondering what a Product Operations Manager’s day-to-day looks like, Wafic recently let us peek into his calendar:

Sprint applications are open!

End 2021 on a high note by joining our two newest Sprints, which begin in mid-November. Spots are extremely limited, so apply now if you’re interested:

Sprints that are currently open: ⚙️Product Operations with Wafic Marco AND 📈Growth Marketing with Kareem and Jill

As a reminder, Sprints operate just like the Core program but they’ll help you tackle role-specific skills and concepts. Like the Core program, Sprints are centered around a team project that you complete with the support and guidance of your mentor.  

We’ve been creating and running Sprints for alums of the Core program for over six months; now we’re rolling them out publicly. Skillfulers can do a Sprint and then the Core program, or complete Sprints after Core. We’ve had some Skillfulers complete over four Sprints with us!

Apply Now!

Events @ Skillful 📆

  • Last weekend we kicked off the Fall 2021 cohort of our Core Program. Our 12th (!) cohort, and our largest yet with over 75 new Skillfulers from backgrounds spanning consulting, banking, investing, product and more. We’re fortunate to add so many more amazing people to this community. If you haven’t already, please head over to the #intros channel in Slack to welcome our newest Skillfulers 🙌

  • Wednesday October 27: Last week, we hosted primers on two specific business generalist career paths in tech ✨Product Operations (Wafic and Marco) and Growth Marketing (Kareem and Jill). Community members can DM Laura for the recordings.

#community-wins 🥇

We celebrated some more hiring announcements:

  • Anna Hou recently joined Thumbtack as a Business Strategy and Operations Manager...
  • … And Jan Korevaar *also* joined Thumbtack, as a Senior Business Operations Manager 📌
  • Tristen Cross recently joined Hopin, one of the fastest-growing startups of all time, as a Senior Product Marketing Manager 🚀
  • Mentor Anna Dabrowski was recently promoted to Team Lead, Strategic Planning at Clio ⚖️

Please be sure to reach out to them with a word or two of congratulations!

Job Opportunities 💼

  • DoorDash is hiring for several roles in Strategy & Ops logistics. Reach out to Steph Chiu if you’re interested!
  • ResQ is hiring across literally every department, including BizOps, Partner Success, Customer Success and more. Reach out to Jordy Winkler if you’re interested in any of these roles.
  • CommerceBear is hiring for many roles as well, including Merchant Ops and Product Management. Reach out to Robyn Smith if any of these openings catch your eye.
  • UserTesting is hiring a Growth Manager.
  • Faire is hiring a Product Operations Manager for its international vertical. Wafic El Assi knows the hiring manager and is happy to refer the right candidates - reach out if you think it might be a fit.
  • Wealthsimple is hiring a Manager, Regulatory Special Projects. Reach out if you’re interested and we can connect you with the hiring manager!
  • Placeholder is hiring a Strategy & Operations Manager. We can connect you with the hiring manager if you’re interested.
  • SafeGraph is hiring a Chief of Staff who will report directly to the founder and CEO. Reach out to Saumil Shah if you're interested!

Head on over to #job-openings in our Slack community to see more openings like these!

One (community) thing

Special thanks to Megan Jones, Naomi Chun and Michael Kalish for dropping by our Fall’21 Core Program cohort kickoff event last weekend. They took time out of their weekends to meet our newest Skillfulers and share tips with them on how to lean into the program. Such a great embodiment of our community’s values ❤️

Here’s Michael talking about the learning style at Skillful and how it relates to the culture and operating processes at Uber, where he now works:

That’s all for this issue ✌️ If you’d like to access more news and content before the next update, you can hop on over to Slack.

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