Career Story: Software Product Management Director

Software Product Management Director

Job Title: Product Management Director

Type of Company: My company develops software that manufacturing companies use to develop and design products ranging from vacuum cleaners to drive trains in automobiles to airplanes.

Education: BA, Computer Science, Stonehill College •• BS, Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of Notre Dame

Previous Experience: I worked in the Information Technology department of an insurance company and specialized in computer networking. I worked as a sales engineer and strategic marketing specialist at a software company, before moving into a product management position. Since then, I've worked at two other software companies in product management.

Job Tasks: I am responsible for understanding the problems that manufacturing companies have designing and developing their products so that I can help our software developers design and deliver software solutions that help these manufacturing companies be more efficient and save money.

On a typical day, I will talk to one of these manufacturing companies about how they are trying to use our software solutions, and then I work with my company's software developers to build a new or improved solution to help the manufacturing company. I also assist our sales team selling our software products, which means explaining to manufacturing companies that are interested in buying our software products how our software will help them do their jobs better.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is working with a team of people all striving to achieve a common goal. I feel particularly rewarded when the software solutions I help design help a customer solve a problem they are having. I also love working with our customers understanding what they do and how they do it.

The most challenging part of my job is convincing people that don't work for me to do things when they have a million other things to do. However, the worst part of my job is dealing with an unhappy customer when I don't have a good answer for him.

Job Tips:
1.) Work on your listening skills so that you truly understand what people mean no matter what words they are using.

2.) Math, science & computer science help develop great analytical skills no matter what profession you choose.

3.) Don't shortchange developing your interpersonal skills, they are the difference maker.

4.) While analytical skills are critical, also learn how to synthesize, which means seeing the bigger picture. Remember, no matter how well you can build a bridge, it is worthless if you build it in the wrong spot.

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