I started my career as an animator back in 2012. But after spending 2 years in the VFX industry, I realised that this is not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Luckily, I was able to find a few job opportunities that put me on an interesting career path – product management. I know what you might be thinking. Is product management as interesting as I am portraying it to be? Honestly, it is!
Something that most people do not know is that Product Managers are the internal voice of the customer, as well as the business. We try to build products that keep customers happy, while also fulfilling the strategic vision of the company. It is a job where you get involved in every aspect of creation. You interact with a lot of people and get work done from different teams without any direct authority over them. Additionally, you need to have an understanding of a wide range of topics including technology, design, strategy, analytics, and business. Not surprisingly, you cannot survive in the job without excellent soft skills, and I loved the challenge that this role brought with it!
However, even while I was doing relatively well in my role, I didn’t have the scope for a lot of career progression due to the skills I lacked in business strategy, finance, and operations. An MBA was the best way for me to build these skills, and that’s when I started researching and stumbled upon SP Jain’s part-time Executive MBA (EMBA). There were 3 reasons that made me choose this program from the hundreds of options available.
First and foremost, SP Jain is a globally recognised brand known for having one of the best MBA programs in the world. While this ranking is for the full-time program, the EMBA is a compressed version of the same course with many of the same faculty members, and hence, the ranking was still relevant.
Additionally, the weekend program in Mumbai allowed me to continue working while pursuing my education. I was extremely apprehensive about having a gap in my career, and this helped me avoid that while still gaining the knowledge and qualifications I needed.
Lastly and most importantly, the program brought together a bunch of professionals from diverse backgrounds and industries and helped me build a network that I could not even have imagined before. I am lucky to have been part of a cohort full of extremely intelligent people with different levels of seniority. We were incredibly supportive of each other and believed in working hard and partying harder. At the age of 27 and with 5 years of work experience, I was one of the youngest and least experienced people in my batch, and I can’t even begin to tell you how thankful I am to have built a network of this calibre at such a young age.
I believe that you are the sum of every decision you’ve made in your life and you can learn from every situation and every person you work with. The 18 months I spent at SP Jain only helped me reinforce this belief. Academically, I was thrilled to be recognised on the Dean’s List for outstanding academic achievement. Being able to excel in my MBA while working full-time was, although difficult, one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. But the best memories I have from this program are the experiences I shared with my peers. Right from our Global Immersion Project (GIP) in Dubai and working late nights on group projects and assignments (including an extremely enjoyable one where we made a TV ad) to improving my public speaking in the SPJ Toastmasters Club, getting into spirited debates with my peers, playing foosball between classes, participating in ECAP sessions that helped us understand topics outside of our MBA curriculum, and making friends that I know will be with me for my whole life – these 18 months have been truly enlightening for me, and I’d never trade it for any other experience.
Today, I’m truly happy with where I am professionally, and I can honestly say that I love my job. If you think that product management is a career you would like to explore, I would suggest that you take up side projects within your organisation before transitioning into a full-time role. That way, not only will you get to learn on the job, but you’ll also understand whether or not it is the right career path for you.
About the Author
Shireen C. Godhaa is SP Jain’s Executive MBA graduate from the Class of 2019.
Click here to read more Executive MBA success stories.