It’s a tale as old as time. Thousands of MBAs enter top MBA programs every year dreaming of Google’s snack buffets, a cubicle in the Salesforce Tower, and a six-figure career in Product Management.
Unfortunately, an MBA degree is far from a surefire way to break into Product Management. As the notoriety of Product Management has grown, so has the competition. Northwestern Kellogg and UCLA Anderson both sent 9.7% and 10.9% respectively of their classes into Product Management careers in 2020 — representing less than 1/3 of the full-time positions secured in Tech. Consulting? 37%.
To put it simply, an MBA ins’t a magic bullet to a lucrative career in Product Management.
What do these numbers tell us? An MBA isn’t a magic bullet to a lucrative career in product management in the way it is for other traditional MBA careers like Consulting, Banking, and Brand Management. However, if you are willing to put in the work, securing a coveted Product Management role is definitely possible. It won’t be quick or painless, but this article will take you to step by step through how to become a competitive candidate for internships + full-time roles, even if the closest you’ve come to creating a product is downloading an app on your iPhone.
Notes: Although these steps are presented in order, depending on your recruiting timeline, you may find it helpful to complete them similtaneously.
Step 1: Understand the PM Role
If you are deciding between Product management and other post-MBA careers: Pick up this book from Stanford professors on how to use Design Thinking to design a fullfilling career. Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life
Unlike traditional post-MBA roles like Consulting or Brand Management, the role of Product Management is…