Like most product manager’s, Ryan has a diverse working history. He started in a number of contact centre roles in Ireland, while completing his Master’s Degree in law, before moving to Australia and landing his first role in product management with REA Group. He enrolled himself into our Product Management short course to deepen his knowledge of the industry, which allowed him to put important skills he had only read about into practice. Here’s what he had to say:
Tell us a little about your working background.
After completing my Master's Degree in law I moved to Melbourne from Ireland and landed a temporary role with REA Group in their customer care team. I had my two weeks extended and was eventually made permanent in the team, where I spent a couple of years. My next and current role is as an Associate Product Manager within the media team.
I got into this role by learning the business from the ground up. The benefit of working in the customer care team meant I supported every product and customer type that REA Group has. In many other roles, teams focus on their core customer, whereas to be effective in my role I was required to be an expert across all of the customer types. Knowing REA Group's customers has helped me move into a product role. Spending a lot of my own time networking with product managers across the business also allowed me to get a taste for what a product manager role entails and to make some good connections within the product community.
How have you applied your learnings from the course into your current role?
The RMIT Online course taught me a number of core skills that I had read about previously, but allowed me to put these into practice. In particular, Module 5 (Developing Your Product Idea) was a favourite for me. Within this module I learned in detail about defining a minimum viable product and how to plan the development of your product. This allowed me to learn in detail some necessary skills which otherwise I would not have known how to effectively implement.
Can you share an experience where your learnings directly impacted a situation at work or with a client?
Internally we often use initiative canvases to kick off and detail upcoming work. This was something I had not done before, and sometimes struggled to document everything effectively within these initiative documents. The RMIT Online course had a dedicated section where we completed initiative canvases, got feedback from our peers and mentors, and then re-worked them. This activity gave me new skills which I was able to immediately take back to my job and implement. With the new skills I had learnt, I found it much easier to complete our internal initiative canvases but also to complete them more effectively which allowed me to find efficiencies when then discussing these documents with other internal teams.
What was your favourite part about the course?
My favourite part of the course was the community dynamic, and in particular the weekly webinar. The webinar allowed us to hear from industry experts but also to discuss and debate the various topics within the course, which allowed me to develop a strong understanding of the topic while also connecting with others doing the course.
Why would you recommend this course to potential students?
Firstly, the course is built in collaboration with a number of tech companies such as REA Group, which gave me confidence that the content within the course would be relevant and up to date with real life product management practices. The fact that this course is entirely online would be a major factor for me recommending the course to potential students. This allowed me to effectively manage my work and home life while also studying.