5/28/2013 MIT Retrospective
This is a special edition of the personal update containing a retrospective on my MIT experience. I am still adding the other content (work, photos, etc) which I usually talk about in the update, so I am hoping to post a normal update in the next month or so.
8/25/2013 Yahoo APM!
I am about 1 month into my new job at Yahoo as an Associate Product Manager or APM. After I finished classes at MIT, but before I was set to start at Oracle, Yahoo offered me to join Marissa Mayer's new APM program at Yahoo. Marissa started the program back when she had just joined Google - as a way to find and develop new Product Managers out of school, which she thought would be faster than hiring experienced PMs from the industry. This article describes the role http://www.wired.com/business/2012/07/marissas-secret-weapon-for-recruiting-new-yahoo-talent/ though that article overblows things slightly.
I’m super happy where I am at. This is the type of job I was aiming for throughout MIT; I think I was well-prepared by MIT; and I think .Yahoo is also in a very interesting state at the moment. They are rapidly redoing everything. This makes new grads are handed large chunks of the product to manage, because they are so understaffed for what the need is. In addition, they are in the midst of a huge culture change. They are replacing their cube farms with open desks. They are rebuilding teams, which were previously laid off. It’s very interesting to work with people on either side of the culture change and to experience the before-and-after at the same time.
I’m in charge of designing the platform Yahoo uses to know where you are, and I help designing the membership, accounts, and security features of Yahoo. The work is very similar to what I did at MIT – brainstorming solutions, designing schemes, working with other stakeholders to refine plans and achieve consensus.
As an APM, I’m part of Yahoo’s inner circle – giving it the feel of a small company. My experience working with administrators at MIT prepared me very well for working with the executives at Yahoo. It's probably the best business/leadership/PM experience possible in the world for someone just out of school. I think it's rivals management consulting in terms of business experience - since you're directly responsible for something, but still involved at a high level. I think one learns by doing and by being exposed to stuff. The greater scope and responsibility one has, the more one learns, I believe.
I'm settled into my new place in Mountain View. Photos I'm sharing a house with 2 other guys, who were friends of friends. I've purchased a Chevy Volt. Photos It goes 40 miles in a charge, but after that it can use gas. In almost 2 months, I haven't gone to the gas station once!
I'm meeting a lot of new people here. Everyone seems to be a friend of a friend at least, and about 20-30% have heard of me before! That's kinda scarey!
I had my best semester ever, my last semester at MIT. I had 5 As and one B-. I was literally 10 points away from a 5.0!
This semester I used 32 inches of paper, as well as 31 pens. Here is a chart of usage over time:
I wrote up two white papers on MIT Policy. A Framework for Community Engagement is a refinement of the community engagement process which administrators currently follow. Problem Solving Teams proposes having students work as "management consultants" on the Institute’s biggest problems. This joins Unrelenting Advocacy, about how stundets should act like lobbyists and consultants. This rounds up my [MIT Policy White Papers] series.
Graduation was a super rainy affair - it was pretty miserable. Photos However, I'm happy to say that I've now graduated. It was sad to leave all of the stuff I really liked about MIT behind.
I used the time I was off (3 weeks at MIT, 3 weeks at home, and 3 weeks in CA) to get organized and clean up my stuff. I emptied some boxes I hadn’t touched in years. I scanned more paper. However, I have still not managed to post my MIT stuff or more from the archives.
(Why does it crash when I include Personal Style section?)