The PM Decision

Muli, APM 2013, Zurich
“I discovered product management quite serendipitously during my military service. I was working in intelligence and effectively served as a product manager, the liaison between users, engineers and strategy for security products. I loved it and ended up becoming an officer and staying in the army for five years. In university, I continued building products as part of an entrepreneurship program that brought together students from all disciplines. Together with a few friends, I built a social platform for watching sports games and it was a ton of fun. It was just a scrappy MVP on top of WhatsApp, but it was thrilling to see user activity pouring in during games. At the end of the year I knew that I found what I wanted to do and the APM program sounded like the perfect fit.”

Jian, APM 2015, Mountain View
“I interned as a software engineer in my sophomore year, and I loved it. However, I realized I was coding all day, since I would leave work and still hack on side projects, which was one of my hobbies. I thought maybe I would try something else as my day job, because coding was already my passion, and it could be fun to try something that approached technical problems from a different angle. So I looked outside of software engineering, but still in tech. I learned about product management at my college’s career fair and it seemed interesting, so I applied to the APM internship and was accepted. Even as a super technical person, I felt satisfied with my new balance between technical depth and horizontal visibility into architecture and strategy. I felt I could help and empower my team in an entirely different way, which motivated me. On the last day of my APM internship my team made me a thank you card, and I felt like an impact multiplier. It felt good.”

Shreena, APM 2017, Mountain View
“Sophomore year of college my friend and I were awarded a $10k summer fellowship grant to do social work in India, providing gender education workshops to schools and colleges. We thought about the types of experiences and conversations we were lucky enough to have that made us dream bigger, and we wanted to replicate that for youth - and especially women - across India. One of our workshops was uploaded online and went viral - it got a million views and 100k shares. We made the front page of the Times of India and started getting interview requests. It was a crazy adventure and I ended up taking three semesters off to work on the project full time. For me, it was the experience of a lifetime - I fell into running my own start up without realizing it. I learned what it takes to run something - defining the product, operations, fundraising and growth - and realized how much I loved this type of cross functional work. When I came back to school, I was looking for a job that could give me that type of experience - and when I heard about the APM program I was attracted to it immediately.”

Bryan, APM 2014, Tokyo
“My college roommate had an interview for the Google APM internship one day, which is the first time I heard about the role. I asked him what it was, and it seemed interesting to me, so I applied too. I still didn’t really understand what product management was, even throughout the interview process, but I ended up with an offer and took it. I absolutely loved the internship, and decided to come back full time. “ -

Janvi, APM 2015, Mountain View
“In college I went to a talk by this woman who worked at a health tech seed fund in San Francisco. She was talking about digital health, a burgeoning area using software to transform the healthcare industry. I was inspired and then interned at that seed fund. Originally I started thinking my place in this field would be in business development or marketing, since I studied Neuroscience. However, throughout the internship I realized I was mostly interested in the product itself: designing the experience, and how you can change behavior and the way people think via design. People said if you want to be a PM, start at a big tech company who builds great consumer products and learn from them, and to strengthen my technical background, that’s exactly what I did.”

Dina, APM 2016, San Bruno
“In college, I thought I wanted to work on something related to government and interned on the Civics team at Google in DC. I had a great time and got to build out some really cool datasets, but still felt like I wanted to be closer to the ground. Most of my senior year was spent talking to people who were doing all types of policy and public service work, which led me to a data analyst position on the Hillary Clinton campaign beginning two weeks after graduating from college. Working in the campaign headquarters in New York was a crazy experience. I learned so much about political persuasion, how content gets produced and how campaigns are being run. It was the experience of a lifetime, but I realized I’d like to spend more time learning in a structured environment that would help me grow. The APM program seemed like a great opportunity to do just that.”

Sam, APM 2016, Mountain View
“Loving the computer science classes I took in college, I started experimenting with tech by taking on an engineering internship. Throughout my summer working as a software engineer, I saw myself become very curious about product, design, and other parts of the development process. A friend told me about the APM program and it sounded interdisciplinary just in the way I was looking for. I was hooked.”

The PM Decision

Muli, APM 2013, Zurich
“I discovered product management quite serendipitously during my military service. I was working in intelligence and effectively served as a product manager, the liaison between users, engineers and strategy for security products. I loved it and ended up becoming an officer and staying in the army for five years. In university, I continued building products as part of an entrepreneurship program that brought together students from all disciplines. Together with a few friends, I built a social platform for watching sports games and it was a ton of fun. It was just a scrappy MVP on top of WhatsApp, but it was thrilling to see user activity pouring in during games. At the end of the year I knew that I found what I wanted to do and the APM program sounded like the perfect fit.”

Jian, APM 2015, Mountain View
“I interned as a software engineer in my sophomore year, and I loved it. However, I realized I was coding all day, since I would leave work and still hack on side projects, which was one of my hobbies. I thought maybe I would try something else as my day job, because coding was already my passion, and it could be fun to try something that approached technical problems from a different angle. So I looked outside of software engineering, but still in tech. I learned about product management at my college’s career fair and it seemed interesting, so I applied to the APM internship and was accepted. Even as a super technical person, I felt satisfied with my new balance between technical depth and horizontal visibility into architecture and strategy. I felt I could help and empower my team in an entirely different way, which motivated me. On the last day of my APM internship my team made me a thank you card, and I felt like an impact multiplier. It felt good.”

Shreena, APM 2017, Mountain View
“Sophomore year of college my friend and I were awarded a $10k summer fellowship grant to do social work in India, providing gender education workshops to schools and colleges. We thought about the types of experiences and conversations we were lucky enough to have that made us dream bigger, and we wanted to replicate that for youth - and especially women - across India. One of our workshops was uploaded online and went viral - it got a million views and 100k shares. We made the front page of the Times of India and started getting interview requests. It was a crazy adventure and I ended up taking three semesters off to work on the project full time. For me, it was the experience of a lifetime - I fell into running my own start up without realizing it. I learned what it takes to run something - defining the product, operations, fundraising and growth - and realized how much I loved this type of cross functional work. When I came back to school, I was looking for a job that could give me that type of experience - and when I heard about the APM program I was attracted to it immediately.”

Bryan, APM 2014, Tokyo
“My college roommate had an interview for the Google APM internship one day, which is the first time I heard about the role. I asked him what it was, and it seemed interesting to me, so I applied too. I still didn’t really understand what product management was, even throughout the interview process, but I ended up with an offer and took it. I absolutely loved the internship, and decided to come back full time. “ -

Janvi, APM 2015, Mountain View
“In college I went to a talk by this woman who worked at a health tech seed fund in San Francisco. She was talking about digital health, a burgeoning area using software to transform the healthcare industry. I was inspired and then interned at that seed fund. Originally I started thinking my place in this field would be in business development or marketing, since I studied Neuroscience. However, throughout the internship I realized I was mostly interested in the product itself: designing the experience, and how you can change behavior and the way people think via design. People said if you want to be a PM, start at a big tech company who builds great consumer products and learn from them, and to strengthen my technical background, that’s exactly what I did.”

Dina, APM 2016, San Bruno
“In college, I thought I wanted to work on something related to government and interned on the Civics team at Google in DC. I had a great time and got to build out some really cool datasets, but still felt like I wanted to be closer to the ground. Most of my senior year was spent talking to people who were doing all types of policy and public service work, which led me to a data analyst position on the Hillary Clinton campaign beginning two weeks after graduating from college. Working in the campaign headquarters in New York was a crazy experience. I learned so much about political persuasion, how content gets produced and how campaigns are being run. It was the experience of a lifetime, but I realized I’d like to spend more time learning in a structured environment that would help me grow. The APM program seemed like a great opportunity to do just that.”

Sam, APM 2016, Mountain View
“Loving the computer science classes I took in college, I started experimenting with tech by taking on an engineering internship. Throughout my summer working as a software engineer, I saw myself become very curious about product, design, and other parts of the development process. A friend told me about the APM program and it sounded interdisciplinary just in the way I was looking for. I was hooked.”