I have always had many interests. As a kid, I played competitive sports while also training at a classical dance studio. I loved the outdoors, yet I spent a lot of time inside teaching myself how to program the Apple IIe computer my dad brought home when I was 5 or 6 years old.
I am able to explore different interests confidently because I wholeheartedly pursue them and look to bring success to myself and others.
I went to junior college on a dance scholarship. But I knew that I wanted to work in tech, so I transferred to The University of Texas at Austin to earn a degree in computer science. I was fortunate to get a job straight out of college — working as a developer at a medical software company.
I visited hospitals where I could observe nurses using our product. This work actually taught me a lot about product management and the importance of listening to customers, then translating their needs into requirements.
Working as an engineer was great, but it showed me that I did not just want to write code — I wanted to be more broadly involved in the business.
So, I moved into professional services, working in data integration. My job involved writing a bit of code but also working closely with customers. I continuously found myself drawn to the work product managers were doing — strategizing solutions and working across teams. I wanted to be a part of it, so I asked to work on a few projects with them. Eventually, I was offered a full-time role in product.
I was comfortable in the technical side of the work, but I needed to strengthen my skills in other areas. Thankfully, the VP of product encouraged me to focus on building relationships with everyone who touched the product (sales, finance, support, and yes, my friends in development), so I could break out of my comfort zone and succeed as a product manager.
After working there for three years, I had grown a lot and was ready for a new challenge. I left to take a product management role at a SaaS startup, where I began to explore new markets and launched a mobile app. Later, I moved to a data and analytics company as the director of product management. In both companies, product management was a new concept and I had the opportunity to help train others in what I had learned.
I found myself spending a lot of time educating people on product management processes and best practices.
I started to pass on the same advice I had been given early on — to stop being so driven by the technology and start taking a more customer-centric approach to building product. I really enjoyed being a mentor and this is when I found Aha!
As I read the job description for a role on the Customer Success team, everything sounded ideal. Experienced product manager? Check. Has worked in professional services? Check. Wants to work on a high-performing team? Check! I had to apply.
I joined Aha! because I wanted to use my skills to make an impact — helping product managers be great and build products customers adore.
Every day, I talk to customers around the world and share my own experiences. I work closely with fellow product managers to help them build better products. There is a genuine sense that our team and customers are in this together. We want to make each other successful.
Once again, I find the two areas that interest me — product management and product mentorship. The best part is that I get to give all of myself to both at Aha!
That is why I joined Aha! — and why you should too.