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Teaching Product Management Through Interactions and Conversations

I started my tech career more than 10 years ago. Growing up, did I dream of being a Product Manager? No. (I didn’t even know what a PM was.) I began my career as a Help Desk technician, then analyst, QA, and ultimately fell into Product Management. Needless to say, I absolutely love Product; I love my job; and I love working at Revelry.

In 2014, we started a software engineering apprenticeship program at Revelry – the type of program I could have benefited from as a young professional entering the workforce. (Who was our first apprentice, you may be wondering? Revelry’s current CTO, Nick Schello!) Since its inception, we’ve welcomed 9-12 apprentices per year, with many ultimately earning full-time positions on the Revelry team. For these individuals – often fresh out of software engineering bootcamps – an apprenticeship is a first next step into a technology career…an opportunity to get real-world experience working with a team, coach, and real clients / partners. 

Since Revelry’s Software Engineering Apprenticeship Program was (and continues to be) so successful, in 2021, we decided to introduce a Product Management Apprenticeship Program. Similar to our program for developers, it’s a 12-week-long program designed for entry-level Product Managers to learn and develop their skills, while being coached by our career Product Managers.

Unlike software engineers, who can attend bootcamps to get their feet wet, I find that learning / teaching product management can be more difficult. Sure, there are a variety of resources available across the internet, but product management requires a unique mindset and skill set…a combination of hard skills and soft skills…an appreciation for the logical and the emotional. I find it’s best taught through in-person interactions and conversations.

What Do We Look for in a Revelry Product Manager Apprentice?

When selecting PM apprentices, we look for individuals who want to transition into the product / technology industry, and who have a strong background in project management, leadership, research, data analysis, and/or software or web development. 

What Do PM Apprentices Do During the 12-Week Program?

The first week of our apprenticeship program consists of general company onboarding: learning about Revelry and how we are driven by our core values and Lean Agile process; and getting setup and acclimated (i.e. insight into our terminology, use of Slack/Github, etc.) 

During week two, apprentices study materials designed to teach them the basics of Product Management, including:

In the third and fourth weeks, Product Management apprentices are given a practice case study, so they can apply what they’ve learned to date. Our Product team then provides feedback so they can iterate on and refine their product solution. 

During weeks five through twelve, apprentices pair on real partner projects with a Product Manager and project team. Throughout the course of the apprenticeship, apprentices have weekly one-on-one meetings with their coach to talk through challenges, ideas, and/or growth opportunities.

The Value of Feedback

At Revelry, we appreciate feedback – whether it’s user feedback when we’re building software or peer feedback. Throughout the course of all apprenticeships, we collect feedback from our team to gain greater insight into how our apprentices are progressing, how we can lean in to coach them, and in order to make hiring decisions. We also collect feedback from our apprentices so that we can learn from them – growing and iterating on our program for future cohorts.

Check our Careers page for our next PM Apprenticeship.

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