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Blog>Employee Spotlight with Neha Nathani

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Employee Spotlight with Neha Nathani

Neha Nathani is a product manager at Crowdlinker. In this article we talk with Neha about product management, moving from Toronto to B.C. and much more!
March 24, 2021 4 min read

Ever wondered what it's like to be a product manager at a digital product studio? Learn this and much more on our Employee Spotlight interview with Neha Nathani.

Sergey:

I'm going to go a little bit off-topic to start, just to see what you're going to say. What is your most hated vegetable?

Neha:

My most hated vegetable? Oh, okay. It's tough because I like it in some foods, but I actually hate raw tomatoes. Just eating tomatoes in salad when it's not cooked. I don't want it on my pizza. I don't like tomatoes, but I like tomato flavored items. So it's a bit confusing, but I hate tomatoes.

Sergey:

And you moved from Toronto to BC, a year ago?

Neha:

In the summer, so about six months ago.

Sergey:

How do you compare food in BC, food in Toronto?

Neha:

So there are a couple of things that I think are factors just for me, but I'm a huge fan of the Asian cuisine here. I think it's very tasty. The sushi is great here and very reasonably priced compared to Toronto. The ramen is also great.

But I think there are things that I miss about Toronto, like my favorite Italian restaurant is there, Terroni. If I want to have some home-cooked meals, that's where I have my mom. So definitely a difference in what we're eating a little bit.

Sergey:

Tell us a little bit about your role as a product manager. You started with Crowdlinker quite recently, right?

Neha:

Yeah, I started only six weeks ago, but it feels like six weeks ago and six months ago at the same time. There’s so much learning and things are happening quickly, that it doesn’t feel like it's been that short amount of time.

Sergey:

You graduated in 2018, I believe? You did masters or just your bachelor's?

Neha:

Yes! I would definitely say I'm new to the industry and to technology. I just did my bachelor’s. I’m a “you don't need school till you need it” type of gal. Just jumped right into working and seeing what else is out there.

I think not having degrees is the new thing, although I have my undergrad, but that's how I feel about my masters. Because that's a lot of theory, and I'm all about that practical experience.

Sergey:

How have you been sold the concept of product management is cool?

Neha:

When I started working in product, I didn't know what the product was. The way I got into it is I applied to a couple summer internships. I was just looking for something to get that experience on my resume.

One of the places that I was interviewing at was a corporate incubator. They had a bunch of different products that they were trying to launch. I had no clue what I was walking into, but I thought it was really interesting. I got offered the job there and I just went for it.

The first product that I ever worked on was a financial fitness app. We wanted to have a holistic view of your banking or your finances in one product. I learned what product was on the job, and having learned that this was actually called a product. I really was just thrown in there and tried to figure it out. And then I realized I didn't want to leave. So here I am, three years later.

Sergey:

You shipped quite a few products so far. Is there one that really stood out to you or the one that you were really proud of?

Neha:

I actually think this is funny, but I am actually proud of this. The first product I worked on no longer exists. We had this really great idea, we were going to build a great product and then it didn’t work.

I think having that experience early on in my career was surprising and eye-opening in terms of what product is and what product looks like. I'm proud to have been part of that experience to be able to know that not all products are going to be successful. It's about what you learn from the product, not necessarily how successful the product is itself.

Sergey:

Six weeks in Crowdlinker, how does it feel?

Neha:

I am so happy to be here. This job is very different from my previous one, where I was working only on one product. What I get to do now is actually be a part of multiple products, multiple phases of products, and being able to support their improvement.

I can be on one project that's actually about discovering and ideating, on another one I'm looking through user flows, and some in the delivery phase.

Sergey:

If you were to go back a few years, what would you suggest to anyone who wants to get into product management?

Neha:

I think people really need to understand that product is so broad. You are not going to be a technical expert and a design expert and a content writer. If you're a designer and you want to get into the product space, there are a lot of design components in the product, so highlight that strength.

I think people get scared that you need to be everything when you really can't be, especially when you're entering. You need to start somewhere. It's just about highlighting that one skill that is really good and showing that you're willing to learn the rest.

We want to thank Neha for taking the time to chat with us today about her career and life. If you want to watch the entire interview, you can do so by clicking here. Before you go, check out our careers page for more information about the Crowdlinker family.

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