• Bosky Mukherjee

Alumni Spotlight: Anusha and the Story of Resiliency

Updated: May 19


"I am very grateful to my family, friends, mentors, PMDojo tribe."


Anusha Hariharan joined PMDojo as a winter cohort member in the product accelerator program. She always has a strong interest in product management. With a background as a software developer, she decided to look for a way to pivot into the field of PM. We are able to interview Anusha to know more about her personal experience and her journey with PMDojo. We hope her story of resilience helps inspire you to grow and break the limits.



PS: APPLICATIONS FOR THE UPCOMING COHORT ARE CLOSING!


Join PMDojo Product Accelerator to learn, think and grow in Product in your first or next role. Gain real-world experience where you get to collaborate as a diverse team, solve a market problem and launch a real product with real users. Applications are closing soon so apply now!


Anusha can you share with us your life’s story?


I have been a software developer and a tech enthusiast since I was 18. I can still remember how fascinated I was with computers when I wrote the first few lines of code in Java. Ever since that day, it has been a learning journey for me. I completed my Bachelors of Computer Science from India, then Masters from Rutgers Business School studying IT & Analytics. During my journey in tech, my family and friends were very supportive, and they are the reason I have come so far.


If you were to reflect back on that one thing that pushed you towards product management, what was it?

Working as a software developer in an Enterprise Product team was my turning point. I initially joined as a developer and was quickly promoted as the Product Owner to lead the team effort. During this time, I realized I loved collaborating with cross-functional teams, helping people remove roadblocks and solving problems. My passion for recognizing the root causes of problems and helping teams resolve them was very evident from those days. I also loved seeing a bigger vision from the beginning and bringing it into life. This led me to pursue my Master’s at Rutgers Business School to hone in on my technical business skill sets.


Your team at PMDojo always refers to you as being very resilient. How do you define resiliency and what makes you resilient?


Resilience is strength and willingness to carry on despite the challenges. I define the part of resiliency as having a positive attitude, open mind, flexibility, and adaptability in various situations in life. My dad was a resilient role model for me and that’s how I learned to be composed and not let setbacks affect me. My favourite quote on resilience is “try to look for a silver lining and be calm in a storm”.


What are your thoughts on resiliency and product management?


Resiliency is very important in product management because you need to work with people from different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. This role is very fast-paced and disagreements are common to happen, you might face challenges or setbacks, but going forward in a thoughtful and intentional way is the only solution. You have to be empathetic because people do not always think the same way as you do. So you have to be resilient, understanding, and open-minded so that your diverse team and stakeholders find you approachable to bring forward their ideas.


What made you join PMDojo?


When I was thinking about breaking into product management. I was looking for resources last year. There are so many resources and courses but hardly anything focused on building real-world and practical skills where I could live the life of a Product Manager literally. I met Bosky through an event on LinkedIn. She was so warm and recognized my love for product management. I spoke with Bosky after that and she shared with me how she built PMDojo and the product accelerator. The fact that PMDojo is so hands-on, immersive with so many supportive mentors from top tech companies with access to a life-long community; joining PMDojo was a no-brainer. I always believe that you will meet the right person in life, and Bosky was one of them.


How would you describe your experience with PMDojo so far?


With PMDojo, I found my tribe. I see this entire journey as a very enriching learning experience. With each passing week, we emerge stronger and resilient as Product Managers. With an apprentice-style learning experience, we learned to be more customer-centric and empathetic. We learnt from so much feedback from some of the best amazing leaders from the Industry like Google, Atlassian, Hopper, Microsoft, you name it. Overall, the learning process was amazing with PMDojo. I was also able to find co-workers and mentors who were amazingly supportive. They still check up on me and support my career journey even after I have graduated from the program. A few months ago, I was alone on the road of trying to be a Product Manager. But now I have a tribe to support and guide me along the way.


Can you share a little about the product that you launched?


Our product is a B2C marketplace product. I collaborated with 2 other team members from a very different background than mine.


Our team found that there is a problem of hunger in the US. We found individuals, organizations, and nonprofits who wanted to help and were ready to do the work (e.g. donating to food banks and centers). However, there was a problem in the market with authentic information and resources reaching people so that they could trust. We wanted to bridge the gap between the people and organizations. Our team identified this disconnect in the market. So, launched Thoughtful a platform to engage individuals who want to donate and need just the right resources and information to make it happen. You can check out our product here - https://mvp-thoughtfull.softr.io/


What is next for you Anusha?


I am looking forward to my next opportunity as a product manager. I am in the middle of interviewing at different companies for PM roles. Right now, the PMDojo experience is really helping me connect with companies and nailing my interviews.


I also want to continue improving Thoughtful, the product that I launched. My team and I are looking for incubator opportunities to take our product forward. Besides work, I have also grown a passion for teaching. I am also looking for opportunities to teach and give back to the community and stay involved in different community activities. Sometime in the future, I would like to teach product management.


What advice would you give to others who are thinking about a career in product and might not know what to do?


Join PMDojo - this is very unique, or just reach out to Bosky!


Analyze the industry to have a clear view. Talk to different PMs in the industry. Ask them about their key skills that helped them thrive in the industry. Look at your transferable skills and see what skills are still missing. It is a constant learning process, be patient with yourself. Find your community of peers and mentors.


Remember the journey is a marathon and not a sprint. Always keep a positive attitude when you’re learning. Be around people who encourage you to be your best self, this will help maximize your performance.


Thank you, Anusha for sharing your inspiring story of resilience. PMDojo wishes you all the best for your journey ahead!


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PS: APPLICATIONS FOR THE UPCOMING COHORT ARE CLOSING!


Join PMDojo Product Accelerator to learn, think and grow in Product in your first or next role. Gain real-world experience where you get to collaborate as a diverse team, solve a market problem and launch a real product with real users. Applications are closing soon so apply now!


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