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Navigate your job search as an Immigrant in product management or tech

Fireside Chat with Vaidehee Patel, Program Manager at Walmart




Vaidehee's infectious positivity, unwavering courage, and nuggets of wisdom sparked a wave of comments I received from attendees after the event. She shared raw and relatable stories from her job search journey, along with essential tips on bouncing back from the lowest lows and finding the support you need.


Read this blog to uncover what Vaidehee shared as we sat down with her at one of our community events.


A little into Vaidehee's background

Vaidehee accepted a role with Walmart as a Program Manager. She previously worked in business analysis and analytics and also is an alumnus of PMDojo Product Accelerator's Industry Track.


The highs and lows and landing at Walmart

The tenacious go-getter's journey started at PMDojo in the Fall of 2022. With unwavering determination, Vaidehee pursued her passion for product management, immersing herself in real-world experience, skills, and networking. The 10-week accelerator program was just the beginning of Vaidehee's relentless pursuit of excellence. She faced challenges and setbacks but never wavered.


She explored internal opportunities, acing interviews and securing a prestigious role leading a team of business analysts at Canadian Tire. However, amidst her career highs, Vaidehee faced the daunting challenge of immigration. The rejection of her permanent residency application and the ultimatum to leave her job or exit Canada within 90 days tested her resolve. Undeterred, she juggled part-time and full-time work while volunteering at Mohawk, staying determined and purposeful.


Seeking support from influential figures and pouring her heart into impassioned pleas, Vaidehee miraculously resolved her immigration concerns in just seven weeks. Renewed with hope, she dove back into the job search, connecting with mentors and allies who fueled her determination and countered daily concerns. Through months of relentless effort, Vaidehee gradually built momentum in her job search, navigating a competitive landscape.


Her journey echoed the challenges faced by countless others in similar career stages. Yet, she never faltered. In summary, Vaidehee's story is one of resilience, determination, and unwavering commitment. Her journey serves as a testament to the power of fortitude, consistency, and the unwavering support of a strong community.


💭🧠 Set the time for 15 mins and answer these questions for yourself:

  • Think about what skills you have today for the next role you want to get in

  • What is coming between your skills and what market needs are

  • What are 1-3 things you can do today to close the above gap in the shortest time


🫶Want to see how PMDojo can support you? We invite you to check it out and join us!

  • Join our product accelerator program that gives you a unique opportunity to collaborate with a diverse and cross-functional team, and launch a live product. Get full-stack industry experience + career support to succeed in your career.

  • Join 1:1 personalized coaching to help you achieve your career goals



What helped Vaidehee push through all hurdles?

During layoffs, staying connected on LinkedIn was crucial. Countless posts from job seekers reminded me of the challenges others were facing. It put my problems into perspective. One person once told me that my problems seem small compared to those with mortgages and kids. Different perspectives matter.


Coaching international students kept me motivated. Doubt and rejection are constant, but we can't let them define us. Surrounding ourselves with diverse perspectives helps propel us forward. Success has ups and downs. Surround yourself with diverse perspectives to avoid an echo chamber. Find multiple outlets for motivation.


Remember, everything has its cycles. Having a positive outlook builds resilience.


How important is having US/Canadian experience as new in the country?

Having Canadian or US experience is important, but it doesn't mean you need extensive local experience.


Companies value how you will work within the working norms and style. You can demonstrate this match through your thinking and ways of working. Being a part of a community, upskilling through PMDojo, and building relationships in the industry will help you. Vaidehee shared how participating in PMDojo provided insights into work dynamics and gave her north american experience and skills that will be valued by companies. .


Vaidehee reminded us to be open-minded, flexible, and willing to start small and climb our way up.


Can you even find a job in this job market? Isn't it a recession?

Vaidehee shared that every single time in the last 6 months that she had been trying to apply for jobs, people asked her to take a break given the market dynamics. When she was looking for a job in 2020 just as the pandemic hit, people told her the same thing about the current job market. So she kept telling herself, 'If I was able to do it in 2020, I should be able to do it again in 2023.'


Right now, there is a shortage of jobs. It's not the same as a year ago. However, there are still companies hiring for product management and adjacent roles. We see this in the PMDojo community with all kinds of success stories.


In a job market like this, diversification and flexibility are crucial. Vaidehee shared how she always reminds herself that if she does not want to do something, she can find 500 reasons not to do it. But if she wants to do something, she can find at least one way to do it right.



🫶 Intrigued? Join one of our PMDojo Live Q&A Sessions to learn more about how PMDojo can help you!


✏️ Here are 5 must-know takeaways Vaidehee shared:

  1. Surround yourself with the right people who will support you

  2. You cannot change everything. Focus on what you can control. This means learning and upskilling from people who hire

  3. Learn skills that will make you stand out and stay relevant in the market.

  4. Reflect on the areas you need to reprioritize or de-prioritize in your career and life.

  5. Focus on building deep relationships, not just contacts.


🫶Want to see how PMDojo can support you? We invite you to check it out and join us!

PS: Spots fill up quickly. Apply here: https://www.pmdojo.me/apply ­­­­If you have any questions, simply join us for a live Q&A Session to learn more.



🎥 Event Recording

If you want to catch up on the event, feel free to watch it below.




If you enjoyed this post, don't forget to subscribe to our blog below.👇

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