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My time in the Brainstation Product Management course can’t be described with one word or feeling. It requires a few adjectives to really understand what your get out of 10 weeks in this course. It was educational, eye-opening, inspiring, challenging, and, at times, exhausting (in a good way).
I’ll start with the educational aspect. From a purely academic point of view, there was lots to learn. Product Management is not a topic you cover in University (at least not in any of the courses I took), and unless you have started a start-up, or happen to work in the field on a day-to-day basis, you probably have no interaction with it. From lean management to wireframing, almost everything is new. For those reasons, the course was highly enlightening from an educational standpoint for everyone in the class.
The course was also eye-opening. You are simply learning skills you never knew you needed, or that you even knew existed. It also opened to eyes to an entirely new field. Little did I know that I had such an interest in building a product, and managing all of the collateral that comes along with that.
Maybe more than anything else, the Product Management course was inspiring. The inspiration came from a couple of sources. Firstly, Balaji was constantly introducing us to new ideas and companies that had persevered in early stages to succeed. Secondly, and more importantly, my classmates were highly inspiring. Each one of them had a business idea that they were passionate about and working diligently to achieve success in. It was amazing listening not only to their unique ideas, but to see their projects grow and improve over the course of 10 weeks. I truly believe that some of my classmates are in the process of building high-potential businesses, and I can’t wait to see where they end up. If that doesn’t inspire you, nothing will.
Finally, the course was both challenging and exhausting, and I don’t mean either of those things in a negative way. From the challenge perspective, we were constantly being pushed out of our comfort zones by the teaching staff. Weekly, we were asked to work on challenging group projects that at times seemed to be above our heads. We were called on to present our ideas and participate in class-wide discussions. These situations pulled a lot of people out of their comfort zones, but allowed us to become comfortable in circumstances that we otherwise would not have been. The course was exhausting because it brought together people who work hard all week long, and then put in three hours of class time on a Tuesday night. On top of that, there was homework assigned each week to keep us thinking and to help us get our products moving along. This may sound like a bad thing to some, but I think it gave all of us an idea of the dedication required to truly get a product off the ground. Now we know what it takes, even if we’ve only had a taste of the effort required.
Now that the course is done, we all have a number of new skill sets in place. Each of us who took the course now get to choose if we are going to implement our new skills by starting a business, or by applying them to our current careers. Either way, I think all of us are thankful that we had the opportunity to take BrainStation’s Product Management course!