What do the career path and the day-in-the-life look like for an Associate Product Manager at Examity?
We connected with Alana Dore to find out!
Interested in learning more about Examity? Make sure to check out their company page!
Where did you grow up? What did your parents do for work?
I grew up in Needham, MA. My dad worked as a client service executive - a job I did not fully appreciate until I did something similar when I first started Examity. My mom was an entrepreneur and started two health practices in different disciplines. Both of them often worked out of our house, so from an early age I learned the importance of effective communication and listening to your clients. I also learned the value of noise cancelling headphones.
Where did you go to college? What did you study and what were some of your initial jobs?
I graduated from Northeastern University with a dual degree in English and linguistics. The best decision I made in college was adding Linguistics as a major. I was discouraged from sciences as a kid and one introductory class (shoutout to Dr. Rob Painter) changed my whole perspective. Studying linguistics allowed me to understand how we can use data and identify patterns to learn more about people and their cultures. That education continues to drive my thinking today. I love that the field of linguistics is always evolving..
Through Northeastern’s co-op program, I was able to test drive a variety of career paths. I worked at a nonprofit for students, in digital marketing for Wayfair and in corporate philanthropy at TJX corporate (T.J.Maxx, Marshalls, Homegoods). I thought after graduating I would end up working in philanthropy but landed a job at Examity as an Account Manager. I appreciate the culture and people at Examity and feel passionately about helping to build a better product.
What has attributed to your success thus far and has helped propel you to the position you have now?
- Being curious and persistent, especially when it entails learning about what motivates, challenges, and excites other people.
- Creating meaningful personal connections.
- A desire to be of service. If something I am doing will help someone else, then I’ll be motivated to get it done.
Can you share the high-level responsibilities of your current position as an Associate Product Manager at Examity?
As an associate product manager at Examity, my main responsibility is contributing to the formation and execution of our product vision.
Any tips for someone considering a career in your field? / How did you transition into Product Management?
Do your research - product management is very different from what I first anticipated. It’s a profession I didn’t even know existed until I started at Examity. I took a certificate course with General Assembly to get the lay of the land and read a lot of books and articles from product professionals.
Ultimately, working directly with our clients as an Account Manager gave me a unique understanding of our industry, our users, and their needs. Examity leadership allowed me to sit in on product and design meetings and even work on some research and story development before I joined the team. Working at a smaller, collaborative company definitely opened up opportunities for me to dip my feet in the product world before diving in. Further, having people within the department who wanted to work with me and were committed to seeing my career develop made all the difference.
Day in the Life
Coffee, tea, or nothing?
Black decaf. I quit caffeine a year and a half ago and I’m never going back. 10/10 would recommend. I also recently discovered “London Fog” lattes which are delicious!
What time do you get into the office?
We’re still working remotely, so I log in a few minutes after 8AM.
What are three things that motivate you in your role?
- Providing value to others.
- Trying to understand and empathize with our users.
- Working with smart, engaged people who are passionate about the work we are doing - shoutout to our engineering teams!
Every day is different, but can you outline what a typical day looks like for you?
I always start my day by checking my to-do list and scanning emails and Slack for anything urgent. Part of our engineering team is in India, so I will typically use the first hour of my day to take inventory of the team’s progress on tickets and resolve any blockers. It feels like the best way to utilize our limited overlapping schedules. I can have anywhere from 2-6 hours of meetings in a day but I try to set aside hour-long blocks to work on specific items on my list. On any given day I could be working with clients and users to identify use cases and problems, refining our product vision, detailing tickets, updating documentation, reprioritizing our backlog, investigating user metrics, creating workflows, or collaborating with UX.
What time do you head out of the office?
I log off between 5PM and 6PM.
Do you log back in at night or do you shut it down completely?
I almost always log back in at night. I like coming back refreshed after a few hours of break when there are fewer people online. I like to be available for questions from all of our internal teams during the day, so typically my focus time is at night.
Any productivity hacks?
I keep a master to-do list. Before I log off for the day, I identify three things that will push my big projects forward and any easy wins. I highlight those to tackle tomorrow. I also schedule time that I really need to buckle down and focus on a big project and highlight what that item will be in advance.
For productivity in my personal life, I schedule exercise into my calendar at the start of the week, even if I’m just stretching. If I treat it like a “to-do” or a meeting, then I get it done.
What are the 3 apps that you can’t live without?
- Notion - I’m newly addicted. I feel like it has all the best things about every productivity, note-taking, or spreadsheet app I’ve ever used, but with way more flexibility.
- Google Maps - even when I know where something is, I put it in the app. I’ve tried new navigation apps and I always come back to this one.
- Bonus: Peloton - I’m in the Peleton army now and they’ve really locked in on how to “surprise and delight” me as a customer. This is an app that makes me excited about working in product myself.
What professional accomplishment are you proudest of?
- Transitioning into product management.
- Connecting with my team members for volunteering opportunities through our service committee, Examity Gives.
Who do you admire or call upon for professional advice?
My coworkers, especially the other product managers at Examity. They all have a lot more experience in product and each of them can always provide a unique insight. I have a lot of respect for the work they do on a daily basis and try to absorb as much as they are willing to share in every interaction. Second to them, I like referring back to principles by Angela Duckworth and Brene Brown when I need a reminder about the type of person I’m aspiring to be. Specifically, leading with vulnerability, empathy, passion, and perseverance.