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Spotlight series: Meet Bianca Avram, Sr Product Manager, at Vista

Bianca Avram, Product Manager, at Vista

ARTICLE SUMMARY

SheCanCode spoke with Bianca Avram, Sr product manager, at Vista about her career and life at the company.

Romanian, 28 years old. Sr Product Manager at Vista in Personalization & CRM domain.

I moved to Barcelona in December 2017, for a design strategy job at Vistaprint. In two weeks, I left my London marketing life, without even having visited Barcelona before. Five years later, this was one of the best decisions of my life.

HOW DID YOU LAND YOUR CURRENT ROLE? WAS IT PLANNED? 

Moving to product management wasn’t at all planned, it was a chance that I grabbed and never let go of. In our Barcelona office, I was leading a group called Women at Work. This tiny local community had a bigger equivalent in the US, entitled Women in Tech.

When we co-organized an event with our Boston colleagues, I got the opportunity to work with amazing women, tech leads across the company. One of them saw something in me and planted the idea that I could become a product owner. Within a month, I was applying for an internal position. This was two years ago, the rest is history.

WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF IN YOUR CAREER, SO FAR?

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I am most proud of the fact that I had the courage to change, to try things, and to say ‘yes’. And in a more pragmatic way, I am very proud of the last couple of months, when I was given an entirely new team with new workstreams (most products in POC/proof of concept state) and we managed to get our roadmap, processes and launch successful products in record time.

WHAT DOES AN AVERAGE WORKDAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?

That’s the thing about product management, no such thing as an average workday, although there are things that I do on a daily basis and there is a certain structure to my days. For example, in the mornings I have daily stands-up with the tech team, reserved time for research and brainstorming, and daily checks on numbers, data, and little to-dos.

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The afternoons are usually all about meetings – cross-functional teams and projects, stakeholders’ check-ins, new ideas, etc.

HOW DO YOU THINK DIVERSITY CAN IMPACT PRODUCT DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT?

Well, simply put, if our customers represent a sample of the world, diverse as it is, our team (research, knowledge, skills) should encompass that diversity. Of course, that is not always possible, but should be the goal always, I believe. Additionally, diversity sparks conversation and makes people challenge behaviours and actions.

WHAT MAKES A ROLE IN PRODUCT GREAT FOR SOMEONE WHO DOESN’T HAVE PURE CODING SKILLS?

Not having pure code skills can actually be an advantage in this type of role because a product manager, a tech lead, and a UX lead should complement each other, have skillsets and look at problems from different angles.

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HAS ANYONE EVER TRIED TO STOP YOU FROM LEARNING AND DEVELOPING IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE, OR HAVE YOU FOUND THE TECH SECTOR SUPPORTIVE?

For me, the tech sector has always been supportive, although not always inclusive. I think people in general want more women in tech and want diversity, but they don’t truly know what that means.

So, it’s always been about educating people, not being afraid to speak up, asking questions, and most importantly playing to my own strengths (not trying to be or become anyone else).

That being said, people have been more than willing to listen and in time showed me a lot of respect, which makes everything worth it.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE OTHER WOMEN WANTING TO REACH THEIR CAREER GOALS IN TECHNOLOGY?

Find allies, find mentors and people that inspire and fight for you, be bold, go for it, put yourself out there, and prepare to fail from to time.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT A CAREER AT VISTA


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