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“The top skill that sets the best product managers apart is storytelling,” Dhinta Foster, Moonpig

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ARTICLE SUMMARY

There are so many different routes into Product Management, making it a really exciting and fast-evolving domain within tech.

Dhinta Foster, PM at Moonpig shares with us her personal experience, career advice, how product management impacts diversity and inclusion – and much more.  

Why don’t you kick off by telling us a little about your specific role at Moonpig? 

So I’m Dhi and I’m a Product Manager at Moonpig. I cover the Browse remit, so we help customers find the perfect product for their occasion on the website. I work closely with our data scientists and our commercial teams to help discover new and innovative ways of becoming the ultimate gifting companion for our customers. 

You have several years’ experience in Product Management – what advice do you have for those looking to enter and excel in this domain? 

What I’ve found from the product managers that I’ve met throughout my career is that there’s no one correct path and everyone has different career backgrounds. There’s no playbook in the sense that you should go to college, study a specific subject and then you become a PM. I personally started in the financial sector and moved into startups for four years in product and growth roles. 

The advice that I’d give is that if you’re passionate about the problems products can solve then it can be a great career for you. If you’ve figured that out, then be persistent! I started immersing myself in different product trends by following a number of podcasts, attending events, reading product literature and completing formal training to build skills I hadn’t encountered in my career. One great way is to just start (even if it’s not your job title!) – perhaps build out a case for a product idea that may solve customer problems where you currently work or you may currently have yourself as a customer. 

product managers

What inspired you to do a Data Science Masters when you don’t do it as a profession? 

Curiosity! My undergraduate wasn’t in a STEM subject and I had always an interest in academic statistics. Data Science was a great combination of just that as well as giving me the foundations in programming principles, data structures and technical architecture that are invaluable in my day-to-day job.  

What are the most useful skills and traits for a successful Product Management career? 

Product Managers tend to have skills across a lot of areas, whether it’s technical, strategic, design or delivery. The top skill that sets the best product managers apart is storytelling. It’s such an undervalued skill. Being able to effectively communicate a narrative is crucial for telling your product story to stakeholders and customers. It also helps get people on board with your product vision and strategy. 

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What advice do you have for those looking to work for a company with a truly inclusive culture? 

The advice I have is to start networking around the companies you want to work for and to do some due diligence. What do the current employees think? Are there diversity reports available online? What’s the gender and ethnicity breakdown of leadership? Are the company actively and publicly involved in improving diversity and inclusion? I’d personally ask a few of these questions during any interview process. 

What role and impact do you think diversity and inclusion have in building tech products? 

Diversity and Inclusion in the tech sector has definitely received a lot of attention over recent years and I think the industry has a long way to go. There are numerous ways in which more diversity leads to better products. 

As technology progresses to make way for more advanced systems to become the norm, any unintended consequences of bias and prejudice have to be seriously considered. Data often informs product building and if our datasets aren’t from diverse perspectives, then our products may not be inclusive. Increased D&I will help reduce any traits of our own biases towards ethnicity, gender and culture within these datasets. 

Not only in the data, but I also believe diversity in the workforce creates products that can be more relevant to a wider range of customers. A more diverse workforce will bring about diverse opinions and viewpoints during the product development process. 

product managers
If you want to learn more about working at Moonpig, checkout their company profile.
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