The Commons Digest (01/13/2022)

The COmmons Insider Newsletter

Welcome to the latest issue of The Commons digest!

This is our bi-weekly round-up of community news, relevant content and anything that can help us level up together.

As always, reach out if you have any feedback or if you’d like anything featured in here.

Now onto the update 👇

Insight we’re pondering 💭

Today's insight is about Product Operations and what the role entails.

"What are the main responsibilities of this role?" "Who is a good candidate for something like this?" "How do I know if I possess the requisite skills and experience for this career path?"

We hear variations of this question constantly, and for pretty much every job title. That includes more established roles like Product Management and BizOps, but these days we probably heart often in reference to Product Operations.

The confusion is perfectly understandable since Product Ops is such a nascent field. But it's compounded by the fact that the function varies from company to company, and there hasn't been that much written about it (thankfully Skillful mentors like Marco Chan and Wafic El Assi are remedying the latter).

That's why we jumped at the chance to interview Camila Gargantini, Sr. Product Operations Manager at Oyster, on the latest episode of Need to Know. Camila's view is that Product Operations is effectively "Product Management of Product Managers." In other words building tools and processes to make product management "work" at scale.

Camila shares a lot of other hot takes in the interview, both on Product Ops but also general career strategies and working habits. We had a great time recording this and hope you enjoy it too. You can listen to the full episode right here.

P.S. we ran a Product Ops Sprint back in November. You can check it out and sign up to the waitlist for future cohorts of this Sprint here.

The Commons Spotlight 💡

Today we're featuring Carolyn Tang. Carolyn is a Skillful alum, former management consultant and now a member of the BizOps team at DoorDash in New York City, where she focuses on new verticals.

Carolyn was one of our earliest Core Sprinters and has been an active member of our community since. She's also a great example of breaking into tech from management consulting. Carolyn started her career in consulting at Deloitte before moving into product management at Deloitte Digital. From there she joined DoorDash, where she works on the team that launches new product lines for DoorDash customers.

Carolyn has a lot of thoughts on how tech companies differ from consulting, and indeed traditional operating roles, which you should absolutely check out if you're planning on making the switch. You can read more about her journey here.

Core Sprint applications are closing 🚀

Over the next few weeks we will kick off the three Skillful Sprints we have slated for January! Specifically: Skillful Core, Product Strategy and Strategic Finance.

Applications for the Product Strategy and Strategic Finance Sprints have closed as both cohorts are full. I know that many of you have reached out asking about the next cohorts of these Sprints. They'll likely launch in March and we'll open early applications in the next few weeks so stay tuned.

There are still a few spots left in the Core Sprint, which kicks off on January 22nd. This is the 13th (gasp!) cohort of the Core Sprint. It will also be the largest and, of course, best one yet.

Tomorrow is technically the last day to apply, and we'll review applications until the cohort is full. That said, you should apply ASAP if you're interested as the few remaining spots are likely to fill up before the end of the week (which is what happened last time around).Apply Now - January Core Sprint

Events @ Skillful 🗓

  • Wednesday January 12th: Yesterday evening Skillful mentors Juliana Aldana and Nei Joanidhi held career office hours where they shared their career trajectories, described how they have built and scaled their careers in BizOps and gave other career advice. An incredible helpful session, thank you both once again! Community members can DM us for a copy of the recording 🎥
  • Thursday January 13th: Today at 4pm PST / 7pm EST we're hosting Ian Weng for a fireside chat. Ian previously held various positions with Uber and Uber Eats, latterly as Head of Strategy. Now he's working on a new startup. This is a great opportunity to learn about building a career in strategy and BizOps, moving from consulting or large corporates to tech (Ian started his career as a consultant at KPMG), becoming a founder and much more. Open to community members only - register at the event link posted in the #general channel in our community Slack.


#community-wins 🥇

We celebrated some hiring announcements and promotions!
  • Abhi Shetty was recently promoted to Assistant General Manager at Clutch
  • Holly Lin was promoted to Operations Manager at Instawork
  • Megan Jones joined Boostcamp in Product Operations
  • Caitlin Ner joined Cerebral as a Growth & Operations Associate
  • Michael Touchton joined HeadsUp in Operations

One career resource

Mentor Sean Newman (Strategic Finance at Alto Pharmacy) recently published an excellent article on Google Sheets and why it is far and away more popular than Excel at tech companies.You can read it here.

We're trying something new!

In case you haven’t already seen it, each alternate week (i.e. when we don’t circulate out the Digest), we’ll send a collection of community posts in our internal job board.Keep an eye out for it 👀

That’s all for this issue ✌️

If you’d like to access more news and content before the next update, you can hop on over to Slack. Happy holidays!

P.S. please give us a follow on Instagram - we’re bringing the community directly to your feed :)

See anything your friend might find interesting? Feel free to forward this issue! This community grows stronger and more valuable to everyone in it the more smart people - i.e. folks like you - learn about Skillful. Sign-up to receive all things Skillful right here.

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Just. Get. Started. That’s one of our biggest takeaways from Christian Keil’s excellent profile of Packy McCormick from a few weeks ago. Packy is of course the author and creator of Not Boring, a business strategy and trends newsletter that has evolved into a community, investing syndicate, job board and VC fund.
Skillful is now The Commons.
We’re more than just skills training. We're the place where high achievers come to fulfill their career potential. We combine education, mentorship and community to empower the next generation of ambitious professionals to achieve their career goals.
The time to build the education institution of the future is now. And we're doing it.

Careers are catalyzed through skills-training, mentorship and a supportive network. At The Commons, we're delivering those critical career elements together through learning experiences that are social, mentorship-based and community-first.

Join to learn and stay for the community.