The Commons Digest (03/09/2023)

The COmmons Insider Newsletter

This Week's Discussion

International Women's Day Scholarship + Making the Move from Banking to HealthTech

Learning at The Commons

March Sprints are filling quickly! Apply ASAP.

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🔥 Hot Topic: What to Negotiate in a New Job Offer

🚀 Community Share: The Peak Studio

✏️ Career Resource: Our *new* job board!

✅ Community Reccos: Staying on top of it all with Google Alerts

💭 Thought Starter: "I just shut down my first startup. Here's my retro."

💡 Brain Teaser: 📅


Michelle Amand: Making the Move from Banking to Little Otter, a Series A pediatric HealthTech company

Where are you located?

📍New York

💼 Operations Manager, Little Otter

Why did you want to pivot industries?

There are a few reasons I really wanted to move out of investment banking:

  • Most obviously, burnout - 6 years of banking will do a number on you
  • Deeper industry knowledge - while I covered technology, media and telecom most recently, being in a services industry meant I understood the general landscape of the industry and my clients’ business, but my day to day work didn’t require more. I knew I wanted to be working at a startup so my work would directly impact the company’s progress towards goals and I’d have to spend time really understanding the industry.
  • Meaningful work - I was really set on working at a mission-driven company in Healthtech, specifically Mental Health, where the purpose, product/service and consumer would really resonate with me

How has your thinking around your career path changed over time?

When I first started in banking I was really driven by competition - I wanted to be promoted as fast as possible, work on the biggest deals and even one day start my own hedge fund (ambitious!). Over the last few years, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what really drives me and how my values have changed. I came to the realization that I’m more driven by ownership and impact (on a personal level and institution level) and that affected my goal of advancing in banking (which is highly competitive!).

Now when I think about my career path, I know that I will always want to be in a role that has high ownership and impact, as well as working with a great team. For me right now that’s working in Ops at Little Otter, and beyond - I’m much more flexible than I was a few years ago :)

What was behind your decision to join The Commons?

I joined The Commons for three reasons:

  1. To better understand what a role in BizOps is at different sized companies and industries
  1. To learn the essential skills needed to pivot and succeed
  1. Accountability as I started my job search

What did you get out of the Sprint? Anything you didn’t expect?

By doing the Strategy & Operations Sprint, I got a much better understanding of structured problem solving and practice applying it to real world problems. So huge for wanting to be in a high impact role in ops! I also learned hard skills - SQL and Tableau in particular.

Something unexpected - a fiery confidence to bring to my interviews after doubting myself and my hopeful pivot for far too long. So incredibly grateful for having a mentor (shoutout Julia 🙌) recognize my strengths and my weaknesses - the weakness being my confidence. In my first week, her confidence in me affirmed that I was a good fit for the roles I was looking at.

Tell us about your role at Little Otter!

What’s the role?

I’m currently an Operations Manager at Little Otter - a Series A pediatric mental health company. My team is called Clinical Operations and my focus is on Workforce Management. My current projects are (i) creating efficient scheduling processes so providers maintain target utilization rates, which affects profitability, and (ii) projecting provider hiring needs and creating credentialing plans to ensure we meet demand as we aim to expand to 48 states by the end of the year.

How have the first couple months on the job been?

So great! I have spent a lot of time getting to know people - it’s tough in the virtual setting - and understanding the company’s history and existing processes and challenges. There is a lot of trust on the team, so I’ve been able to lead some really impactful changes already.

Any other words of wisdom or motivating thoughts for people who are looking to make a similar career move?

It can be really challenging to pivot industries and job function at the same time, but your day to day responsibilities aren’t the value you’re bringing to your next role - it’s the underlying core skills. Really take time to understand what they are and how they apply to the roles you’re interested in. Your answer to “Tell Me About Yourself” should frame these skills into why you’re a good fit for that role.

Read The Full Interview

International Women's Day Scholarship

We've worked hard to make sure our community is made up of a diverse cross-section of the most ambitious professionals. While our efforts are year-round, we want to celebrate International Women's Day by sponsoring two full-ride scholarships for women, to help them achieve more in their careers.

Skills-training, mentorship and community can have a profound impact on accelerating career outcomes. As one of our members, Anna, said: "The Commons, undoubtedly, changed my life. There is absolutely no other program out there that provides the same level of ROI that The Commons does."

1. To nominate yourself or someone you know, follow the instructions below.

2. Fill out this form before March 15th at midnight EST

3. Submit as many nominations as you'd like (though each nomination should be for a different person)

We will reach out to the successful individuals directly by March 17th!

What’s happening at The Commons

Upcoming events

Case Interview Workshop

We're hosting a Case Interview Prep Workshop for our community and students at select MBA schools! The Commons mentor Aarti (Senior Product Manager at Uber) will walk you through how to tackle a case for a Product or BizOps interview. Walk away with tactical advice and practice cracking a case that you'd get in a typical interview at a Tech company.

Thursday, March 9 at 12pm ET
Community members register here
Non-Community Members: Reply to this email if you'd like a seat

IRL Meetups!

We've got a big month of IRL meetups lined up!

#commongrounds-Vancouver is meeting tonight!

#commongrounds-San Francisco is meeting for brunch on March 12

#commongrounds-NYC is playing mini putt at Swingers on March 15 - limited spots

#commongrounds-Los Angeles is planning an event for the end of March!

#commongrounds-Montreal met up a couple weekends ago for brunch

Community Members Only: Jump into your local geo-channel!

Past events

ICYMI we recently hosted these events. Members can find recordings on our platform.

  • The Commons Alumni Panel: We brought together an all-star group of alums from The Commons for a candid office-hours style discussion on their career paths, how to get the most out of the community and more.
  • Advocating for Yourself: We hosted a panel of The Commons mentors + other incredible women to discuss how to advocate for yourself - whether it be for a stretch opportunity at work, or a promotion. We had over 150+ people join us!
  • Open House: Our mentors provided an overview of The Commons Sprints, and critical skills to succeed in generalist roles in today's tech landscape. Missed it? Check out the recording here.

Our March cohorts are open & filling up!

March Sprints kick off starting March 17th and the cohorts are shaping up to be awesome. Don't miss out. Apply below.

APPLY NOW TO THE MARCH COHORTSBelow are the Sprints running in March. We expect these seats to go quickly (we sold out in January!).

  • Strategic Finance: to build financial acumen & strategy for biz generalists and finance roles in tech
  • Strategy & Operations: level up for strategy & operations roles by learning structured problem solving, data-driven decision making and of course, SQL
  • Product: to build product fundamentals, from product strategy through to execution & operations
  • Revenue Growth: to understand how to craft a revenue growth strategy for a high-growth startup

We're also now accepting a limited number of Community Only members. If you're interested in joining the community only (instead of participating in a Sprint), you can also apply via the waitlist below.Note: if you applied and haven't heard back from us yet, be sure to check your spam folder (from or reply directly to this email.

Apply to Join The Commons


What To Negotiate In A New Job Offer

There's nothing better than having an entire community to rely on, when you're tackling something new at work. ⚡️

️ Here's one of the many topics the community tackled together this week...

Big thanks to Elliot, Julie-Anne, Saumil, Bilal, Sean, Michael and Drayton for sharing your advice! 💚

Top thoughts:💡

"IMO everything is negotiable besides stripe price (if you're getting options) and vesting schedule (in 99% of the cases)."

  • Salary
  • Job Title
  • Time to benefits kicking in
  • Equity
  • PTO
  • Relocation
  • Signing Bonus - if they're capped out on salary, ask if they have any flexibility on signing bonus (you may just finance your next international vacation!)
  • Severance, especially if it's an executive level role and/or a new role at the company
  • And then some... (check the post in the Community Share section at the bottom of this newsletter)

Check it Out + Add To The Thread

Introducing... The Commons Job Board

The best strategic business roles in tech, from our community

Our job board has been filled with tons of exciting roles lately, most often with a community connection and/or the opportunity to be referred directly to the hiring manager. So, we decided to make it easier for you to scan through them by building our very own job board - for the best strategic business roles in tech.

Community members - be sure to reach out to the individual listed in Slack so that you can learn more about the role and secure that referral! Not sure how to make an intro? Check our our outreach template at the bottom of this post.

Check out our new job board and let us know what you think!

The Peak Studio

Many people in our community are avid readers of The Peak. In fact, we love The Peak so much we've even teamed up with them to run events! Here's a peek (no pun intended) into their latest launch...The Peak Studio!

Steal Robinhood’s secret weapon—without having to buy a media company. B2B marketers are competing with media publishers and apps for customers' attention. That's why HubSpot and Robinhood bought media companies. But if you don't have $30M to spend on a newsletter… there's always The Peak Studio.

The Peak Studio team grew their flagship daily newsletter to 100,000+ subscribers with a 50%+ open rate.

And now, they’re ready to help you create your own high-engagement newsletter.

All you have to do is hit send.

Book a chat.

Staying on top of it all with Google Alerts 🚨

Community suggestions:

  • Google Alerts (by far the most votes!) - You might have to sift through some of the noise but it's free!
  • I think this will be overkill based on your description (and not free), but Klue builds something like this. Might be worth looking at as inspiration!
  • Subscribing to specific companies blogs / changelogs would offer direct updates
  • "If the product is open to the public, ifttt was a great tool for competitive intelligence until they blocked gmail. You can have email forwarded for friends/family that use the other company services (e.g Uber, Lyft, DoorDash)."

Check out the full thread and add to it here!

"I just shut down my first startup. Here's my retro."

"I read this yesterday! Great read for founders and anyone thinking about starting a company.. or just looking to explore and push back on their own risk tolerances and definition of 'failure'." - Loren

Read the article and discuss your thoughts with the community in the thread.

A man rode into town on Friday. He stayed for three nights and then left on Friday. How come?

Check out the answer here.

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