Meet Wafic, a Mentor at The Commons and Product Manager at Uber Eats.
To summarize Wafic's career path in one line: UofT Civil Engineering → Data Scientist @ Nulogy → Strategy & Operations Manager @ Uber → Product Operations Manager @ Uber → Product Manager @ Uber (starting April, ‘22)
Current role & location?
📍Product Manager @ Uber, currently based out of Toronto working for a remote team in SF
You've touched several industries already in your career. What has prompted you to make pivots along the way?
Just as in life, there is so much to experience in one’s career. Growing up, I found it extremely difficult to choose a career path and stick to it. At first, I blamed indecision. Now I realize that optionality is a blessing, and lateral career moves create anti-fragility.
My strategy was simple: try to gather as many experiences as possible before the age of 30. Be it through full time jobs or side hustles. So far I have had the chance to experience roles in academia, construction, data science, operations and product. I usually identified my next role/pivot through working alongside someone else who held the role and understanding what made them excel at what they do, and what their day-to-day actually looked like. If an opening popped up and the role was exciting enough, I applied.
How did your thinking around career path change over time?
Early in my career, I cared about titles and kept a close eye on “fast-track” career trajectories. Now, I care a ton more about relationships, growth potential, and ownership. At this stage of my career, I just want to build new products while having fun doing it with the people around me.
When you pivoted into tech, what have been some of the biggest changes you noticed?
Ownership in tech is unparalleled. Little have I seen a work culture were you, as a junior or even intermediate employee, get to own so much and have grand access outside of tech.
Tell us about your role at Uber Eats!
I am currently Product Operations Manager for Eater Promos at Uber. Our team is responsible for building the incentives platform for Uber Eats, as well as the targeting mechanisms by which said incentives are delivered. My current focus is to expand adoption of both the platform and targeting offerings across Operations teams around the world.
Why should someone work at Uber?
Uber is one of the leading tech companies of today’s world. Uber has been and continues to be one of the biggest disruptions to traditional mobility and Urban technology. We still have a long way to re-imaging how the world moves, though we have also accomplished so much already in disrupting ride-sharing, HCVs, food delivery, and even transit. Anyone who is an analyst at heart, has a knack for complex supply and demand problems, and is interested in shaping the physical world around us using software will be hard pressed to find a better destination than Uber.
What's some advice for someone looking to follow in your footsteps?
- Optimize for skillsets rather than titles or roles. Titles are rather fluid and can be hollow, but honing skills make you antifragile.
- Interview every 1-2 years. The job market is ever changing and its on you to appraise yourself and the opportunities out there. Also, interviewing is a muscle that needs to be continuously flexed.
- Let the market reject you. Don’t self-select yourself out of a role because of imposter syndrome/perceptions of lacking superiority, etc.
You've been part of The Commons since the beginning! What have been your favorite elements of being a mentor?
- An easy way to find and build a network of diverse and elevated talent across the globe
- Paying it forward
Has there been anything unexpected that you've got out of participating with The Commons?
I got to learn a ton about what other industries/roles/companies really look like through interacting with other community members.
What's your favorite way to keep involved with the community, aside for mentoring?
I love engaging with our community on the latest and greatest in the #tech-reads and #community-asks slack channels. There is just so much going on beyond my immediate scope. The learnings from our engaged conversations are unparalleled.
What should people who are thinking about joining The Commons know about it?
The true journey of a learner in The Commons community starts once the Sprint is completed.
And now, a few fun tidbits about you!
Tell us some of your favourites:
🎙 Podcast: How I Built This
📰 Where you get your daily news: The Peak!
💻 A tech company you think should be on everyone's radar: Ramp
🎨 What you're doing outside of work: Mentoring at The Commons!
🌟 A CEO or leader you admire: Dara Khosroshahi (CEO of Uber)
💬 An inspiring business quote: Our sense of well-being is brought about by the pursuit of happiness, not the attainment of it
Join our Product Operations Sprint to get 1:1 access to mentors like Wafic.