Transitioning from Tech to Education: Making a Larger Impact
16 February, 2022
Director of Product at Goodera
Transitioning Companies to Make a Larger Impact
I had been working purely in tech for around five years before I transitioned to an education company. The reasons were based around my own intentions and personal growth, simply put, I wanted to make a more significant impact.
The education company wasn’t based in tech but had an offline product, which was a major change for me, as I moved from App only products to an end-to-end service that had many offline touchpoints. For example, I had to think about the way children educated themselves with books and how I could connect that to an online app.
Challenges and Changes in the Education Field
A Mindset Change:
In an offline world, you are forced to think about interactions in a very different way. Through the education sector, I learned about the users and their interactions with physical products as well as online products. When I worked solely in UI interfaces, I thought about the customer relationship with online products. This change brought a mindset change for me, as I was trying to find the best way for children to learn across the board.
Understanding education and the best way children learn was difficult, as they didn’t have much say in their courses and learning experience. Usually, it was up to the school system or family to decide the finest way to learn. In the end, we built products that were geared to make changes in the adults and their perspectives so that they could affect the way their children learned.
Challenges on the Way:
On the way to building these products, I found multiple hurdles. I learned it was difficult to impact various stakeholders with a single product. My budget was one-tenth of the budget I was used to because the company was a non-profit, meaning I spent a lot of time researching the most cost-effective methods. To mitigate the low budget, I began spending weekends with my former colleagues, buying them lunch in return for a few hours of work.
It was more difficult to get buy-in on my ideas than in other organizations. Because the product role was primarily found in the tech space, the education field had less of a strong understanding of product management. I learned to convince each stakeholder individually before bringing my product to leadership as a whole. The challenges that I faced produced creativity within me. With so many boundaries, I needed to think outside the box, utilizing my network as well as expanding my communication abilities.
- My switch to this education non-profit was the most rewarding role in my career so far. I knew that I wanted to make a more considerable impact, and by understanding that, I became self-aware. To increase your own self-awareness, look for what excites you on a day-to-day basis and follow that.
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