How Relativity’s Elise Tropiano Makes an Impact at the Intersection of Legal and Tech
Elise Tropiano begins most days pushing a jogging stroller and trying on a three-year-old’s perspective of the world.
“We bond in that early morning time. We observe butterflies and tulips sprouting in early spring,” explains Elise of her routine, which happens even when the Chicago mornings are cold ones.
It’s good practice for what the Product Director at legal and compliance technology company Relativity spends her workday doing: taking in information from various sources and creating a unified vision of where to go next.
We sat down with Elise to hear more about what a day in the life as a PM at Relativity looks like, as well as how she got into the field and how she measures the impact she’s making on it.
Embracing the Chance to Control a Product’s Destiny
“I, like a lot of product managers, landed in this discipline almost through serendipity,” reflects Elise, who pursued a psychology major as part of a liberal arts education.
She almost went into clinical psychology, having been inspired by the way that psychological research explored the differences in the human psyche.
“I came away from it recognizing that people’s personality compasses are so multifaceted. There are so many different levers that go into motivation and decision-making and the way individuals act, behave, and learn,” says Elise.
That appreciation for the differences in people certainly helps now that she’s a manager of three other product managers, notes Elise, but it was useful even before she expanded her career into leadership, too.
Elise started her professional journey at a rotational program at a large financial company, where she was first exposed to customer support. She found that she really enjoyed creating relationships with customers and solving their problems.
But she wished she could go beyond fixing the case at hand. “A lot of the problems could only be fixed through changes in the product itself,” she says. That’s when Elise raised her hand for a role in product management. “It came from a desire to have greater control over the destiny of a product that customers were engaging in.”
Finding Her Path to Relativity
While she’d found her ideal career, Elise realized she wanted to work at a smaller company with a mission she felt more connected to. That’s when she found Relativity.
“I was really drawn to the work they do, which was to use technology to identify what happened in the context of a legal matter that is potentially instrumental to changing legal case outcomes,” explains Elise.
She started at Relativity as a product manager, and now leads other product managers across Relativity’s suite of products.
Those include various tools that together provide end-to-end support for litigation, including AI-based search and review tools. “The value that these capabilities deliver is in massive reductions in the time and costs that typically go into a litigation review,” she says.
And Elise loves that she’s not alone in caring about her company's products or the impact they make on their customers.
“I love working here because all of Relativity is so intrinsically devoted to building a product that helps our customers with their legal or investigative work,” she says. She sees it every day, including in the customer calls she regularly joins, and also in special moments like Relativity’s week-long hackathons, where engineers, product managers, designers, and others come together to work on new ideas with true enthusiasm.
“It’s such an emblematic signal of this passion that all of our teams have. We’re so excited to experiment with something that has some tie to a business need,” she says.
3 Ways Product Managers Can Make an Impact in Their Work
As a product manager, Elise spends a lot of time roadmapping. What’s the future vision for this product? How can engineering and design proposals come together into a proposal that works for everyone?
“Our role is to provide clarity around what impact we should deliver at the end of the day,” she says. And she’s given us a few tips on how other product managers can maximize their own impact:
- Embrace “ruthless prioritization.” “There’s never any shortage of ideas to ponder, or things to bring into the roadmap. You can very easily chase something that is just not part of your critical path. When you’re thinking about the roadmap, remember that no more than a few things can be done exceedingly well,” says Elise.
- Spend 80% of your time understanding the problem. “Then the solution will come much more quickly,” says Elise. “Ask, ‘Why did we get here? What is the problem that our customers are really feeling that they’re demanding a solution to?’ It’s easy to just start throwing things at the solution basket, but it’s better to understand the problem.”
- Don’t forget the importance of communication. “Product managers are the center of disciplines that learn differently. Your role is to enable all of them. That means you need to understand who you are speaking to, where they are coming into the conversation from, and how to speak to them in a way that resonates,” says Elise. “For example, the way I speak to an engineer is way different from how I speak to a designer, which is way different from how I speak to an executive. It’s such an important thing, especially as you extend your career and can do less by yourself and need to enable others. That’s rooted back in good communication.”
💎 Partnerships in remote environments is one of the most important aspects to construct in a company. Watch the video to the end to get good tips on how to do it successfully.
📼Wondering how to create partnerships in remote environments? Play this video to get three top tips that will help you to achieve it. You'll hear from Olga Shvets, HR Business Partner, and Viktoriia Litvinchuk, People Team Operations at Unstoppable Domains, who will explain the essentials of this process.
📼How to build partnerships in remote environments? Tip #1: Communicate Effectively. Communication is the key to enabling your remote team to be successful. Choose the channel that works best. For this, chat with your employees and see what they use to communicate, that's how you find the best solution. Also, make sure your team is on board with your internal tools and they know what, how, and where they need to use them.
📼A requisite for building partnerships in remote environments is Tip #2: Show appreciation. Appreciation is shown through your actions. Let your employees know that you value everything they do for the company. Create a special gratitude channel where everyone can share their appreciation for their colleagues for some contribution. Celebrate some wins, promotions, and everything that is important for the company. If you appreciate the employees, employees do the same for the company.
Create Partnerships In Remote Environments Using Trust - Tip #3: Give Honest Feedback
Use engagement surveys! They are a quick and effective way to receive honest feedback from your team and you can see what's working well and what needs to be improved. Your main priority is to create spaces where managers and employees can share honest, relevant feedback.
📨 Are you interested in joining Unstoppable Domains? They have open positions! To learn more, click here.
Get to Know Olga Shvets
If you are interested in a career at Unstoppable Domains, you can connect with Olga on LinkedIn. Don’t forget to mention this video!
More About Unstoppable Domains
Unstoppable Domains is bringing user-controlled identity to 3 billion+ internet users by issuing domain names on the blockchain. These domains allow users to replace cryptocurrency addresses with human-readable names, host decentralized websites, and much more.
By selling these domains direct to consumers for a one-time fee, the company is making a product that will change cryptocurrency and shape the future of the decentralized web by providing users control over their identity and data.
We all have our favorite websites– the ones we frequent, bookmark, and recommend to others. You might even enjoy some website features so much that you’ve found yourself wondering why they aren’t more popular. Or maybe you’ve experienced times where you were frustrated with a website and wished you could add features or even design your own!
If you’ve ever found yourself intrigued at the prospect of designing and developing your own websites, then a career as a web developer might be just for you!
As a web developer you would be responsible for coding, designing, optimizing, and maintaining websites. Today, there are over 1.7 billion websites in the world and, in turn, the demand for web developers is on the rise. In order to figure out what kind of web development work best suits you let’s start with an introduction to the three main roles in web development that you can choose from.
The Three Types of Web Development Jobs
Front-End Web Development: The Creative Side
In addition to programming skills, front-end developers need to be detail oriented, creative, willing to keep up with the latest trends in web development, cyber security conscious, and geared toward user-friendly designs. The median salary for a front-end developer can reach well into the $90,000 to $100,000 range.
Back-End Web Development: The Logical Counterpart
While a house can be beautifully decorated, it’s incomplete without a solid foundation and efficient infrastructure. Similarly, a well-designed website depends on logical and functional code to power the features of that website. Back-end web development is code-heavy and focused on the specifics of how a website works. If you enjoy the analytical challenge of creating the behind-the-scenes code that powers a website, then back-end development is for you.
Full-Stack Web Development: A Little Bit of Everything
A full-stack developer is essentially the Jack (or Jill)-of-all-trades in web development. Full-stack developers need to be knowledgeable about both front-end and back-end roles. This does not necessarily imply that you would need to be an expert in both roles, but you should fully understand the different applications and synergies they each imply. In order to work in this position, you will need to know the programming languages used by front-end and back-end developers. In addition to these languages, full-stack developers also specialize in databases, storage, HTTP, REST, and web architecture.
Full-stack developers are often required to act as liaisons between front-end and back-end developers. Full-stack developers need to be both problem solvers and great communicators. The end goal for a full-stack developer is to ensure that the user’s experience is seamless, both on the front-end and on the back-end. In return, you can expect to earn a median salary of $100,000 – $115,000 a year for this role.
Taking the Next Step
Web development is both in-demand and lucrative! All three roles described above contribute to specific aspects of web development and the scope of each one can be customized to the industries and positions you feel best suit you. Regardless of which role you choose, all of them need a foundation in programming.
To gain the programming skills needed in each role, you can enroll in courses or learn independently. Coding bootcamps are a great way to boost your skillset quickly and efficiently.
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💎Want to know what engineering teams are like at Workiva? Watch the video to the end to find out!
📼 Engineering teams at Workiva are constantly hiring. Marie Yue, Senior Engineering Manager at the company, tells you what they look for in a candidate and what the dynamics of teamwork are like.
📼 The typical path in the engineering teams at Workiva is that you grow into a senior, and then you move into a lead role. From there, there are a few different tracks that you can take depending on your interest. You can become a staff engineer, an architect, or even an engineering manager. What are you waiting for to apply?
📼In the engineering teams at Workiva every member should feel empowered to do their job effectively. For this, each has to understand how the work they do day to day solves customers’ problems. Managers will always seek to be aware of members’ career path aspirations so that they can look for opportunities and projects to help each person reach the next step in their career.
Engineering Teams At Workiva: A Safe Space
Marie Yue’s team is a safe space for people to make mistakes and ask for help, and each member feels a sense of belonging and inclusion. She wants to make sure that everyone is individually empowered to lead and make decisions. For this, the team has regular meetings where they do fun things like play virtual games or eat lunch together, and they also like to re-review and add to their team working agreement once a quarter.
🧑💼 Are you interested in joining Workiva? They have open positions! To learn more, click here.
Get to Know Marie Yue
If you are interested in a career at Workiva, you can connect with Marie Yue on LinkedIn. Don’t forget to mention this video!
More About Workiva
Workiva was founded to transform the way people manage and report business data with various collaborators, data sources, documents, and spreadsheets. Today, people all over the world use their platform to seamlessly orchestrate data among their systems and applications for transparent and trusted connected reporting and compliance. At Workiva, they are innovative in everything they do—from how they build their software, to how they serve their customers, to how they treat their employees.
After two years of remote programming, we’re excited to welcome the 2022 NIKE, Inc. Internship Program back to our U.S. offices this week!
This year’s class of 318 represent the top 1% of 34,000+ applicants from 113 universities – including 10 Hispanic Serving Institutions and five historically Black colleges and universities. And that’s not all! Many of this year’s interns are Division 1 student-athletes, representing Track and Field, Rowing, Soccer, and Volleyball, to name a few.
During the nine-week internship – built around the theme of Never Done Shining – interns will work across Nike, Jordan and Converse taking on meaningful projects for the business areas they’re supporting. We can’t wait to watch this talented, diverse group kick off their Nike journey and shine!
Want to learn more about the program? https://jobs.nike.com/internships