Blair Pecka Shares How Courage and Passion Will Get You Far
Below is an article originally written by PowerToFly Partner 33Across, and published on September 22, 2017. Go to 33Across' page on PowerToFly to learn more.
No risk, no reward – that's the theme of this Friday Fives. Blair Pecka shares her career journey into product management and how determination and hard work led to her recent promotion to vice president of product. We'll also learn about product management misconceptions and one of her all-time favorite movies.
How did you break into Product Management? I started out as an Account Executive for a local television affiliate in Upstate NY. When the television industry started evolving and moving online I became fascinated with the concept of digital advertising. With that, I packed my bags and moved to NYC. I worked for companies focused on building out custom creative solutions for top brands, agencies, and publishers. From there, I transitioned rather organically to various product roles spearheading the strategy and build-out across of varies platforms and technology. I didn't know where my career would lead then but I knew every opportunity was a chance for me to learn and evolve.
Product management certifications courses are becoming popular. What's your opinion on these courses vs. on-the-job training? Ultimately, you'll want to have a balance of both. There are benefits to certifications and courses; they can provide you with valuable frameworks that can be applied throughout your career. I feel strongly that the value you obtain from on-the-job training is irrefutable. When you're living it first hand, your mistakes and your successes are real. These experiences shape who you are and mold your career path.
As the Vice President of Product, what is your biggest challenge? By far the biggest challenge is being everywhere at once. Product is at the intersection of where all the groups within the organization come together. My role works very closely with engineering, operations, sales, and marketing to ensure not only that our products launch successfully but that we are also available to provide additional support when it is needed most.
What is the biggest misconception people often have when it comes to product management?
The biggest misconception is that product owners are the same as project managers. While sometimes product owners may need to put on their project management hats, it's not fundamentally apart of a product owners role and responsibilities.
What movie do you watch every time it comes on tv? Independence Day. Hands down! One of my favorite quotes to this day is, "I could have been at a barbecue!"
For the boss you loved, the coworker you hated, and everyone in between
Two things are inevitable when someone leaves your team at work: there will be an abundance of sweet treats (I'm partial to those giant cookie cakes from the mall) and there will be a card passed around for everyone to scrawl the professional version of sweet nothings in. Depending on the "importance" of the person, you may get the bonus activities of farewell gifts and/or an all-team champagne toast.
If you are a New York based tech professional and you'd like to attend this event, please email your name and LinkedIn URL to email@example.com.
Whether you are a software engineer, fitness enthusiast or both, you won't want to miss PowerToFly's evening of product demos and networking with the women tech leaders and allies at Peloton.
Founded in 2012, Peloton brought top talent together in its Silicon Alley headquarters to create a new concept in fitness. In their words, "We loved cycling but had a hard time finding a workout that consistently fit our schedules, and our at-home workouts never felt quite up to par. So, we set out to create a world-class indoor cycling studio experience on your time, and in the comfort of your own home."
This event is your chance to hear directly from the women tech leaders and allies who make their revolutionary products like the Peloton Bike, Peloton Tread and Peloton App possible. We'll be devoting a large portion of the event to taking your questions and I know the Peloton team wants to hear from you!
The unique evening will take place on Wednesday, February 12th from 6pm to 8:30pm at 125 W 25th Street.
There's a lot more to building an inclusive company than just hiring more people from diverse backgrounds. So, how can you build an inclusive culture that will help you attract and retain a diverse group of employees?