Episode #4 - Corie Miller, Product Manager at #BUILTBYGIRLS

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In this episode, we interview Corie Miller. Corie is a product manager at #BUILTBYGIRLS. #BUILTBYGIRLS provides young women in high school and college who are interested in tech with career development resources, community, events, and much more. In our conversation, Corie takes us through what it's like to work in product management and explains in detail her most recent project to completely redesign the BUILTBYGIRLS marketing website. Corie was a Physics major in college and we discuss why Corie decided to skip a career in science and work in tech and how she transitioned to being a product manager. Last but not least Corie explains the product resources she uses to continue learning about the craft.

Alma Mater: Washington University
Major: Physics

 

What is #BUILTBYGIRLS?

#BUILTBYGIRLS provides young women in high school and college who are interested in tech with career development resources, community, events, and much more. The company is making tangible strides in improving gender diversity in tech by empowering and educating young women. Their central offering is a program called WAVE.

WAVE is a mentorship platform that pairs young women with experienced tech professions to expose them to a range of career paths, arm them with important skills, and help them build a tech network. Finding a good mentor can be tough, and WAVE does all of the hard work for you.

Interview Highlights

(abridged and edited)

How did you make the transition into Product Management?

Originally I found the job opportunity through a community called Tech Ladies. It’s a job board/community for women in tech. At the time it allowed you to reach out directly to the hiring manager so I could send over my resume directly.

I took that opportunity to really let my passion and excitement for the product shine through. I think that was really instrumental in why I got hired compared to other people that had more experience. I was very excited about the role and not afraid to show it.

Did you know you wanted to work in tech in college? Or were you thinking you would continue down the physics path?

I think I romanticized the academia life. I thought it would be really cool to go on and be a scientist but when it came down to working in labs I really hated it. I felt super removed from human beings and what I was studying and it just felt very slow moving. As I went on in college and I learned more about the day to day I realized that was definitely not what I wanted to do. I wanted to do something where I could see the results faster and use innovative technologies to change things.

That’s actually what I love about #BUILTBYGIRLS. I wish I was exposed to different tech careers when I was younger. I probably would have gone back and majored in Computer Science. It was more of a meandering path for me.

What did your job search look like coming out of college?

I’ll be honest, I was like “ANYWHERE THAT WILL HIRE ME, I WANT A JOB ANYWHERE.” I started interviewing everywhere I could. At Wash U there were a lot of more traditional companies like banks and consulting companies recruiting so I applied to those.

But during the interviews it really didn’t click for me. I wasn’t really myself during those interviews. I remember I had to wear a suit. I had never worn a suit. It felt really weird. Maybe that’s silly but it was probably a metaphor for what I was actually looking for out of college.

I got pretty lucky that Graphiq, the first company I worked at, was really the only tech company I interviewed with. The vibe and energy was super different from the other positions I was looking at and that really drew me in. It really just made sense in the end.


Notes from the show