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Product Managers from Top Companies Discuss PM Role in 2019
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Product Managers from Top Companies Discuss PM Role in 2019

When: Tuesday, March 19, 2019
6:30 - 8:30 pm
Where: WeWork
79 Madison Avenue
Entrance on E. 28th St.
New York, New York  10011
United States
Contact: Administrator

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Product Managers from Top Companies Discuss PM Role in 2019

Product management has become a common career choice for MBAs entering the tech sector. Graduates without prior tech experience or technical skills but who have the ability to manipulate and analyze data, write user specifications, and prioritize competing objectives have become valuable members of application development teams. As startup organizational structures and cultures have evolved, the perspective of the “business” in product development has become increasingly important.

Although the product management discipline is relatively new, the rapid pace of change within the technology sector means that the PM role has continued to evolve as new tools, techniques, and processes are tested and adopted. Furthermore, a “product manager” can be a very different animal from one organization to another depending on many factors such as management approach and methodology, the needs of the product, and resource scarcity. In other words, an Amazon PM does not equal a Facebook PM does not equal a Google PM.

This panel will address:

What are some of the qualities that make a great PM?

What does product management currently look like at leading tech / financial companies?

How has the role evolved and how do the panelists see it further evolving in the years to come?

What are the greatest challenges facing product managers today?

Panelists (see bios below):

•  Frantz Alexis (Google)
  Tim Bernal (HyperScience)
  Dina Berrada (The We Company)
  Jyoti Menon (Citi)
  Stacey Wallace (Spotify)
Co-moderators: Braxton Bragg '13 (McKinsey) and Santosh Sekar, '08  (Roller Essentials)

Date: Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Time:  6:30-8:30 pm
Location: WeWork, 79 Madison Ave. (entrance on E. 28th St.), NYC
Tickets: CBSACNY Alumni members $35; Non members $45

SPECIAL OFFER:  Columbia Business School Alumni Club of New York offers ONE FREE EVENT for new members who sign up for the first time ($85 or more). Click here to join now and then contact us to receive your promotional code before you register for the event of your choice (sports events, holiday parties and mixers are excluded.)

Panelists' bios:

Frantz Alexis (Google)
Frantz Alexis is a Product Manager at Google, focusing on Google’s Maps product. He is an experienced product manager with over five years of experience in creating user-facing applications. Prior to his current role at Google, Frantz worked at American Express on product development for Amex Corporate Travel clients, where he led the development and execution of Amex’s mobile strategy for the division. In addition, he has also created an application that facilitates anonymous communications between people that have cerebral palsy. Frantz is a graduate of NYU’s Stern School of Business, where he received his MBA, and Wesleyan University, where he obtained his BA in Economics.

Tim Bernal (HyperScience)
Tim graduated from CBS in 2014. Professionally, he teaches machines to read and automate enterprise workflows as a Group PM for the machine learning teams at HyperScience. Previously, he specialized in new product development at Intent Media after his koala-themed mobile commerce app didn't take off.

Dina Berrada (The We Company)
Dina Berrada is currently a VP of Product at The We Company leading the Growth mission, delivering technology that powers the growth of WeWork's core businesses by providing the right products to the right people at the right time at the right price. She grew her team from 15 Product Managers, Engineers, Data Scientists, and Designers to 130 today across New York, San Francisco, and Tel Aviv in two years. Before the We Company, Dina was a Product Manager at Audible, an Amazon company, where she managed strategic mobile initiatives with different focus areas from acquisition to engagement to retention and helped grow the Product team from 4 to 30 PMs.

Braxton Bragg '13 Co-moderator (McKinsey)
Braxton started his career in public accounting, risk management consulting, and non-profit financial reporting and internal audit in the Washington, D.C. area before pursuing his MBA at Columbia from 2011-2013. After graduation, he moved to San Francisco and joined Zynga as a Product Manager in the Central Product Management group. Later, he managed the mobile applications for the hit casino franchise Hit it Rich! After Zynga, he led the growth team at Weebly and subsequently served as Director of Product for Scopely's Yahtzeeand Dice With Buddies franchises, also launching a new dice title featuring Ellen DeGeneres. More recently, he and his wife returned to New York to be closer to their families and he now manages the thought leadership platforms on and McKinsey Insights (mobile app).

Jyoti Menon (Citi)
Jyoti Menon is a product management, strategy and development professional with over 10 years of experience in financial services - specifically, fin-tech, before anyone called it "fin-tech." Jyoti has a proven track record of leading large-scale, successful global initiatives. She has developed strategy and led execution for B2C and B2B products through her ability to articulate vision, collaborate across cross-functional teams, and deliver products through changing environments and priorities. Jyoti is currently Director and Head of Digital Wallets and eCommerce at Citi. She manages relationships and leads product development and strategy for Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay and PayPal, along with proprietary and network solutions. Prior to this role, she led efforts to use innovative payments technologies to eliminate friction and create meaningful engagements and value for Citi’s consumer banking clients. Prior to Citi, Jyoti was part of the Global Corporate Services team at American Express. She is also the President of the Alumnae Association of Barnard College, is an Alumna Trustee on Barnard's Board of Trustees, founding member and Co-Chair of the Athena Leadership Council at Barnard, and serves on the board of the Shanti Bhavan Children’s Project. Jyoti holds a Masters in International Affairs from the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs and a Bachelor’s degree from Barnard College, Columbia University.

Stacey Wallace (Spotify)
Stacey originally hails from California and earned her undergraduate degree at University of California, Berkeley. She graduated from CBS in 2013 and joined Spotify’s data analytics team that year, after which she moved to the Spotify product team in 2016. Currently, she is the Group Product Manager leading the Ad Studio, which is Spotify's self-service advertising platform. In her spare time, Stacey plays flute in the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra and the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra.

Santosh Sekar '08 Co-moderator (Roller Essentials)
Santosh is President of Roller Essentials, a family business that focuses on creating and commercializing intellectual property for manufacturing processes that result in better products made in a more productive manner. The company licenses those methods to some of the largest manufacturers in the U.S. In addition, he is an Advisor for Futureworks, an incubator sponsored by the New York City Economic Development Corporation, where he advises startups on financial, operational, and intellectual property strategy. Santosh has previously worked in American Express’ M&A unit, where he evaluated transactions and divestitures for various business units, and as an equity research analyst for a hedge fund, providing investment recommendations and financial / operational analysis across a universe of over 20 software and business services companies. He started his career as a network engineer where he was responsible for evaluating, designing, and deploying new infrastructure technologies in the U.S. and abroad. Santosh received his MBA from Columbia Business School, and his BS in Engineering Management Systems from the Columbia School of Engineering and Applied Science.



This event was organized by the CBSACNY Media & Technology Committee: Braxton Bragg ('13) and Santosh Sekar ('08 ). 

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