Orbital
 

Year 1 Product Management Studio

A 5-week community of practice for people in their first year as a full-time product manager.

Limit
8 max 1 per company
COST
$1,250
Apply by October 6
Online via Zoom
  • October 20

    Thursday

    8:00pm - 9:30pm UTC
  • October 27

    Thursday

    8:00pm - 9:30pm UTC
  • November 3

    Thursday

    8:00pm - 9:30pm UTC
  • November 10

    Thursday

    9:00pm - 10:30pm UTC
  • November 17

    Thursday

    9:00pm - 10:30pm UTC
Requirements
  • Currently employed at a product company (not an agency)
  • 0-1 years of experience as a full-time PM
  • Program cost paid for by company
Application Timeline
  • Oct 7
    Application Deadline
  • Oct 8
    Acceptances sent
  • Oct 15
    Confirmation Deadline
  • Oct 21
    Program Begins
Studio Lead

The Goal

Develop a Community of Practice

Orbital Studios helps you find and develop a community of practice—a group of peers you can both learn from and turn to for challenges (and opportunities) down the road.

First, we screen applicants to ensure they meet the specific requirements for experience level, role and responsibility.

Then, we convene a series of live virtual gatherings—usually over 4-5 weeks—facilitated by an experienced Studio Lead.

What you can expect:

  • Stories, best practices and perspectives that will aid you in your career.
  • Thoughtful dialogue amongst a cohort of relevant peers.
  • Access to an ongoing, growing alumni network after the program concludes.

Where we start

We focus on actual problems

To ensure relevance, prior to the start of the program we ask participants to share their current, day-to-day challenges, which we share back in Week 1.

We use their responses as a starting point. It helps us (and them) get a sense of where everyone is at, and it helps us understand how to direct the program.

Here's a sample of what past participants have shared:

What We Do

Then, we gather some experts.

When you're just starting out in a new role, you'll likely be long on problems but short on answers.

So, we bring in experienced practitioners from the Orbital Network who are uniquely qualified to speak directly to these challenges to share their stories and perspectives.

Some of our guests are senior versions of the participants; others are senior versions of their colleagues—folks with whom they will need to collaborate.

The most important part—we create opportunities to individually and collectively reflect, which enables the participants to go deeper as needed (and to get to know each other better).

Previous Guests & Themes

  1. Decision Making and Leadership

    VP of Product & Data at Transfix

    Sr. Product Manager at Google

  2. Working with Engineering

    Engineering Manager at Splice

    Engineering Manager at Warby Parker

  3. Working with Design

    Product Designer at Spotify

    Staff Product Designer at Etsy

  4. Quick Wins & Best Practices

    Product Manager at Foursquare

    Senior Product Manager at Codecademy

Lessons Learned

A Process of Discovery

Often times people simply need to be reminded of what they already know, or to take a moment to consider a fresh perspective.

For that reason, our process is heavy on dialogue, listening and self-reflection, rather than instruction.

Here's a sample of what past participants have discovered:

"I have gained more confidence in my position because of the talks today. It was great to see others are in the same boat trying to figure things out. Even the senior speakers haven’t figured out everything and mentioned it was okay to not know everything."

— Product Manager, 2019

"I feel like I have a better understanding of how to interface well with coworkers in different roles! I’m convinced of the need for bringing my teammates along in my decision making process."

— Product Manager, 2019

"My perspective has absolutely changed for the better. I feel less like I need to have all the answers. I feel empowered to bridge utilizing instincts and research to make product decisions and to use the resources available to me within and outside of my organization. I also want to remember to be an open, welcoming resource to others as I move forward on my journey as a PM."

— Product Manager, 2019

"What has been reinforced is that my job is to curate information, be a connector and shepherd assumptions. I think it’s easy to fall into the feeling that it’s to continuously optimize my own decision making but that’s a difficult and almost impossible task. Recognizing that with other PMs has been helpful for my perspective."

— Product Manager, 2019

"I realized today how important it is for me to keep my emotional reactions to events decoupled from my interactions with teammates and behavior in the office."

— Product Manager, 2019

"You HAVE to force the hard conversations. That’s the single biggest value add you can possibly give."

— Product Manager, 2019
What We Ask

Expectations

  1. Show up for the full duration of each session
  2. Be willing to give before you get
  3. Adhere to Chatham House Rules and our Code of Conduct.
  4. Give us feedback along the way

Time Commitment

  1. < 1 hr of prep work before Week 1
  2. < 30 min of prep work before Week 2

There's no homework, though we may assign challenges over the course of the program which will be scoped to fall within your normal work schedule.

Since 2016, we've gathered 300+ product managers, designers and engineering managers and directors from over 100 companies to learn from and with their peers across the industry.

Adobe
Artsy
Axios
Automattic
Betterment
Blink Health
Blue Apron
Bonobos
Buzzfeed
Casper
Cedar
Chartbeat
Classpass
Code Climate
Codecademy
Conde Nast
Crisis Text Line
Digital Ocean
DoSomething
DuckDuckGo
Enigma
Etsy
Facebook
Flatiron Health
Foursquare
Fundera
Ghostery
Github
Glossier
Greenhouse
Harrys
Harvest
HyperScience
Justworks
Kickstarter
Major League Hacking
Medium
Meetup
MongoDB
Mozilla Foundation
Namely
Newsela
Peloton
The New York Times
Shutterstock
Simulmedia
Skillshare
SoundCloud
Spotify
Spring
Spruce
SquareFoot
Squarespace
Stash
StreetEasy
Teachers Pay Teachers
The Farmer's Dog
Trello
Tumblr
Twitter
Two Sigma
Venmo
Vox Media
VTS
Warby Parker
WeWork
Yieldmo
Zocdoc
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Want to Talk Live?
Schedule a call