Carnegie Mellon University

Zahid Khadri (MSPM 2019)

Product Manager

What are some of your daily responsibilities? What do you enjoy most?

As the product manager (PM), my primary task is to set the quarterly roadmap for my scrum team. I work with multiple cross-functional teams (engineering, UX, UX research, marketing) to deliver delightful products which align with the business strategy and KPIs. I am also the scrum master which involves owning the backlog, prioritizing stories, and ensuring we are on track with our goals.

What are a few skills required to be successful in this field?

Ability to understand and collaborate with “humans.” As a PM you must be “human-centric” to build human-centric products. The ability to work and collaborate harmoniously with multiple individuals, while keeping business goals and strategies in mind can be a challenging task. However, at the end of the day, in the midst of the challenges around competing and changing company priorities, strongly opinionated peers, and resource crunches – you are the voice and advocate of the customer. Practicing empathy, to communicate, champion, and solve your customer’s problems would be the skill I would highlight.

What attracted you to MSPM compared to other programs?

Two years into my professional career as a PM, I believe my intuition about the curriculum and the courses offered by the MSPM program was right. It positions itself as the cross between design, engineering, and business skills which is what the job demands from you.

How has the MSPM program helped you in your career?

MSPM is unique in the sense that it focuses its curriculum on the practical aspects of being a PM. The internship, capstone project, and the team-centric nature of assignments set you up for success in your first foray into being a PM.

What would you say to a prospective student considering the CMU MSPM program?

It will be a thrilling, exhilarating, and challenging ride but at the end of it, you will have made lasting connections, great friendships, and developed a strong sense of good product building to set you up for success.