From Intern to Full-Time Product Manager at TripAdvisor

For those of us who want to pursue careers in marketing and product management, Chicago Booth and the Kilts Center for Marketing prepare us for our summer internships, and ultimately our full-time positions. In this series, a couple of my classmates and I share how Booth helped us achieve success in our dream jobs.

Over last summer, I interned as a product manager at TripAdvisor on the Restaurants team. As this was my first professional experience in product management, I relied on many of the marketing skills I learned at Booth during my first year in order to have a successful internship.

One project I worked on over the summer required surveying potential customers to get their feedback about a new product we were developing. In thinking about the best way to achieve this, I recalled some lessons from the Lab in Developing New Products and Services classes I had taken at Booth. For that class I had worked with a tech company on a new product idea that required us to reach out to customers. My experience writing useful survey questions, and collecting and utilizing the results helped me through the customer outreach phase of my project at TripAdvisor.

Another project at my internship had me developing a pricing model for a new product. This required me to segment potential customers into different groups and consider each group’s willingness to pay. The Marketing Strategy class at Booth tackled both of these concepts and provided me a framework with which to think about these questions. I was able to develop a sound pricing model that was approved by upper management using the concepts that I learned in class.

Finally, I also spent some time during my internship trying to understand what types of customers represented the best possible sales leads for our products. At a technology company such as TripAdvisor, I had access to tons of data on customers and users of the website to try and answer this question. I immediately thought of a model I had learned at Booth in a class called Data-Driven Marketing. The RFM model (RFM stands for recency, frequency, and monetary value) is a way of ranking potential sales leads based on how long ago they made a purchase, how many purchases they have made, and how much the customer spent in the past. Though not a perfect fit for users of a website like TripAdvisor, I was able to take an adapted version of this model to identify the users who were most likely to purchase certain products so that the sales team could target these potential customers first.

The marketing skills I picked up at Booth during just my first year really helped me excel at my internship and my first foray into product management. As I continue on in my product management career after Booth I know these skills, and the many more I picked up during second year, will continue to come in handy—especially in my full-time role as Product Manager at TripAdvisor!

Next up in this series, my fellow Boothie Christine Bonini talks about three ways marketing at Booth led to summer internship success in the pharmaceutical field.

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