Top 5 things from classes at Booth used in my Internship

There were many times when I sat through my classes at Booth and thought, what are the main lessons I will remember from this class? I’ve wondered which economic models and strategic frameworks will form my management toolkit as I progress in my career. Luckily, I didn’t need to wait very long to find out. As I go through my Product Management internship at Amazon, I already find myself relying on many lessons covered by my classes at Booth thus far.

Concept 1: BATNA from Negotiations
As a PM, one of my responsibilities is working with technology teams to prioritize resources. This is normally an exercise of negotiating which resources to place on which projects and why. While there are many lessons from Negotiations that help with this exercise, the specific concept of figuring out my “BATNA” or Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement before beginning a negotiation has helped me come to the table knowing what all of my options are—ultimately leading to a positive outcome. 

Concept 2: Forecasting from New Products Lab
One of my summer projects requires that I assess a potential opportunity and use data to back my recommendation. In New Products Lab, we walked through the journey of how a new product or service is developed and put a framework behind the process. A key portion of this was a method of forecasting, where you use data and make assumptions to arrive at a target number for your new product opportunity. This process was invaluable for my summer where I not only draw on the knowledge that I learned but also have an opportunity to put it to the test.

Concept 3: “The Superstar Effect” from Managing the Workplace
A concept I’ve thought about during the first few weeks of my internship was that of the “superstar effect”. This effect suggests that your career trajectory can often be determined by your performance during the first few weeks or months of a new job. This is because of the importance of first impressions and how they determine much of how your new coworkers perceive your potential career trajectory. Keeping this in mind has helped me be conscious of the impression I am creating in my new workplace.

Concept 4: Single-Homing from Platform Competition
Platform Competition is a great class for those looking to work in the technology industry as most of the cases we covered are related to big tech companies and how they compete in today’s world. A useful concept from this class is that of “single-homing” or the idea of offering customers multiple services in a single platform in order to become their go-to. This has been a useful framework for me as I think about how to increase the value of my company to the customer through my new product recommendation.

Concept 5: “Flexing” from LEAD
During LEAD, everyone takes a personality assessment that highlights your top strengths. This is followed by a discussion on how you can best leverage your strengths but also “flex” beyond them by challenging yourself. I’ve found myself relying on this concept many times as I think about how to succeed in my internship at Amazon—a company governed by core leadership principles. Knowing where I have pre-existing strengths in the leadership principles and which ones I need to “flex” to achieve has helped me frame my internship trajectory. 

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