When Shota Ido, ’19, applied to Booth, he’d already identified his next career move. In an application essay for Booth, he outlined his goal of becoming a product manager at an enterprise tech company after graduation.
Now, thanks in part to the opportunities he had as a Kilts Marketing Fellow, Shota will realize that goal. Upon graduation, he’s joining Adobe as a product manager in the tech giant’s San Jose, California-based office.
What made you decide to attend Booth?
I was working as a product manager at Rakuten, an e-commerce company, in Tokyo, and the local Booth alumni were beyond helpful and really swayed my decision to accept when I asked them my questions about Booth. The second thing was the choice the curriculum provides you to take any course at any level, any time. Once I arrived, I was able to tailor my courses to focus on marketing and understanding the consumer.
Throughout your time at Booth, you had opportunities to take on leadership roles. What was most valuable about those experiences?
I had two leadership opportunities that were really my capstone experiences at Booth—and also made Booth really fun. I was an organizer of the Tech Product Management Workshop, which had approximately 100 attendees and four participating alumni as panelists. The other was putting together the 2019 Booth TechCon this past spring, which had more than 200 attendees and 30 speakers. Both events were sponsored by Kilts, and because of both of these experiences, I was able to get a sense of what it takes to lead large teams.
How has the James M. Kilts Center for Marketing community contributed to your ongoing success?
The Kilts Center provided me with a lot of networking opportunities with classmates, faculty, and alumni, which were vital to expanding my professional network. On the academic side, I think marketing at Booth equals economics plus statistics plus psychology, and it’s by applying these foundational principles that you’re able to learn lifelong skills.
As you move forward in your career, what Booth marketing courses will remain especially useful to you?
The New Products and Services Lab that was supported by Kilts and taught by Professor Middlebrooks will definitely help me as a product manager. It helped me understand the importance of distinguishing customer needs and product features.
Another course was Consumer Behavior, which gave me a perspective on marketing from a behavioral psychology perspective, and showed me that consumers are not necessarily always rational when making decisions. Another was Data-Driven Marketing, where I learned how to use statistics to create meaningful conclusions.
What’s one thing you’ll take away from your Booth experience?
Ultimately, Booth is about the network and a pay-it-forward culture. I made really good friends, who I can see myself hanging out with 10 or 20 years down the line.