The Product Management Center is a hub for knowledge, community, and impact. As part of the Center’s student advisory board, Fikay Abolade has taken on the added responsibility as Student Coordinator for the Inclusive Product Management Summit, which will be Friday, May 7th. Abolade’s early contributions to planning the Summit have been invaluable and he will continue to help shape the outreach strategy.
Abolade is a Master’s student at the UW iSchool who previously studied entrepreneurship at UW Foster School of Business. He quickly put his learning into practice, launching Athly, a marketplace for athletes and private coaches. Learn more about how University of Washington students are getting inspired to excel in Product Management through a Q&A with Fikay Abolade.
Why do you want to be a product manager?
I have always had the drive to solve complicated problems in my community via commerce. It was what motivated my application to the UW Foster Entrepreneurship program. While in the program, Terri Eccles came to speak. She mentioned her role as a product manager and how similar it was to an entrepreneur. This was the first time I found out what a PM was. After class, I immediately called my mom and told her I finally found my career path.
I was assigned the role of PM for my team. That class planted the seeds of the goal of becoming a PM. A role where I can solve complicated problems with a talented team sounds like the dream.
What about your time with UW Foster prepared you to become a product manager?
My years at Foster taught me the art of asking the right question, avoiding my own bias, and the importance of quickly shipping products while iterating. One of my biggest endeavors at Foster was the goal of launching a marketplace for athletes seeking private coaches (Athly). Through the success and failures of building Athly, I learned quickly how vital asking the right question, avoiding my own bias and the importance of quickly shipping products while iterating is.
What are you studying now?
I am a master’s in information management student at UW iSchool, specializing in Product/Program management/consulting and Business Intelligence.
What are your plans for this summer?
I will be joining the product team at Nordstrom as a Product Management Intern.
Why are you involved with The Product Management Center?
The ability to learn, impact, and connect with like-minded individuals is second to none. The moment I found out about The Product Management Center, I knew I had to be part of it because I knew I would be joining a community of thoughtful leaders and students with the drive to change the world with diverse ideas.
I’m thrilled for The Product Management Center. To be part of the planning impactful events like the inclusive Product Management summit is so fulfilling.