Interview with Product Manager Frank | Teen Ink

Interview with Product Manager Frank

April 21, 2008
By Anonymous

I interviewed my dad, Frank, about his job as product manager of Knowles Electronics

What did you want to be as a child?
I wanted to be a Marine Fight Pilot. My dad was a marine, and I liked to fly, so that’s what I wanted to be.

How did you get involved with your job?
I got involved with engineering in college, because I was good and math and science. I got involved with my current job because the company contacted me and said that they had an open position, and hoped that I would take that job.

Why did you decide to do this job?
When I entered college, it had the best job prospects and the highest salary with my degree. Those two things were at the top of my list when it came to jobs.

What kind of training/schooling was needed for your job?
I needed a Bachelors degree in electrical engineering.

What exactly do you do as product manager?
I determine the product roadmap…where everything is shipped and I’m responsible for the profitability. I also set the global pricing for each product and help customers with their designs for products. On an average day, I respond to customer questions, attend product related meetings, plan for future growth, and respond to critical issues.

Do you find this job fulfilling? Why or why not?
I find it more interesting then fulfilling, because I get to see the latest in technology before it hits the market.

Would you consider this a job or a career?
I’d consider it a job, because I don’t want to be doing this for the rest of my life. Eventually, I’d like to change, but I haven’t really thought about what I’d rather do.

What is the average salary for a product manager of an electrical company?
The average would be about 90,000 to 95,000 a year.

Is there anything you would change about your job? What would you change?
Yes, I wish that I didn’t have to travel as much. I also wish that the building were somewhere in Aurora or Naperville, instead of Itasca (IL).

What advice would you give to someone who wants a job that is somewhat related to yours?
For the engineering field, I would say take courses in both engineering and business, because they’re very closely related. One helps the other.

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