Head of ProductChalk
As a Product Manager, I work with my team to decide which features to build next in our application. I am responsible for ensuring our product experience is always improving, which means I talk to our customers all the time. My job requires me to have an understanding of engineering, design, and business, and I have to be really good about communicating what we are working on and why to the entire company.
Relevant School Subjects
- Computer Studies
- Guidance and Career Education
- Technological Education
Areas of Expertise
After high school I thought I would have a career in business & marketing. I had done some web design and programming classes but I never saw it as my primary career - it was always a secondary interest. In my first year of university (Math & Business Double Degree program at the University of Waterloo), I struggled a lot. I used to think I was smart and good at math, but now I started to really question why I am doing this. I was really enjoying my business courses though, so I decided to switch to Laurier to study business only.
I was still taking some first-year programming courses at Waterloo, and was as interested in the world of "tech" as I had ever been. Long story short, after a conversation with someone running a startup incubator, I changed my mind once again - I was going to switch into Computer Science at Waterloo.
My first co-op was in a big financial tower in downtown Toronto working a job in corporate finance. I learned a lot, but I couldn't see myself there as a career. For my second co-op, I figured I really needed to see if this whole "tech" thing was for me. I was lucky and managed to get hired at this startup company in the Velocity Garage at the time. There were only 7 people and I was hired as a web developer. I had never done programming professionally, so I had a lot to learn.
Fast forward six years later, and I never left the company (Chalk), and now lead our Planning & Classroom Management team as Head of Product.
Aleem shares more of his story in this Explore Your Future panel discussion.