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  • Writer's pictureJolie Radunich

My first 90 days in the edtech industry

Okay. At this point, I've been in the industry a little longer than 90 days.

But I didn't want to bypass this mini milestone without reflecting on my first 3 months as an associate product marketing manager.

Onboarding is packed with meet and greets, login credentials, and goal setting.

If you're lucky enough to be doing work that you love and believe in, you can fight feeling overwhelmed and instead be motivated to get up every morning.

The insight of all insights: you don't know what you don't know.

The edtech biz is powered by movements

Getting to know the edtech biz in college taught me how to keep a pulse on what's happening in the industry.

I entered my PMM role knowing some industry buzzwords from the science of reading, and differentiated instruction. I now have the opportunity to build on this foundation and keep learning as newer terms make their way in my work.

Having industry background knowledge isn't a requirement for working in edtech though.

And no matter how much you think you know, your job will certainly make room for on-the-fly learning opportunities.

Edtech market shifts are slower than you think

Edtech may be a $123.4 billion industry. It may be growing by almost 17% a year.

But the need for the people who power this industry to adapt to market changes happens in much smaller doses.

At least compared to big tech, where investments, regulations, and other laws seem to change day by day. Even hour by hour.

For example, one of the greatest shifts in literacy edtech right now is aligning products to the science of reading.

The shift hasn't been immediate for all providers.

But it seems like every day, more and more industry players are starting to predict more rewards than risks for updating their materials.

Your role may have some hidden superpowers

Product marketers are notorious for wearing lots of hats and working across different teams.

As I'm getting to know the full capabilities of my role, little aha moments pop up where I realize

wait, I can request x?

Or, I can work with y on that project?

I'd like to think that there's room for even experienced PMMs to have an aha moment every now and then.

There's always something new for each of us to learn.

Your company has a culture. Even if it's remote

Learning the ins and outs of a new company has included understanding:

  • the working style of the company and its teams

  • companies, even established ones, aren't set in stone

  • change happens regularly and learning work styles helps to adapt to each change as it comes

I'm grateful. If there's something I'd like to know, conversations are a call away.

I've heard that people in this industry are kind and have open arms. This has held true for me.

Maybe because we're doing social impact work?

Channel your edtech kid to embrace the unknown

Remember what it felt like to be frustrated at school. Like those times you stared at a homework question for the new math you just learned, and had no clue how to answer it.

Now you have the chance to restructure your frustration into something positive.

At work, take a little time to embrace the unknown. Not having immediate answers to your questions. Sitting in frustration, searching for answers.

And appreciate your resilience.

You're setting yourself up for a pretty rewarding Eureka moment.

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