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A day in the life of a Product manager

Valerie Mann
By Valerie Mann — June 19, 2019 -

Welcome to our ‘A Day in the Life’ series. Each month, we’ll chat with a Mention Me employee to find out more about their role and what it entails, (as well as potentially unearth a fun fact or two!).

First up is Anca, our Product Manager and one of Mention Me’s first employees to join back in 2015.


Can you tell us about your typical day?

I’m normally one of the first to arrive at the office at about 8am, and use the quiet time to plan for the day ahead.

At 9.30am, we have a daily standup with the engineering team where we discuss what each member of the team completed the previous day and what are the priorities for the day ahead.

Generally, I spend a lot of time in meetings as I work across teams and so regularly need to catch up with stakeholders. I also organise fortnightly planning sessions to look at the product team’s work, how it aligns with the company’s key objectives and analysing the metrics.

I leave work promptly at 5pm to pick up my kids from nursery.


What’s the best thing about your job?

Without a doubt, what I enjoy the most about my job is working with lots of teams and people from across the company. I love to spend time with teams to find out their challenges and then try to identify how we can solve them through product.


What skills are needed to do your job effectively?

There are two sides to the job. One side is the soft skills; being able to progress communications, getting everyone on the same page and making decisions. The other side is hard skills; being analytical to gather insight from the numbers, and good at organisation and project management.


Which teams do you work closely with?

I work closely with the engineering and design teams. However, lots of teams are involved in the projects I work on, such as the sales or client success. In fact, I work with all the teams across the business!


How do you measure success in your job?

I measure success in my job by the success of a product feature: how it performs and how many clients are using it. Ultimately it’s about optimising performance for our clients, either through referral or other adjacent products. But lots of the work we do is also aimed at making the business more efficient and delighting our users so it is also very rewarding to hear good feedback from across the business when we release new features.


What sort of company is Mention Me to work for?

Mention Me is one of the friendliest companies I’ve ever worked for.

I feel very lucky to have joined when we were only 10 employees, including Andy and Tim (the two founders). Initially, I was supporting clients and building the product management function (1:1), while learning the product, but within six months started focusing more on the product.

Nowadays, I head up product and have recently welcomed the first new member to my team.

Anca, presenting at MeTime 2019

Which client is your favourite brand to work with and why?

It’s hard to name just one!

Benefit Cosmetics was my first client, and I really like their copy and design. Their product is very referable too. I also like Frugi and The Great Little Trading Company; both fun kid brands I discovered through Mention Me. And I love Biscuiteers! I often use them for gifting.


What were you doing before you joined Mention Me?

Before joining Mention Me, I was at HomeAway for six years. I held different roles there: marketing (PR, social media, big branding campaigns); product marketing (linking the product team and customer); and then product management (initially an interim role, but really enjoyed it and continued since then).


What’s your most memorable moment at Mention Me?

Paddle boarding on the River Thames when I was six months pregnant! And I have fond memories of going to a local pub in London Bridge back when the company was only 10 people.


What’s your guilty pleasure?

Starting the weekend with a coconut flat white and croissant before heading to a National Trust site with my two kids and husband.

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