A Day in the Life of a Product Manager

Becoming Horizontally Skilled

Former IBM Product Manager Thomas Chu is grateful for the opportunity the company gave him 20 years ago as a new immigrant. He didn’t have all of the technical skills they were looking for, but they took a chance–and he’s really glad they did. Thomas says IBM was “like a family” and he was always valued there. Before leaving to focus on Iron Tutor, the company he founded with his wife, Thomas had become the Director of Product Management. 

Thomas shares that the key to being a successful product manager is the ability to look at your customer’s experience, and making it the best it can be–whether it’s a Mom and Pop business or a huge corporation. Technical knowledge can be helpful, but isn’t actually the most important trait he looked for when interviewing potential candidates. 

He feels grateful for the people who’ve served as mentors in his life, and now he feels it’s his time to give back to the next generation. Thomas believes the virtual learning environment brought on by Covid has been detrimental to high schoolers, and it felt like the right time to leave his job to devote his time to Iron Tutor. In his limited free time, Thomas enjoys classical music and squeezing in some time to read. But he’s quick to admit he doesn’t have much time outside of eating, sleeping, and working!

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