#50: Jessica Uelmen – A Hardware Engineer who became a Product Manager at Fitbit

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A self-confessed nerd and Sailor Moon enthusiast, Jessica Uelmen built her first HTML/CSS website at 13 years old and got involved with theater during college until she ultimately decided to major in electrical engineering during Sophomore year.

She ended up working as an electrical engineer for a few years after finishing school until she decided to pursue her passion for education and worked as a program manager at Udacity, an education company that offers free online classes where she specifically managed the company’s Nanodegree programs. She then took a leap into the product management space and attended Product School. Currently, Jessica serves as a Product Manager at Fitbit.


Years in Tech 5
Home Town Florida
Current Job Product Manager
Date Recorded 5/5/2017

Show Notes:

[02:10] Jessica gives a brief overview of Udacity and its Nanodegree programs that help students get a job.

[03:26] Growing up, Jessica describes loving computers and following her passion for musical theater until she shifted to electrical engineering.

[06:12] Jessica explains moving from Florida to Sacramento and to the Bay Area, working as a Program Manager at Udacity and eventually joining their growth team as Product Manager.

[09:50] Here are examples of the various Nanodegree programs at Udacity and some tips to help you stay motivated and committed to finish their courses.

[12:45] What a Product Manager role entails, how it’s different from being a Project Manager, and how to acquire the skill set of a product manager

[16:31] What you get out of enrolling at Product School, their class schedule, structure, and building projects

[20:00] Why Jessica joined an actual physical school over an online program, how it helped her land a job at Fitbit, and how to structure your pitch to resonate in your interviews

[24:15] Her day-to-day life at Fitbit, an overview of their company, and how data collection works

[28:03] Some great tips to break into the Product Management space and how to deal with stereotyping

[32:20] Some names of women in tech she admires and Jessica’s advice to other college females who are considering the same path she took.

Contact Info:

Jessica Uelmen

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessicauelmen/

Twitter: @JessicaUelmen

Articles & Mentioned Resources:

Learning Resources



Product School

App Academy

Breaking Into Startups interview with Product School Founder Carlos Gonzalez

American Gods book by Neil Gaiman

The Harry Potter series

The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman

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