How to Become a Product Manager without a Tech Background: Erika Torres, PhD

In this episode, I spoke with Erika Torres, PhD., a Product Manager and Social Scientist, Marketing Officer at Prospanica Sillicon Valley. Erika has a PhD. in Clinical Psychology from Alliant International University. We spoke about her path to a PhD, her work as a professor and in hospitals, the 100 career discovery interviews she had for breaking into tech, and what would she do differently if she would have to do her career discovery journey all over again.

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Connect with her via linkedin:

* Erica Torres

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Mentioned resources:

* The Lean Startup (The Lean Startup process and Customer Discovery Process)- book by Eric Ries* UCSF* NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health)* SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) – data analysis tool* SQL (Structured Query Language) –  to handle data analysis tasks.* Python* Slack – networking tool* Latino ERG – Latino employee resource group

Show Notes:

* 01:45 – Welcoming Erica Torres* 02:10 – About Erica and her journey in Silicon Valley

DISCOVERING PRODUCT MANAGEMENT

Erica is a tracked psychologist fascinated about Tech, people, what inspires them and what gets in their way. She joined the National Institute of Mental Health Program for diverse first generation college students to help her get to Grad school and do an intensive fellowship research at UCSF. Beaten by the system, she started digging into Tech, having her first introduction back at Undergrad school working on an online smoking cessation program, and approaching over 100 people through career discovery interviews, choosing to do Product Management.

* 06:57 – With a PhD, almost four years as a professor. What was it like?

A PROFESSOR DISCOVERING AREA OF INTEREST

Erica was a professor for more than three years, and loved it.

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