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Adaptability in Action: My Year as a Product Manager

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AUTHOR: Cameron Snyder, Product Manager

Prior to joining Palo Alto Networks, I was in the process of finishing business school. This would be my first role as a product manager. My role involves leading the development and execution of product strategies, collaborating with cross-functional teams to create products, conducting research to understand customer needs, and defining product roadmaps that align with the company's objectives. Looking back after hitting my first PANniversary at Palo Alto Networks, through changing careers and transitioning from previous roles in human resources to my current position as a product manager, I have learned the invaluable skill of adaptability, relationships and the power of embracing change.

Throughout this journey, I've witnessed the importance of being open-minded. The shift from human resources to business analytics demanded a flexible mindset, as I navigated through new concepts, technologies and industry landscapes. Embracing the unknown became a personal strength, enabling me to learn and grow in unexpected ways. Our access to FLEXLearn and FLEXBenefits have helped me continue to learn after business school. FLEXLearn allowed me to take technical courses at my own pace and FLEXBenefits, specifically, ModernHealth allowed me to have access to a coach to bounce ideas off of and provide mentorship.

Establishing relationships has also emerged as a critical lesson. In a role that bridges technology and business, fostering connections with diverse stakeholders—developers, end-users and decision-makers—has proven essential. The ability to communicate effectively across different domains and build collaborative partnerships has become second nature, enriching not only my professional network but also enhancing the overall success of the projects I undertake. The Employee Network Groups (ENGs) at Palo Alto Networks help support diverse relationships and foster belonging, contributing to a more inclusive and collaborative work environment.

Perhaps the most transformative lesson has been that you must have the willingness to try new things, even when faced with challenges. The transition to a product manager role required stepping out of my comfort zone, acquiring new skills and embracing a mindset of continuous improvement. Confronting difficulties head-on and viewing them as opportunities for growth has been a mantra that guides my professional development. I look forward to continued learning, development and growth as a member of the Palo Alto Networks team!

 

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