How I Got a Job As an Amazon Product Manager With No Tech Background

How I Got a Job As an Amazon Product Manager With No Tech Background
  • Ridge Carpenter is a bodily trainer and product supervisor for Halo, Amazon’s exercise tracker.
  • When he utilized for the placement, the only depth he realized was that the position linked to exercise.
  • Now he receives to include actual physical education into his new job and operate on awesome capabilities just about every day.

This as-explained to-to essay is dependent on a discussion with Ridge Carpenter, a 36-12 months-outdated Amazon Halo product or service manager from Seattle, Washington, about how he turned his passion for health and fitness into a career. It has been edited for duration and clarity.

Health and fitness has been an critical outlet for me to offer with uncertainty throughout my profession.

In 2008, I obtained my BFA in illustration from the School of Visible Arts in New York Town. I was nervous about what came subsequent, so for a whilst I freelanced in illustration and worked as an entry-stage product for print and runway. At the same time, I turned a certified particular coach in New York. 

Doing the job out was one of the productive issues I liked. I had an interest in training methodology, which arrived from a comparable space that experienced drawn me to medical and anatomical illustration. By 2015, I might moved back again to Seattle, where by I grew up, and shifted fully to schooling.

I worked in a sports-medication and athletic-overall performance facility, in which I taught group and individual fitness lessons. I also labored with patients, on the clinical facet, as a toughness and motion coach — adjunct to the rehab method. In 2017, I additional additional standard-population education and worked with men and women and groups at a larger industrial health and fitness center. I preferred to know the “suitable way” to educate (Spoiler: There are many appropriate methods). 

Inevitably, a colleague and mentor referred me for a position as a exercise marketing consultant at Amazon — which led me to my work today as a merchandise manager at Amazon Halo.

My colleague couldn’t notify me a lot about the position, but I realized it dealt with my enthusiasm for fitness

I went via 3 interviews with my hiring supervisor and had to complete a sample undertaking, where I was requested to chat by way of how I might fix a presented problem and label sample information, right before becoming provided the function. I imagine beginner’s intellect, which is loving to find out, and staying prepared to say “certainly” to anything new served me get the occupation.

It was not until my initial day on the job that I uncovered out I might basically be operating on Halo, Amazon’s exercise tracker that hadn’t introduced however. (At the time, Halo was private.) In 2018, I had a two-thirty day period contract to work 30 hours a week. That contract was extended to 11 months, but at the 10-thirty day period mark I was provided the option to interview for a full-time part. 

My title within the Halo organization was “health pro,” though extra broadly, I was referred to as an “business specialist.” Anyone with a health issue would appear to us conditioning experts, from UX designers asking yourself about wording or data display to product managers who experienced thoughts about how a trainer would technique a offered problem. We were being information resources, in quick, even prior to showing up on camera.

I experienced zero guarantees of a complete-time position when I started out. In truth, I commenced with the presumption that I would operate as a contractor for a 12 months or two at most. The possibility to interview for a comprehensive-time position was a surprise, nevertheless it did come as a end result of my willingness to lean all the way into my role and really build the job I needed. My total-time tenure began in April 2019. 

Each day I’m doing work on some thing distinctive

At the very beginning, I invested most of my time studying facts for machine-understanding algorithms. My days have been often expended labeling information to estimate physique unwanted fat percentages and instructing others how to do the same.

This was a thing completely new for me. I uncovered so quite a few new skills, and I’m nevertheless finding out. Item management has taught me to feel in a different way and talk to the suitable queries. 

Now, as a product or service supervisor, I make guaranteed the product group appreciates what to develop dependent on our general mission and approach. I make confident we have a good conviction on why we are building it (and for whom) just before collaborating with engineers, designers, and other teams. Soon after launch, we glance at the product’s performance and make further conclusions to ensure we are continue to providing the most effective item for our prospects.

Earlier, I was concerned with processes that were a tiny farther on the advancement facet, that consumers did not instantly interact with. The much more I moved into new duties, the more proximity I had to the customer’s practical experience.

A person day, I’ll be working with a knowledge scientist on logic for translating someone’s overhead-squat video into a sequence of scores, and how to make sure all those scores are steady and actionable in our application. The up coming day, I may well be examining in-app text about that overhead-squat evaluation with a UX designer to make certain it fulfills the bar for accuracy about how matters basically operate although nevertheless creating sense to all looking at amounts.

I am also closely concerned in the improvement of newer attributes — like the Halo Motion Assessment, a personalised training program to aid enhance mobility, steadiness, and posture around time. I genuinely delight in staying capable to program out a technique like that in cooperation with researchers, utilized researchers, and facts analysts who can assist fortify and refine the physical fitness-conclude architecture.

I also get to spend a person to times a month exterior the office shooting fitness material

Ridge Carpenter working out for Amazon Halo.

Ridge Carpenter functioning out for Amazon Halo.


Through my times out of the place of work, I usually movie a couple classes and a dozen or so pieces of shorter-variety movie articles that is obtainable for Halo application associates.

I nevertheless adore training, so it truly is great to be ready to wear both hats. I will not currently have any own-teaching clientele (I stopped looking at my past several consumers in the early times of the pandemic), even though I have assumed of bringing again a number of — it truly is pleasurable to perform with individuals directly and celebrate the wins as they arrive.

I occasionally place on my coach hat when I’m functioning by a solution challenge, tests consumers in a simulated training, or giving other collaborators a taste of the method. I sometimes get a opportunity to perform as equally a trainer and a solution lead, undertaking dwell instruction and speaking sessions for the Halo workforce and external consumers. 

You really should like something about your occupation if you want it to be sustainable in the very long-time period

If it can be all about receiving through the working day to get to the enjoyable aspect of living, your work won’t fulfill you for long. I appreciate that my work involves concepts and techniques I am energized about in a vivid local community of folks who are energized about the exact issues. 

The much more you get from equally do the job and daily life, the a lot easier it should be to commit to equilibrium. Do the operate during the workday, so you can definitely unplug outdoors of it.

Brandon Peters, a slumber skilled who consults with Halo, recommends that we continue to keep wakeful actions out of our bed to make certain we can sleep simply — in other words, have the wakefulness “bucket” away from your bed and the snooze “bucket” to it by earning guaranteed your patterns match the environment. Take a comprehensive cool-down after operating out, a wind-down just before mattress, or spend time through your waking hrs arranging your subsequent working day.

It is really the exact same way with function. I test to arrange the following working day ahead of logging off at the stop of function hours — this allows me unplug entirely and removes unfastened ends I could if not be tempted to begin focusing on. This reinforces the rhythm of coming in and out of wakefulness, where by a good deal of us blur the borders by operating at bedtime or leaping straight into the working day prior to we’re awake.

A single piece of career advice I return to a large amount is from a excellent mentor. He claimed, ‘Show up, make a difference.

In my do the job as a coach, I often took this advice as advice to do all I could to aid my consumers succeed, understand, and strengthen. With regard to Halo, that information reminded me that I wasn’t there to fill a seat or to basically add my approval to every single concept — I experienced a duty to add what I realized in order to make a products I might be proud of.

I used to find it less difficult to escape see and lower my impact to stay clear of earning a negative just one. But committing to exhibiting up indicates defining how you want to effect the planet around you.

At perform, this means committing to choices, it’s possible having threats, but in the long run contributing some thing genuine. Outside of do the job, it signifies becoming a genuine existence to your cherished ones, whomever they are, and bringing some thing of you to their life that’ll enrich them.