Becoming an autonomous vehicles PM

Groupon RTZ111
May 6 11 Comments

Would really appreciate if anyone can share pointers on how to break into the autonomous vehicles/flying vehicles industry as a PM? I don't have any industry experience in that space (far from it) but I'm very interested in the space and I really am willing to do whatever (e.g. start as APM again) it takes to help to break into it. Just not sure where to start or how to go about it. Should I take this in two steps i.e. first apply and crack an Uber or Lyft and then improve visibility so a recuriter from these companies at least talks to me and then jump ship to a Cruise/ Waymo? Should I do a certification on coding/anything else? How does someone like me who is hungry for the job and willing to start small in spite of industry experience break into this space which seems so closed for folks outside of it? :( Really appreciate any advice anyone may have for me...

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TOP 11 Comments
  • Cruise Automation iamarmar
    What's your current experience? I would recommend applying for a non-AV team where you can actually make immediate impact. There are plenty of teams working on infrastructure, backed systems, internal products, etc who need PM/TPMs.
    May 6 2
    • Groupon RTZ111
      OP
      Thanks so much for writing back! I have about 8yrs total experience. I did try applying to all those positions but the applications all roll into an abyss. :( I wish I had just one conversation with any hiring manager and I can prove to them why I can be a worthy hire. Just not getting past that step right now and I think that's because they are looking for relevant experience in the same space. I really appreciate your advice!
      May 6
    • Cruise Automation iamarmar
      PM me your LinkedIn and I'll either give some feedback on why you're not getting call back or submit a referral if I know a relevant team
      May 7
  • New LXmm85
    Best thing you can do is hunt down someone for a referral. Lots of people referring here on Blind (i.e., โ€œLooking for PM referral at _____โ€ posts).
    May 6 3
    • Groupon RTZ111
      OP
      Thank you for responding! Do you think those internal referrals help getting noticed? I thought that regardless of internal referrals your chances of visibility are the same..
      May 6
    • New LXmm85
      Wildly different. Referrals have very high likelihood of scheduling an initial phone screen. Online is very low in terms of standing out.
      May 6
    • Groupon RTZ111
      OP
      Got it! I'll try looking for referrals as well in that case. Thank you for your input!!
      May 6
  • Cruise Automation jonsnowing
    When you say PM, do you mean Program Manager? (TPM) Or Product Manager (PM)? The distinction between the 2 is still super fuzzy, but I think the roles are supposed to be different and they report to different departments.
    May 7 1
    • Groupon RTZ111
      OP
      Thanks for responding! I was referring to product manager.
      May 7
  • Microsoft M๐Ÿ’ฐFT
    Chances are there are many people applying with a better fit than you. Rather than working on coupon apps and social media, there are many people that have been in the robotics space for a long time dying for these opportunities. 90% of the autonomous product is highly technical requirements and strategic thinking about the technology. No offense, but someone from Groupon would not be in my top contenders if I was hiring for these roles.
    May 26 0
  • ADP / Mgmt
    Runner131

    ADP Mgmt

    BIO
    I call myself "Damage Control" as I turnaround poor performance of others and get results.
    Runner131more
    I used to hire those types of folks for FCA. Since there is a lot of newness to it, there is a decent amount of weight of having the certification from Udacity.

    Udacity claims it's making people $400k, but maybe one dude in the Bay. Michigan based stuff was paying $100 to 225k MS / PhD with technical domain in the space.
    May 6 0