About the APM Program
You didn’t learn product management in college. You probably don’t have a background in your new product space. This may even be your first full-time role.
So how, as an APM, do you start setting strategies, executing on roadmaps, and leading teams? And how do you become good at it?
You’ll get far by learning on the job, and you’ll get to the next level by applying advice from product experts.
Each week, the APMs gather for a lunch that’s focused on a specific skill—things like setting roadmaps, negotiating with partners, running meetings, or designing metrics.
We’re often joined by a product leader who’s particularly well-versed in that week's topic. As APM interns, we got Reid Hoffman’s take on entrepreneurship, and we spoke with
Ryan Roslansky about the future of LinkedIn products. As full-timers, we’ve learned about product strategy from Allen Blue, and we’ve covered technical, strategic, and operational skills with a host of other execs.
These lunches make me feel confident ramping up on product management, and they’ve made it a lot easier to navigate any challenges that arise along the way.
The program assigns a mentor to each new APM, and it's shaped my experience here at LinkedIn.
My mentor is Rachel, a senior PM working with LinkedIn Talent Solutions.
Rachel has been instrumental to my growth. She dedicates an hour per week to our coffee chats, during which she actively listens, challenges my assumptions, and guides me towards self-realizations and improvements.
She's been an helpful resource and friend to lean on during these past couple of months. Because of Rachel, I feel supported and more comfortable in the workplace.
While we’re picking up the tools of the trade from execs and mentors, we’re also learning through direct practice.
To learn how to build great products at scale, LinkedIn APMs work on important, meaty product problems from Day 1.
No one expects you to get it all right from the get-go. But by trying different things and learning from the talented people you work with, you quickly improve your core product skillset.
That process of trying things, making mistakes, and improving has been key for my development as a product manager. Seeing myself rapidly improve has also been one of the most gratifying aspects of the job.
In your first three months at LinkedIn, you hear a particular phrase repeated constantly: “relationships matter.” What’s that all about?
At LinkedIn, we care about the people we build products for—and the people we build products with.
Thanks to our international APM trip, APM brunches, board game night series, and more, you’ll be sure to bond with everyone in your small APM class.
For our APM trip, we visited five cities across Germany and the Netherlands. We started in Amsterdam, where we met with LinkedIn power users, held a roundtable with Uber on their approach to growth in Europe, and met with Booking.com to understand how a local Dutch company has come to dominate global travel. In Germany, we sat down with VC Christian Miele to learn about the Berlin tech scene, spoke with the CEO of Zalando, and attended a digital marketing conference with a keynote by Jack Dorsey.
These product leaders were invaluable as we began to piece together the nuances of building great products that scale globally. The trip was also an awesome opportunity to bond with fellow APMs.
As a board game enthusiast and (self-proclaimed) aficionado, my favorite APM activity is our recurring board game night. After all, there’s no better way to get to know someone’s personality and sense of humor than through a couple of rounds of Codenames, Disrupt Cards, or Dixit.
At LinkedIn, relationships are at the heart of everything that we do, so it’s part of our culture to get to know one another on both a professional and a personal level. The APM program is no different: from Lake Tahoe ski trips to trivia nights to happy hours and more, our community isn’t limited to the workplace.
As a result, the APMs aren’t just coworkers; they’re friends.
Every year, LinkedIn shuts down for an entire week in December. This time off helps everyone reflect on the past year and invest in the year to come. But before breaking for the holiday, there’s always one last hurrah.
For this year’s Holiday Party, LinkedIn rented out Levi Stadium and filled it with games, dance floors, and plenty of food. Since it was my first year at LinkedIn, I decided that there was no better way to celebrate than with my fellow APMs.
Before the event, I invited APMs from past and present over to my apartment to get to know each other better. By the end of the night, it was clear that the APMs were so much more than just co-workers.
You’ve learned about product management, and you’ve bonded with your fellow APMs. But when do you get to ship things?
From Day 1, you’ll collaborate with engineers, designers, data scientists, and a host of other partners to build the next generation of LinkedIn products.
The result: meaningful product ownership with a tangible impact on LinkedIn’s success.
I led retention and new value efforts for Premium, LinkedIn’s paid consumer subscription product and a key business line. While collaborating with teams across the company, I've shipped a range of products—from small flow optimizations to new notifications to new paid product pilots to total page redesigns. Perhaps most rewarding of all, I've been able to not only execute on an existing strategy but also define a new strategy from the ground up.
All of this impact would not have been possible without the enormous trust that my manager (and the company) put in me from Day 1. While daunting at first, this trust empowered me to learn quickly, ship things, and ultimately have a meaningful impact on our members. Coupled with an awesome team, strong mentorship, and close peer support system, the journey has been extremely rewarding.
I work on the LinkedIn Feed, leading the content creation team that's focused on all things posting. Everything my team does is around helping the millions of content creators on LinkedIn have a better experience sharing the stories, thoughts, and ideas that help connect them to opportunity. In this role, I’ve shipped everything from small features, like saving post drafts, to exploratory initiatives around getting created content to the author’s desired audience.
As a new grad, I never thought that I’d have the opportunity to oversee an entire side of an enormous marketplace so early in my career. Leading our teams to record highs—and hearing the positive feedback come in from members—has only solidified for myself and my team what an awesome place and product this is to work on.
I led our Communications Platform teams in building out the brains of Notifications. These systems process over a billion daily requests and provide enormous leverage for our product and development teams.
The problems that we worked on were interesting and impactful, and they’ve provided major opportunities for growth and learning. For example, we partnered closely with the Relevance team to deliver personalized communication experiences across content, notifications, badging, and email. We also built a platform that, given a fresh piece of content, identifies the best recipients to be notified about it in real-time.
The scope, impact, and diversity of opportunities for LinkedIn APMs is unrivaled. The team here is deeply invested in our growth and development. The work that we’re doing is meaningful, and each day I’m excited to solve the challenges facing us.
A year and a half later, you’re launching products and leading teams. You’ve learned from the best and the community has your back. Now what?
Forbes 30 under 30. Presenting at conferences. Starting non-profits. The list goes on and on.
We can’t wait to see what you’ll add to it.
What really surprised me when I joined LinkedIn was the amount of autonomy and ownership I was given. I led mobile growth and engagement for LinkedIn’s flagship app and, with the support of my team, was able to drive a double digit increase in key company metrics. I also had the opportunity to lead partnerships with Android phone manufacturers like Samsung, Sony and LG to get the LinkedIn app preinstalled on 400 million devices worldwide.
My work did not go unnoticed - LinkedIn’s leadership team nominated me for the Forbes 30 under 30 consumer technology list. After an extensive application process, I was so excited and humbled to find out that I made the cut (but not nearly as excited as my mom). Being on Forbes 30 under 30 has opened up opportunities for me to speak at events, mentor aspiring product managers, and meet so many people I wouldn’t have otherwise met.
When I joined the APM program, I was looking for new challenges—and it delivered. Within a few weeks of joining the Sales Solutions team, I presented a portion of our product roadmap at our annual Executive Sales Forums in both SF and London. It was a fun way to get up to speed on our org's roadmap and to connect with hundreds of customers. (Check it out at the 2:20 mark!)
Since then, I’ve periodically presented new product features to internal LinkedIn sales teams across the globe. Given that my team builds sales products, it’s amazing to get feedback from thousands of sales reps.
Overall, I’m thankful for these experiences—beyond the fun trips, they’ve helped me hone my public speaking skills in such a short period of time. It wouldn’t have been possible in many other roles!
As an APM at LinkedIn, you don’t just shadow someone. You get real ownership—such as leading LinkedIn’s growth in China, one of our strategic markets.
In this role, I've had the opportunity to pitch ideas and drive product integrations with tech giants like WeChat, Alibaba and Huawei.
Last year, I attended Grace Hopper Conference—the world’s largest gathering of women in computing—and gave a presentation on LinkedIn’s journey in cracking the China market.
I've also gotten to define and lead our growth strategy in China, and I've seen our member base grow by 10X. That wouldn’t have been possible without an amazing growth by my side. I learn from them continuously!