How I Obtained a Work As an Amazon Products Manager With No Tech Background

  • Ridge Carpenter is a actual physical coach and product supervisor for Halo, Amazon’s fitness tracker.
  • When he utilized for the placement, the only detail he understood was that the work related to fitness.
  • Now he receives to integrate physical schooling into his new job and function on interesting functions every single working day.

This as-instructed-to essay is based on a discussion with Ridge Carpenter, a 36-calendar year-aged Amazon Halo product or service manager from Seattle, Washington, about how he turned his passion for physical fitness into a job. It has been edited for duration and clarity.

Fitness has been an significant outlet for me to offer with uncertainty in the course of my career.

In 2008, I obtained my BFA in illustration from the School of Visible Arts in New York Metropolis. I was anxious about what arrived upcoming, so for a when I freelanced in illustration and worked as an entry-amount design for print and runway. At the identical time, I grew to become a certified personalized trainer in New York. 

Functioning out was a person of the productive things I relished. I experienced an interest in training methodology, which arrived from a similar house that experienced drawn me to medical and anatomical illustration. By 2015, I’d moved back to Seattle, in which I grew up, and shifted entirely to coaching.

I labored in a sports-drugs and athletic-general performance facility, the place I taught team and unique physical fitness courses. I also worked with patients, on the clinical aspect, as a strength and motion coach — adjunct to the rehab procedure. In 2017, I additional more normal-inhabitants instruction and labored with men and women and groups at a bigger industrial health and fitness center. I wanted to know the “correct way” to teach (Spoiler: There are various proper techniques). 

Sooner or later, a colleague and mentor referred me for a career as a health and fitness marketing consultant at Amazon — which led me to my occupation now as a product manager at Amazon Halo.

My colleague could not tell me substantially about the part, but I knew it dealt with my passion for exercise

I went via a few interviews with my employing supervisor and experienced to full a sample job, where by I was asked to discuss via how I might solve a given challenge and label sample information, prior to staying provided the part. I imagine beginner’s mind, which is loving to find out, and remaining all set to say “yes” to a thing new aided me get the task.

It wasn’t until my initial day on the work that I observed out I might actually be doing work on Halo, Amazon’s physical fitness tracker that hadn’t released nevertheless. (At the time, Halo was confidential.) In 2018, I had a two-thirty day period deal to function 30 hrs a week. That agreement was extended to 11 months, but at the 10-month mark I was made available the opportunity to interview for a comprehensive-time purpose. 

My title inside of the Halo firm was “health and fitness pro,” whilst a lot more broadly, I was referred to as an “business professional.” Any person with a exercise question would occur to us conditioning gurus, from UX designers thinking about wording or facts show to products administrators who experienced concerns about how a trainer would method a offered difficulty. We were being expertise means, in brief, even before displaying up on digicam.

I had zero promises of a full-time position when I began. In actuality, I begun with the presumption that I might perform as a contractor for a yr or two at most. The opportunity to interview for a complete-time purpose was a surprise, even though it did come as a end result of my willingness to lean all the way into my part and genuinely produce the task I needed. My comprehensive-time tenure started out in April 2019. 

Every single working day I am doing work on some thing different

At the incredibly beginning, I spent most of my time studying knowledge for equipment-mastering algorithms. My times ended up usually used labeling knowledge to estimate human body fats percentages and instructing others how to do the similar.

This was one thing absolutely new for me. I uncovered so many new competencies, and I’m even now understanding. Products management has taught me to feel otherwise and ask the proper concerns. 

Now, as a product supervisor, I make confident the solution crew is aware of what to develop primarily based on our in general mission and strategy. I make absolutely sure we have a good conviction on why we’re creating it (and for whom) right before collaborating with engineers, designers, and other teams. Immediately after start, we appear at the product’s general performance and make further conclusions to be certain we are nonetheless presenting the very best merchandise for our buyers.

Formerly, I was concerned with procedures that were being a small farther on the progress side, that consumers did not specifically interact with. The much more I moved into new responsibilities, the additional proximity I had to the customer’s experience.

1 working day, I am going to be performing with a data scientist on logic for translating someone’s overhead-squat online video into a sequence of scores, and how to ensure all those scores are steady and actionable in our application. The subsequent day, I may be examining in-app text about that overhead-squat evaluation with a UX designer to make certain it satisfies the bar for accuracy about how issues really perform while nevertheless building feeling to all looking at stages.

I’m also heavily involved in the improvement of newer features — like the Halo Motion Assessment, a personalized training program to help increase mobility, balance, and posture in excess of time. I actually enjoy currently being in a position to system out a technique like that in cooperation with scientists, applied experts, and knowledge analysts who can support improve and refine the conditioning-conclude architecture.

I also get to devote a single to days a month exterior the place of work shooting conditioning content

Ridge Carpenter working out for Amazon Halo.

Ridge Carpenter functioning out for Amazon Halo.


Throughout my days out of the business office, I generally film a number of lessons and a dozen or so pieces of small-sort video clip written content that’s offered for Halo app customers.

I even now enjoy instructing, so it is really brilliant to be able to have on both of those hats. I do not now have any particular-schooling customers (I stopped observing my final number of shoppers in the early days of the pandemic), while I’ve assumed of bringing again a number of — it is entertaining to work with individuals straight and celebrate the wins as they arrive.

I once in a while set on my trainer hat although I am doing the job by way of a item problem, screening users in a simulated training, or providing other collaborators a flavor of the approach. I occasionally get a prospect to work as equally a trainer and a product or service direct, doing stay schooling and talking periods for the Halo crew and exterior purchasers. 

You ought to like a little something about your task if you want it to be sustainable in the long-term

If it is all about obtaining by way of the working day to get to the enjoyment component of living, your job will not likely satisfy you for extended. I enjoy that my task consists of ideas and practices I am excited about in a vibrant group of people who are excited about the same things. 

The more you get from both get the job done and lifestyle, the less difficult it should really be to commit to balance. Do the work through the workday, so you can actually unplug exterior of it.

Brandon Peters, a slumber expert who consults with Halo, endorses that we preserve wakeful functions out of our bed to make certain we can sleep easily — in other phrases, have the wakefulness “bucket” absent from your mattress and the slumber “bucket” to it by creating confident your routines match the placing. Choose a thorough amazing-down soon after performing out, a wind-down ahead of mattress, or commit time all through your waking hours arranging your future working day.

It can be the identical way with perform. I consider to arrange the pursuing working day prior to logging off at the conclusion of do the job hours — this allows me unplug entirely and gets rid of loose finishes I could normally be tempted to begin focusing on. This reinforces the rhythm of coming in and out of wakefulness, where a lot of us blur the borders by doing work at bedtime or leaping straight into the working day prior to we are awake.

A single piece of vocation suggestions I return to a large amount is from a great coach. He reported, ‘Show up, make a variation.

In my get the job done as a trainer, I normally took this assistance as steerage to do all I could to assist my shoppers do well, study, and increase. With regard to Halo, that tips reminded me that I was not there to fill a seat or to simply just increase my approval to every single concept — I had a duty to contribute what I realized in order to make a product I would be very pleased of.

I made use of to find it simpler to escape notice and lower my impression to avoid creating a poor one. But committing to showing up usually means defining how you want to impression the entire world all around you.

At function, this implies committing to selections, it’s possible getting threats, but eventually contributing a thing legitimate. Outside the house of do the job, it suggests remaining a legitimate presence to your beloved kinds, whomever they are, and bringing some thing of oneself to their life that’ll enrich them.

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