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The bootcamp that re-boots careers

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SAIT’s 12-week, online Applied Product Management Bootcamp is a part-time educational pursuit that packs a real punch when preparing to change roles, and even industries, mid-career. We caught up with a couple of students who completed the latest boot camp offering this past December and have already stepped into exciting new positions as bona fide product managers.

Mai’s way

When Mai Khalil first came to Canada from Egypt in 2014, she faced the harsh reality that her credentials as a practicing physician didn’t transfer. “I couldn’t imagine starting from scratch — re-educating in a field that I was already quite senior in back home, so I knew I had to do something different,” says Khalil. So, she moved forward in a new career.

She started taking online courses to build her business acumen, which led to a role as a health care consultant in an educational technology start-up in Saudi Arabia. “That was my debut in the tech ecosystem and I loved it.”

Over the next four-and a-half years there, Khalil found herself filling the role of a product manager — by default. But the lack of structure, of formal training in the position, tempered her confidence on the job. Then COVID hit and she saw an opportunity to upskill. Tech-fervent Calgary held promise for future employment, and SAIT’s Applied Product Management Bootcamp aligned with her intent.

“It exactly met — exceeded actually — my expectations,” says Khalil, “crystalizing my experience, augmenting my skillsets, boosting my confidence and helping me grow my professional network.”

Five-star reviews are encouraging, but action speaks louder than words. Since completing the bootcamp, Khalil has landed a great job as a product manager for one of this nation’s big four consulting companies. Her new-next career is off to a running start.

Skye-high confidence

Skye Lawrence had been happy enough in her 12-year career within the airline industry. Though always somewhat curious about emerging opportunities in technology, she didn’t have any real impetus to explore options. Until COVID shut down travel — and her job.

“I looked at myself and said, oh my gosh, where do I go from here?” Changing jobs mid-career is tough enough, but Lawrence was facing an additional challenge. “I’ve always been in aviation and so for me to switch from one industry to another was absolutely terrifying,” says Lawrence.

When she found SAIT’s Applied Product Management Bootcamp online she realized she had nothing to be afraid of.

“Product management is industry agnostic,” says Lawrence. The tools and know-how students access in the course apply across every sector. “So, building on my existing foundation in business I could focus on applying the best practices of product management, and then learn the industry on the side.”

Product managers are in demand across virtually every sector. Lawrence has been hired and is already contributing her expertise within a Canadian financial institution.

Her many years of professional work experience prepared Lawrence for this new role. The bootcamp served to validate her understanding of related best practices, cementing those in her mind, and giving her the confidence to move forward in her new career.

For more information on digital transformation bootcamps, visit sait.ca/digital.

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