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All Success Stories

Student Profile

Vishal Narayan

Principal Product Manager at Capital One

Course Taken

User Experience Design

Course Type

Part-time Certificate Course

Key Skills Learned

  • User Research
  • Sketching and Wireframing
  • Prototyping
View Course Details
Vishal Narayan

Interview

Where are you currently working and what is it that you do there?

I am a Principal Product Manager at Capital One. I lead the Transaction Fraud product experience and manage multiple products that allow us to mitigate fraud risk.

What does a typical day look like for you as a Principal Product Manager?

There’s no such thing as a typical day for Product Managers. It's always going to be whatever my team needs and what I need from others to deliver a successful product.

I start most of my mornings with team planning meetings, addressing risks and issues, and then my afternoons are more tactical, focusing either on discovery or delivery. For example, yesterday was a delivery heavy day because we were closing up one of our key deliverables. It was one of those days where I was working with my technology team almost the entire afternoon, and then exploring the next initiatives and projects on the list.

Can you tell us a bit about your education and career background? How did you get to where you are today?

I studied mechanical engineering and started off my career at Hyundai Motors in India . I've always been very interested in technology and that's one of the main reasons why I wanted to explore a more technical role. After a fair bit of personal brand-building and advocacy for my skills, I had the opportunity to move into a more technology-focused role within manufacturing. This role concentrated on setting up our infrastructure, and ensuring that all the logic and frameworks were in place to deliver a smooth process. This role also allowed me to work with a lot of new products, some of which are out in the market today, being used by customers.

After that role, I decided to pivot and move from being in a very technology-focused engineering role, into managing business products. After I completed my MBA, I wanted to explore what my next opportunity could be. After doing internships in both the healthcare and financial services industries, I decided to move into the financial services as it was more technology focused, and I've been working at Capital One ever since.

When I initially joined, I started working on partnership products, building out capabilities for our partners to deliver seamless customer experiences, such as rewards, as well as making the process of applying for a new credit card as simple and efficient as possible. From there, I moved into my current role, which is managing transactions. It's been an interesting journey.

What made you decide to study at BrainStation?

BrainStation came recommended from one of my peers at Capital One. They had taken the UX design course and highly recommended it. They really convinced me to try it out. I had also heard about BrainStation from a few other people who had taken a course there before.

Going into it I knew that I wanted to do a course on UX design. I would say it’s an area that I lacked expertise in and wanted to be better at. In most scenarios, I'm a technical person with a business background. But I certainly didn’t have much experience in UX design. That was an area that, although intuitively made a bunch of sense to me, I hadn’t had the opportunity to invest time into. That's why I decided to take the UX design course.

What motivated you to start digital skills training?

One of the biggest reasons I wanted to enhance my skills was because I wanted to effectively support my team in our day-to day-work. I wanted to ensure that as a leader, I’m doing the best work I can.

As a leader, there are only so many times that you can say, “OK, I'm going to take this away and get more information.” I needed to ensure that my team feels supported.

My role currently is very broad. I have leadership responsibilities, I do a bunch of product management work, work actively with a technology team as the Product Owner, and so I realized that having a good understanding of how to build an engaging customer experience would be extremely helpful to bringing it all together.

One of the biggest reasons I wanted to enhance my skills was because I wanted to effectively support my team in our day-to day-work. I wanted to ensure that as a leader, I’m doing the best work I can.

What was the highlight of your learning experience at BrainStation?

The highlight of my experience was our Instructor. We were able to go in-depth with real-world examples, case studies, and ideas. The relatable real-world examples made it easy for anybody to understand the course concepts. Even though our Instructor discussed a lot of design theories and concepts, the examples made them very relatable, even if you didn’t have a background in design.

One example that stuck with me quite a bit was that by changing the color of a button or logo, you can increase or decrease the number of people that are going to adopt a product, or click on a specific link. The idea that color and font size matter so much, and that by understanding what appeals to a specific customer you can create a product that is geared to their needs. These design insights were really interesting as they helped me appreciate the thought process behind really compelling product offering. The example-based learning approach was one of the things that I enjoyed most about the course.

The highlight of my experience was our Instructor. We were able to go in-depth with real-world examples, case studies, and ideas. The relatable real-world examples made it easy for anybody to understand the course concepts. Even though our Instructor discussed a lot of design theories and concepts, the examples made them very relatable, even if you didn’t have a background in design.

What was the highlight of your experience teaching the course?

I’m glad I took a BrainStation course first before teaching a course. I’d been thinking of getting back into teaching for a few years now. The highlight of working with the Learners in my class has been seeing the difference in experiences that each person in the group brings forward in conversations. Everyone that I'm teaching is an expert in their respective field, and here I am, explaining to them what it is like to be a beginner in my field, and hopefully helping them chart a journey to the next level.

Another highlight for me has been getting to learn from my cohort and understand how they think about different ideas. It's allowed me to continuously refine my content and also understand and appreciate how different perspectives would approach different problems. I like to try and learn about the work that they each do. For example, how might an Operations Specialist approach a new product launch? How about a Marketing Specialist? What do they care about? By refiningmy examples around key problems they might encounter, I try my best to make the course content as relevant to the learners while learning from their experience as well.

How has your BrainStation experience impacted your career and day-to-day activities?

Interestingly, I am already working with other Product Managers to explore different UX designs. Expert designers are difficult to find, especially when the changes we want to make are minor. That's one of the reasons I try to create wireframes on my own. I designed a basic prototype of what the UI would look like and shared that with my team for review. I found it incredibly valuable because I'm able to have design discussions, especially in the early stages of product development. I’ve managed to apply a bunch of the tools and frameworks I learnt in my job today.

What advice would you give to professionals considering a BrainStation course or program?

You need to know why you're trying to learn. Before you sign up for a course, be very transparent with yourself on what success means for you and how can you make the most of this course so that you can be successful in meeting your career goals. Maybe even draft out all of the outcomes you are looking for and review the course curriculum to see how things line up. Define your success.

One thing that helped me was talking to the Learning Advisors at Brainstation to understand whether a course is right for me. They reached and we talked about my career goals and how this course would help me. Once you’re in the class, ask questions, add to the conversation with your experiences, and learn from the experiences shared by other learners. More broadly though, I believe it is very unlikely that you’ll ever regret taking a course because learning will never goes to waste.

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