Brett Musco | Product Manager
San Francisco, California, U.S. (remote)
Department: Tracking and TelematicsWhat do you do?
Education: B.E. Civil Engineering (Minors Environmental Engineering and Engineering Management), Cornell University, M.S. Transportation Systems Engineering, Cornell University
Career stage: Early
I work on developing strategic technology to reduce cost, increase efficiency, and improve safety of trucking and vehicle fleets across industries. My day to day is split between strategic and tactical work. On the tactical side, as a product manager for the tracking and telematics teams, I oversee the execution of prioritizing projects and new development and coordinating between our frontend engineering, backend engineering, design, and sales teams. Our goal is to ensure we are meeting our customers’ technical requirements and providing a quality user interface. Strategically, I am always looking to determine how to best improve and advance our systems, aiming to deliver a product our customers love. As part of this, I analyze customer usage, trends, and qualitative feedback from our fleets to discern current state inefficiencies and areas of opportunity.
What types of skills do you use?
My work requires me to leverage large scale data analysis, critical and analytical thinking, and a range of communication skills to bridge the gap between technical capabilities and real-life customer needs.
How are applied mathematics and/or computational science important to what you do?
Having a strong foundation in mathematics and engineering has helped me develop the necessary skills to be an effective product manager through testing out hypotheses and proof of concepts and teaching me how to think critically.
What are the pros and/or cons of your profession/job?
I am able to constantly work on challenging problems in a new and innovative space, which keeps the day to day interesting and mentally stimulating. However, with this, there is always a need to make hard tradeoffs between ideas based on cost, time, and resources.
Does your job offer flexibility?
Currently my job provides me a lot of flexibility to fit in my personal schedule and career aspirations. I work in a remote environment with teams across the world which allows me to balance my hobbies (including being an Ironman distance triathlete), family time, and other commitments. With respect to my career, any new ideas and paths are encouraged and supported within Motive’s fast-paced and innovative environment.
What career path did you take to your current position?
After receiving my master’s degree in transportation systems, I worked for a small consulting firm in the field that was particularly technology focused. This experience led me to be interested in understanding how we can leverage technology and data to drive efficiency in supply chains. Since then, I have pursued this interest through my work as a product manager within Wayfair’s supply chain organization and now on the tracking and telematics teams at Motive. My career path has been about learning where my passions are and pursuing opportunities that let me follow those passions.
What advice would you give to someone pursuing a similar degree or profession?
Keep an open mind—what you learn in school can always be applied to many professions and roles. Don’t necessarily let your degree limit the career you pursue. Rather, look for opportunities that intellectually stimulate you and keep you driven and motivated.
Was there anything that surprised you when you started out in your career?
It often takes more intentional thought than expected to apply textbook learnings, technical information, and analyses to real-world problem spaces.
Salary can vary based on industry, company maturity, and equity options. Do a quick search and comparison of companies’ compensation packages when applying. Entry level for a product associate starts around $70K base. Senior product manager roles offer around $140K base.
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