Jessica Griffin graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in management and society, but that didn’t stop her from pursuing an app development career at AVI as an associate product specialist.
Before applying for a job at AVI, Jessica worked in a number of roles, ranging from a cashier and a hostess to an operations ambassador at her university’s gym. On the face of it, none of these jobs were similar to her associate product specialist role, but they all armed her with skills she uses every day. She learned how to deal successfully with clients, and how to be professional, positive, and work with a team.
As an associate product specialist, Jessica assists in the development and maintenance of the product vision. She is also responsible for communicating that vision to the team. She authors user stories to make sure every application delivers an outstanding user experience.
On a daily basis, Jessica gathers requirements from clients and manages them in either a Jira or Trello board. She works closely with the project technical lead throughout this process. She speaks with product engineers to make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to requirements. She continually defines and refines these requirements with the client.
While Jessica’s education did not steer her towards a role such as this, she was open to work in any industry given her broad educational background. When she learned about the associate product specialist role at AVI, she was drawn to the opportunity to build an application from the ground up (and to even rebuild or upgrade existing applications to make them the best they can be). The passion exuded by other employees at AVI proved to be contagious, and she was happy to come on board.
She constantly relies on her communication skills when dealing with clients. Clients want to know they are being heard, and that their needs are understood. Jessica also interacts with colleagues all day long. People have different communication styles and personalities, and she knows how to adapt and work with each person successfully. Her communication skills come in handy as she communicates with technical folks, and she makes sure she fully understands the information. Her sociology background taught her to use “I” language in these situations, meaning she starts her sentences with “I” rather than “you.” With this approach, she gets clear answers from the technical team members and can perform her job well.
Jessica never considered herself a “techy” person, but five months into her role she has discovered that her combination of being just “techy enough,” driven, and curious has made for a great app development career. She is loving her non-tech job in tech.