BTU #7 – Shaunnah Sopko: Project & Program Management

“You can do an internship – not just through grad school – as a way to dip your toe in the water to see how you like that type of role and company. It’s a great way to give yourself that reflection time period if you’r not going to go to a grad school program.”
 – Shaunnah Sopko

Shaunnah Sopko is a Product Quality Program Manager at Nest. She holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, an MS in Systems Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School, and a BS in Systems Engineering from the US Naval Academy. Shaunnah served six years as an officer in the Surface Warfare community, where she served on the USS Shoup (DDG 86), Destroyer Squadron 9, and as the Flag Aide to the Superintendent of the US Naval Academy.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

  • Her decision to leave the Navy
  • Joining the Reserves through grad school and at work
  • Advice for Business School appliations
  • How the military prepared her for graduate school…and where she had to catch up
  • Overview of Product & Program Management
  • Advice for Active Duty military personnel who want to pursue a career in Product & Program Management
  • Recommended resources to prepare for your transition
  • And much, much more…

iTurnes Beyond the UniformStitcher Beyond the Uniform

 

QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

Show Notes

  • [1:20] Background
  • [3:15] – Weighing options on leaving the Navy
  • [5:50] – Joining the Reserves through grad school and at work
  • [7:15] – How Shaunnah’s company accommodated her Reserves time[10:10] – Pursuing a second master’s degree
  • [11:24]  – Advice for Business School appliations
  • [14:35] – How the military prepared her for graduate school…and where she had to catch up
  • [18:07] – Overview of Product & Program Management
  • [21:15] – Advice for Active Duty military personnel who want to pursue a career in Product & Program Management
  • [24:52] – Interning at Apple
  • [28:08] – Choosing Nest
  • [29:38] – Advice for preparing for an interview
  • [32:07] – Day-to-Day life as a Program Manager
  • [40:33] – How the military prepared her for Program Management…and where she had to catch up
  • [42:35] – Recommended resources to prepare for your transition
  • [46:45] – Final advice for transition