Summer Internship Spotlight: Kunal Borde (B’24): Associate Product Manager at Salesforce
Each year, Georgetown McDonough students spend their summers in Washington, D.C., across the nation, and around the world working in corporate, nonprofit, and government organizations. Meet a few of our graduate and undergraduate students in our 2023 Summer Internship Spotlight series.
Tell us about your summer internship.
I am interning as an associate product manager at Salesforce in San Francisco, California, this summer. In this role, I work cross-functionally with multiple engineering and design teams to drive software development and ship technology products. Specifically, I’m on the cross-cloud platform team where I’m working to build a centralized enterprise ecosystem across multiple clouds. Associate product managers [APMs] at Salesforce also are part of an 18 person developmental cohort designed to build product leaders over the course of two years after graduation. On top of my work, I also attend curriculum sessions hosted by top PMs at Salesforce, network with executives [I’ve met the chief executive officer, chief technology officer, chief financial officer, and chief product officer, so far!], and get a lot of free food. Overall, I’ve already learned so much about technology and product management this summer, and it’s been an extremely rewarding experience.
How did your internship relate to your professional or personal interests?
I’ve always been interested in technology and software startups. I see software as the most powerful tool to solve problems and change the world, with startups acting as the primary vehicle for driving innovation and disrupting markets. I see the product manager role as the closest thing possible to launching a startup without actually starting a startup. During my internship, I’ve been creating an entirely new product from scratch which is ultimately the primary goal of any startup. With the experiences and skills I’ve gained throughout this internship, I feel much more equipped to venture out on my own and launch my own startup in the future.
How did you find the internship?
I found my internship through LinkedIn. Handshake and the Cawley Career Education Center also were great resources I used to find prior internships.
What’s the most interesting or impactful thing you worked on during your internship?
My intern project this summer has been to ideate and drive development for a new product my team is looking to ship over the next few release cycles. In prior PM internships, I’d normally be tasked with building a specific feature within a larger initiative my team was working on. However, this internship has given me a much greater degree of agency and ownership over an entirely new product. I’ve designed the product from the bottom up, handling everything from early-stage customer research and UX design to late-stage licensing and provisioning as well as rollout strategy. By covering every little detail from discovery to shipment, I’m proud of the product I’ve created and I’m excited for it to go live for more than 1,000 Salesforce customers!
What did a typical day look like?
The fun part about my internship is that every day is different. The nature of the product manager role is to work cross-functionally across teams and do whatever you can to drive product development. This means I interview customers to validate pain points, ideate solutions, and find alignment with other PMs, work with the product marketing team to analyze the competitive landscape and find market positioning, workshop wireframes and imagine user experiences with design teams, manage development cycles with software engineers, analyze metrics and insights with data teams, plan pricing and monetization strategies with provisioning orgs, lead enablement calls with solutions engineers and sales teams, plus dozens of other responsibilities. Every day is different and that’s something that I truly love about this role.
What advice do you have for other students?
Learn as much as you can about different career paths and industries as early as possible. I came to Georgetown thinking I wanted to go into consulting, but I realized that my true interest was in technology after speaking with dozens of alumni working in tech. There are so many different, rewarding careers out there but you won’t know if they’re for you until you start exploring. For example, I didn’t even know what a product manager was when I first got to Georgetown, but I’m so glad I took the time to explore other opportunities. Also, apply to as many internships as possible; getting the first one is always the hardest but once you have some experience it’s much easier.