Panenco Academy
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Jordi's product management traineeship

Jordi Vandenhouwe
Product manager
January 25, 2022

In August of 2020 I started as a product manager intern, not knowing what to expect, I was thrown headfirst into a product team with the mission to help out where possible. What was initially going to be a 3-month internship got extended with an extra semester and a full traineeship after my graduation. In this blogpost I'll guide you through my personal experience with the product management internship & traineeship programs.

Product management internship

In August of 2020, I got onboarded into the wonderful world of product development at Panenco. After meeting the team and learning the basic internal tools, I got introduced to my first product: QIT online. I got a brief introduction on QIT online and a simple task: click around and use the product. Document all thoughts you have, things you find strange and elements that you believe are missing. Based on my findings, we had discussions with the team about potential changes that could be made to the product. To facilitate this process, I made wireframes (mockups) to demonstrate how the proposed changes would impact the product.

Together with some dedicated market research and marketing efforts, this was my main focus for the first 2 months. At that point, I got introduced to an additional portfolio product: Valcori. For about a month, I performed a similar exercise as for QIT online: functionally analyzing the product and suggesting improvements, while also following along with QIT to remain up-to-date on the development.

At the end of 2020, I got the opportunity to take up the full product management role for a few weeks. I was facilitating standups & demos, discussing with different stakeholders, keeping tabs on the roadmap, doing functional analysis with the team, and much more.

To wrap up the semester, a review moment was held to discuss the past few months. Due to positive experiences from both sides, the internship was extend.

In the first semester of 2021, I was at Panenco for about 1-2 days a week due to increased university work (read: writing a master's thesis). We decided I could help out where possible.#nbsp;Some days I was doing functional analysis, other days I was doing marketing efforts. I even did a photoshoot & recorded/edited videos. The weekly check-in also allowed me to stay up-to-date with all company & product developments.

Product management traineeship


In September 2021, I started full-time as a product management trainee. As I'd been following along for a year with QIT online during my internship, I had a very good understanding of the product. This gave me a head start in the traineeship. Instead of starting with functional analysis and getting to know a product, I was able to take over product management of QIT online in about a month. In addition to this, I got introduced to some other products where I did a functional analysis, made proposals, and critically assessed some processes.

Soon after taking over the PM role of QIT, I felt like I could take on an additional challenge: starting a product journey from scratch. In October of 2021, that opportunity presented itself when we partnered with Xwork to build their remote work solution. QIT online and Xwork are currently my two main focuses, with certain smaller things in between.

If you have any questions about my trajectory, the Panenco academy programs, or product management in general. Don't hesitate to contact me on LinkedIn or via email!

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