When you’re a recent MBA grad, opportunities come at you fast. And deciding which to take can be a real challenge. Progressive Product Manager Lou Holmes has been there, and he has some insight to offer.
“It’s definitely worth noting that the Product Manager role at Progressive is unique,” says Lou. “Through my experience, I’ve found the Progressive Product Manager role to be broader in scope and degree of influence compared to similarly titled positions at other companies.”
P&L ownership backed by collaboration
Progressive’s Product Managers run our business within a state or key business function, designing and implementing strategic plans to meet business goals and ensure that the company’s growing profitably. As Lou puts it, you’re essentially the CEO for your area or state, managing a P&L of more than $100 million. And while this executive position at Progressive gives our Product Managers true P&L ownership, it also gives them the exciting challenge of balancing collaboration and consulting with decision-making.
“You’re essentially the CEO for your area or state, managing a P&L of more than $100 million.”
“While you’re held responsible for the calls you make and the results you achieve, you’re not a unilateral decision-maker,” explains Lou. “The amount of intellectual horsepower we have at Progressive is remarkable, and as Product Manager you’re able to take full advantage of those resources around you. You get to bring the right people together to get the best information to help you make smart decisions.”
Risk, learn, grow … and make a difference
A common saying at Progressive is “risk, learn, and grow.” It’s a driving force in our culture, and it holds especially true in our Product Manager role. Lou describes how he has the freedom and support to try things—testing educated theories backed by data and analytics—and then see what works and what might need to be re-assessed and tweaked. You’re constantly challenged and continually learning about your business and what’s happening in the market, and for the right person, it’s an exciting job.
“When you’re having fun doing what you do—especially in insurance—that’s so telling,” says Lou. “That’s not to say I don’t get stressed or feel pressure—I do. But I have the ability to really make a difference here, and that’s a great feeling. I’m having an impact at a company that’s growing and winning in the marketplace. And I’m working with inspiring people, coming away from conversations better than when I joined them. That’s part of what makes this job special and what makes Progressive … well, progressive.”
Lou Holmes is a commercial auto product manager at Progressive. Progressive, in business since 1937, is the fourth largest auto insurer in the country. For more information on Progressive’s product manager role or to sign up to stay connected to the company, click here.
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