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King’s Alumni Student Lands Big Role in Product – Attributes Success to Career Accelerator

Life often works in roundabouts. For Kelli Wingfield, a King’s College London alumni student and current King’s Product Management Career Accelerator learner, this couldn’t be more true.

In 2015, Kelli, originally hailing from the US, toyed with the idea of going somewhere new. What should I do? She asked herself. Why not go to graduate school abroad? Before she knew it, she was enrolled in the MSC Emerging Economies and International Development Master’s programme at King’s College London.

I was very interested in development at the time. And then there was King’s. I mean, it’s King’s. It’s a dream for any international student to study right on Strand.”

Her dissertation at King’s was on youth theory/youth personalities, and gang violence in Central America. After graduating and getting her first job in the UK at a youth charity, she remained within the same sphere, working with young people. She’s been at her current company, a leading platform providing young people with free career education and experiences of work to drive equality of opportunity for all, for several years.

I did our front-end delivery for a couple of years. And, yeah, just through conversations with my CEO saying, like, ‘Look, I’m kind of bored with this side of things, what else can I do?’ it’s evolved into Product roles over the last two years. Coming into Product in a startup is very much learning as you go, and winging it a bit. But what I find very enjoyable at the moment is the challenge of trying to problem solve and making sure that whatever is being delivered is actually what our students in our schools want. Not what we think they need.”

How did you end up enrolling in the Career Accelerator in Product Management?

“We do performance reviews once a year, so I was trying to evaluate what I wanted to do. And this Career Accelerator popped up on LinkedIn. It sounded great. I basically took it to my company and said, ‘Hey, I’m looking at this for myself.’ My CTO has been super supportive and is really keen to help me develop and solidify the Product side of our company. The company ended up funding my studies, which is great.”

After completing only one course of the programme, Kelli was promoted from Head of Product Management to Product and Delivery Director.

How did the promotion come about?

How are you able to apply what you’ve learned in the programme so far in your everyday role?

“I’ve only completed the first course of the Career Accelerator, but already, I can tell that I’m approaching challenges differently.”

“The other day, I led sessions with the team, with the product lens and with the full team lens, instead of being siloed. What we’ve done so far in the programme has been looking at the user personas and problem statements and understanding the goals and being user-centric. And now I’m able to implement that with my team.”

Has working with a Success Manager and Career Coach during this programme been valuable?

“The coach is fantastic and was able to take what I was saying and reframe it in ways that I hadn’t thought about that offered clarity to my personal and professional goals. And so that’s been super helpful just to have that unbiased outside perspective, saying, you know, ‘have you thought about it this way?'”

“The Success Manager has been great at checking in. The way that I was a student in my early 20s was definitely not the best in terms of life balance, so I’m definitely trying not to fall back into that now as a working professional. So she’s been really good about saying, ‘how are you balancing this? What are you doing to make sure that doesn’t happen?’”

What have been the biggest challenges you’ve encountered during this programme?

“It is tough. I think it’s been getting better. The first week felt okay. The second week, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, what am I doing?’”

“It’s not the course itself – it’s more realigning my mentality around it that this is a course, this isn’t just like a one-day conference, upskilling situation, you know.”

“So, what I do now is block out time and say this hour is homework, and I just have to be really strict and stick to it. I’ve also been setting timers to say like, right, I’m focusing for 45 minutes, because this assignment should take this amount of time according to the guidelines, and then I’ll give myself a 10-minute break.”

One word to describe the programme?

“The first word that comes to mind is ‘exciting’. And that sounds very, I feel like that sounds silly, because everybody uses the word exciting. But it’s honestly how I feel about it. It’s exciting to read something one week, and then literally the next week, I am applying it, whether it’s with the activities or with my actual work.”


Download a programme brochure and book a call with an Enrolment Advisor to learn more about this Career Accelerator in Product Management.

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