From Writing Code to Product Management.
Sergey Muratov, 2016| PROFI.RU, Product Manager
Meet Sergey Muratov, a Skoltech graduate who transitioned from establishing a startup to becoming a product manager at PROFI.RU after. Sergey applies the technical skills he learned at Skoltech to research user behavior and improve the user experience for the clients in a mobile app and on the web. In this True Story, Sergey talks about his unusual career path and gives advice to all Skoltech students. Enjoy!
why Skoltech?
Before Skoltech I finished the Bachelor program at MIPT (aka Phystech) with my thesis being focused on AI. I wanted to dig deeper into AI and Data Science, so I thought that Skoltech might provide a better environment for that. And I think it actually did.

Besides that, I also was a co-founder of a startup — the language-learning app called Easy Ten. So with Skoltech's overall emphasis being on blending entrepreneurship and technology, it surely became a very compelling place to get a master's degree from.

Joining Skoltech has really turned out to be one of the most important decisions of my life. Not only the professors and courses were great — from Innovation Workshop to all the math, DS and ML we had — but the community! Oh man, the community. During my first days of Skoltech I remember being shocked by the amount of insanely smart and passionate people around me. And this feeling of being a part of a uniquely close and powerful community has stayed with me to this very day.

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what was your career path?
I joined Skoltech after starting Easy Ten along with a few friends from MIPT and another brilliant person — Dmitry Zaruta. One of those friends, Nikita Pestrov, was also a Skoltech graduate. At Easy Ten we built apps that helped to make language learning easy and fun.

I joined Easy Ten as an iOS developer, then started overseeing processes such as customer support and localization, moved to product analytics and finally became a product manager. Having tried all of the above, I've decided that the product manager role fits me the best. It's a mix of all of the aforementioned jobs but I also get to work with people a lot, which is my favorite part. That said, there's usually less direct work with data, which I sometimes miss :)

After about a year and a half as a product manager at Easy Ten, I've decided it was time to keep growing and learn from other people. So I've decided to join PROFI.RU, which is a perfect blend of a startup and an established company. This move from Easy Ten, a company which consisted of my 10 close friends, to a company with 150 employees wasn't easy, but I quickly learned the ropes.
what is your job like?

I'll start from the beginning. I'm a product manager at PROFI.RU, a company that builds a so-called "service marketplace" — a place where clients search for and hire private specialists. I'm responsible for the client-side of the platform (mainly the client mobile app), and my job is to make the experience for the client as good as possible.

My responsibility is to keep the client app running and its users — happy. So part of my normal day is usually me looking at the dashboards, managing the tasks for the design team and the developers, speaking with both of those groups trying to remove obstacles in the process. The rest of the day really depends on the time within the quarter and the projects that are currently on the table. Sometimes I'll try to figure out the plan for the following quarter. Other times, I'll have meetings with the team storming on the difficulties of the current navigation of the app and possible solutions. Sometimes we also dig into the data with analysts, i.e. when trying to come up with a new rating system that would be both motivating for the specialists and clear for the clients. There's really no end to the types of the activities we do, which makes this job so great.

But my ultimate goal is to make the client experience perfect with as few resources as possible. This means we have to *really* know what the clients want (and I mean what he/she REALLY wants because often it's different from what they say) and you need to know how to deliver it to them as fast as possible.

how do you apply what you learned at Skoltech?
Nowadays I mostly apply Python skills for analytics and some of the DS approaches we've learned at Skoltech. For example, while researching user behaviour, we used clustering methods. And I also designed a recommender system at Easy Ten precisely with what I learned at Skoltech (which actually boosted the business metrics).

To be frank, I've moved quite far from the typical AI/DS track that a lot of the Skoltech graduates take, so I only use like 20% of the knowledge I got at Skoltech. However, the rest 80% just made me tech-savvy and more curious about the world. This definitely makes me better at my job.
and now about Skoltech
We are Skoltech – a new international English-speaking STEM university that was founded by the group of world-renowned scientists in 2011 in Moscow, Russia. In just 8 years, we united dozens of researchers and globally renowned professors, built a stunning campus, set up world-class labs and made it to the top 100 young universities in the Nature Index. Read more >>
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