From classrooms to the corporate world: Insights for a Product Marketing career

As part of our series on career journeys and professional insights, we had the opportunity to sit down with Kristin Miltner-Zubrzycki, Product Marketing Assistant at Emergn.  

Kristin started her career as a history teacher in the United States. Curious, eager to learn, and passionate about the world, she researched AI for assessment and traveled to South Korea to learn more about international education. Now, she plays a vital part in our product marketing team – assisting from curriculum strategy to implementation.  

In this interview, Kristin shares her unique career path, her role at Emergn, and valuable insights into product marketing and career development. 

Tell us a bit about yourself and your role at Emergn

Hi! I’m Kristin, and I’m a Product Marketing Assistant at Emergn. In this role, I collaborate with our product marketing lead and various teams to develop strategies, create compelling content, and support our sales efforts.

How did you get started in product marketing? 

My journey into product marketing began with a big passion for teaching. Since I was young, I enjoyed teaching – I remember coming home after school and setting up a pretend classroom to teach my teddy bear and my little brother math. After completing my bachelor’s degree in education, I embarked on a teaching career in the US, which eventually led me to explore research projects focusing on educational technology and innovative teaching methods. I went to South Korea to teach history and train teachers. My next move was to London to achieve my master’s in education from UCL while deepening my research on interdisciplinary approaches, multicultural education and scenario-based learning.

As you can tell, I’m curious and wanted to explore the corporate world, have experiences beyond traditional education and get involved in EdTech – and that’s what brought me to Emergn. 

I started by creating educational experiences and content for our learning platform – which was great for understanding the educational differences between the academic and the corporate world – and when an opportunity to step into product marketing arose, I took it! 

Can you share a moment or experience that inspired you to make this career change?

Although I enjoyed working in instructional design, I wanted to grow into a more dynamic space and build a more commercial background. Emergn started growing its focus on product marketing and case studies, which offered me this opportunity to challenge myself. The more involved I got with Product Marketing, the more I realized the power of storytelling and case studies in showcasing our work and growing our reach, which motivated me to explore this field even further. Product marketing is essential because it allows us to share our history, accomplishments, and how we’ve impacted so many people at Emergn. As I continue to learn and grow in product marketing, I also conduct market research and gather insights on competitors and customer feedback to inform our marketing strategies. Additionally, I support product launches and marketing campaigns, creating marketing materials and online content, and supporting the organization of events.

What skills or knowledge did you bring from your education background that have proven valuable in your product marketing role?

My background in education has equipped me with so many skills that have proven valuable in product marketing. For instance, my experience in conducting research and analyzing data has contributed significantly to understanding customer needs and market trends. Clear communication and the ability to tailor content for different audiences, which I cultivated through my teaching years, have also been essential in creating marketing content that resonates with our international audience, ensuring our messages are clear and impactful.

Moreover, I am equipped with a bigger sense of creativity and resourcefulness. Teaching often requires thinking outside the box and finding innovative ways to engage students. In product marketing, I approach challenges with a creative mindset and feel more confident proposing new solutions and strategies to address customer needs effectively.

I feel really grateful that my unique perspective as someone who has worked in education can bring diversity to our marketing efforts. I can offer insights and ideas that stem from my teaching experience, contributing to a more comprehensive and innovative approach to our marketing strategies. In the same way, my colleagues bring their unique backgrounds and perspectives for an exciting exchange of ideas. 

Kristin working at the Emergn office in London

Do you feel Emergn’s culture or values have influenced your career growth?

Yes, without a doubt! In my journey at Emergn, I’ve already grown from instructional design to product marketing, and I know it’s not the last stop for me here. What I really appreciate about our company is how much they invest in us as individuals. They give us the flexibility to try new things and be experimental, which is so important for personal and professional development. Emergn doesn’t confine us to strict roles; instead, it encourages us to embrace new skills and challenges. I’m really grateful for this opportunity to learn product marketing on the job because it helps me create educational products that truly make a difference. 

What advice would you give someone starting a product marketing career, especially from a different professional background?

I would encourage anyone embarking on a product marketing career, especially from a different professional background, to embrace the learning journey wholeheartedly. Seek mentorship, explore relevant courses (such as the Product Marketing Alliance and Google Digital marketing courses), and leverage resources to build a strong knowledge base in product marketing fundamentals. Don’t underestimate the value of interdisciplinary skills – your unique perspective brings a fresh outlook to the field. Stay curious, be creative, and never stop researching. Product marketing is about understanding people’s needs, standing out in the crowd, and effectively communicating your message.

These were incredibly valuable in my journey of upskilling in product marketing. My line manager, Malaz, has relentlessly guided me and pushed me to take on new challenges. Her feedback has contributed so much to improving my skills. Emergn’s own learning resources have helped me develop interdisciplinary approaches to products and understanding customer needs, allowing me to apply my learning effectively in my role.

What are the key skills or qualities that are essential for success in product marketing?

In my experience, there are four fundamental skills in product marketing: Curiosity, creativity, research, and communication. Curiosity drives you to dive deep into understanding customer needs and market dynamics. Creativity enables you to think outside the box and craft compelling campaigns that resonate with your audience. Strong research skills empower you to gather insights, analyze data, and make informed decisions. Effective communication is also crucial – being able to translate complex ideas into clear, impactful messages that resonate with your target audience. 

What are you most proud of?    

I’m most proud of the journey I’ve taken and how each step has contributed to my growth. Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to apply my expertise in curriculum design to enhance our learning initiatives at Emergn. It’s rewarding to see my background in education making a tangible difference in a corporate scenario. Every experience, whether big or small, has shaped me into the marketer I am today, and I’m excited to continue learning and evolving in this dynamic field.

If you enjoyed this reading, keep an eye on our Careers Blog, where you can learn about employee experiences and insights and career transition and development insights. Start by exploring career insights on becoming a UX Researcher, learn valuable tips for managing delivery, or embark on the Incredible Talent Journey, our approach to growth and career development.

If you’re looking for a new adventure and you feel like Emergn might be the right fit, explore our career opportunities.