Member Spotlight: Product Manager Soha Khan
UW Blueprint is a student-run club that provides top-tier tech for non-profit organizations. Founded at the University of Waterloo in 2016, we could not have provided strong partnerships with NPOs without the dedication, passion, and time of our members. We regularly spotlight members and teams that have left a tremendous impact on Blueprint.
Tell us about yourself!
I just finished 2B in Management Engineering, and I’m currently on co-op. I’ve been in Blueprint since 1A, so this is my 7th term with Blueprint. I’ve been around for a while and I feel like the reason I’ve always stuck around has been the environment and the people. I used Blueprint as an opportunity to learn what I want to do, whether its design, development. Now as a Product Manager, I’m able to guide and ideate with my team all while making friends and connections that expand beyond Blueprint.
Outside of school and work, in the limited hours of free time I have, I enjoy finding a new hobby or learning something new, and spending time with friends and family.
I also like reading, and I’ve picked up some good books this term. I recommend When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi.
What’s your current role with Blueprint?
I’m currently a Product Manager on the Canadian Children Book Centre (CCBC) project. It’s been fun, I’ve always wanted to do it. Working with other PMs as a product designer or a developer, I’ve been inspired by them because they always pull everyone together. It’s been fun to guide my team and ideate with them.
How has Blueprint helped you grow?
It’s helped me learn more about what I want to do. Professionally, we have a lot of co-op terms and it can be hard to know what I want to do. Blueprint mimics the real world, and the work that we’re doing is impactful and meaningful. It gives you the chance to move around and figure out what you like and what you don’t like. As a PM, it’s really fun and lets me put together what I’ve learned so far cohesively and have the freedom to push ideas and be creative.
In Blueprint, I’ve also really learned the value of teamwork. Nothing can come together without each member doing their part. Everyone has the same end goal, with no competition or toxicity. Everyone is dedicating extra time to work in Blueprint, so you really get to know everyone’s true motivations, and we get to work together while having a good time.
What’s your favourite part about Blueprint?
The people. I’ve always said this about Blueprint, no matter who I talk to, everyone comes from different backgrounds and are passionate about different things. You get to see everyone’s minds come together to help create a project.
Everyone is super kind. I remember when I was so new and everything seemed so intimidating, everyone was super friendly and willing to help.
The aspect of mentorship is so strong in Blueprint and you can learn so much, especially as a junior.
You can really foster your skills because of the mentorship and the people on our team, it makes it less scary.
I also like the aspect of teamwork. Everyone is so willing to work as a unit and that’s why I like to come back to Blueprint.
What are your next plans and goals?
Life: unknown. I want to do well in co-op and instead of setting goals of what I want my roles or companies to be, more so I want to learn and take opportunities to expand knowledge. You never know what the opportunity may hold. I also want to be more open in terms of my career and seeing where things go.
Blueprint: I like being PM, so I’d like to continue seeing where it takes me and maybe work with different teams or continue with my current one.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself!
I almost ate a ladybug when I was 3. Maybe it shaped me somehow.
Favourite Blueprint memory?
A lot of my Blueprint terms have been during the pandemic, so a lot of my memories come from online socials which have always been surprisingly fun. I got to meet different people and become friends with them outside of Blueprint. Recently, a team went on a social at a game board cafe. It’s been cool to see Blueprint in this hybrid phase and we’re able to have both aspects exist cohesively. I think there are many more fun memories to come.