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Reedhima Mandlik

Reedhima Mandlik (BSJ16, MSJ17)

Professional speaker, freelance

Reedhima Mandlik headshot.

Reedhima Mandlik, who graduated with both a bachelor's and master's degree from Medill, started out in pre-med at a different university. She transferred to Medill her sophomore year. She says she initially thought she wanted to go into magazine journalism or psychology.

“Tech wasn't even on my radar until my last [undergraduate] quarter at Medill, when I got to work at Facebook,” says Mandlik. “Working on the tech marketing team there opened my eyes to the world of product and that you don't need to be a coding genius to work in tech.”

She took that understanding and decided to take part in the media innovation specialization in the Medill journalism master's program. She learned about UX/UI research and development, coding, startup development and product management through a Medill lens. After working at Salesforce for her internship, she went on to a few startups before joining her current job at Slalom Consulting.

How did your Medill degree help advance your career?
The master's program gave me the stepping stones I needed to bridge the gap from journalism and product marketing to actual product work. My Medill experiences at Facebook and Salesforce really helped establish my career in product and build my career path.

What skills did you gain at Medill that are particularly beneficial in your job?
A lot about my job is being able to conduct user interviews effectively, communicate with clients and stakeholders, and manage a development team. The Medill capstone course helped prepare me for a lot of those experiences, as did my background in journalism. Being a product consultant means that your job is to tell a story—a story about where your project is going, why it's needed and how it can help the client. Medill's curriculum definitely gave me an advantage in that I now have these skills that not many other product managers have.

How as the Medill network helped you?
Medill alumni who now work in product are an excellent resource to talk to—they were very open and willing to have informational interviews, which helped a lot in deciding my career path.