The SYCK Career Podcast

Ep 59: Breaking into Tech: The Path to Success in Program Management with Jean Kang


When you think of tech companies like Google, Salesforce, and Microsoft, you might assume that they only hire people with technical skills. However, the truth is that there are numerous non-technical roles within these companies that don't require any technical expertise. I, myself, was able to leverage my sales and operations experience into a 20-year career with some of the top tech companies in the world.

In this episode, I had the pleasure of speaking with Jean Kang, a Strategic Program Manager at Figma, who has similarly forged her path in the tech industry as a highly accomplished program manager. We discuss the challenges of entering tech as a non-technical professional and touch on how to thrive as a program manager without PMP certification. Jean also shares proven tips on how to prepare for interviews, specifically for program manager roles.

Join us in this episode if you are interested in pursuing this path or simply want to enhance your skills and confidence in the field. Tune in now and unlock the secrets to a thriving program management career!

In This Episode:

  • [06:41] What is program management? 
  • [11:07] Emotional intelligence and communication in driving influence and authority
  • [13:05] Different cultures in tech companies 
  • [17:30] How Jean got her jobs in tech
  • [23:07] Jean on balancing her day job and her side hustle
  • [25:19] How to prepare for interviews for program managers
  • [30:58] Jean’s SYCK career advice 


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Jean Kang is a top career coach, x7 career pivoter, and Strategic Program Manager at Figma, on a mission to empower the next generation of Program Managers.

Jean shares valuable insights on Program Management and career growth through her daily LinkedIn content and weekly newsletter, Path to PM. She also developed a sought-after Maven course for aspiring Program Managers.

With a decade of experience, Jean has refined her expertise at leading tech companies like Figma, LinkedIn, Meta, and Pinterest. Her knowledge has been showcased in publications such as Teal, Lenny's Newsletter, and Topmate, making her a sought-after podcast guest.

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