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Product Club Challenge: Grad Marketing

Product Club Challenge: Grad Marketing

Leavey School of Business Student-Run Product Club Hosts Its First Virtual Product Challenge

On Feb 21, nine industry experts and seven participating teams of 35 graduate students and alumni attended the Product Challenge hosted by SCU Product Club.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Feb. 25, 2021

Student-run Product Club hosted its Product Innovation Challenge Winter 2021 on February 21, 2021. It was the very first Leavey School-wide product challenge. Nine industry experts and seven participating teams of 35 graduate students and alumni attended the event virtually.

This event was designed to inspire students for a future career in product management. During the event, teams received a brief with an image that they used as a basis to develop a unique problem statement. They then identified customer personas via interviewing volunteer interviewees, created storyboards; and prototyped their solutions. Teams gave presentations to the coaches and received feedback and critique. Participating graduate students and alumni also had opportunities to work closely with industry experts and receive mentorship.

The event was designed by current MBA students and the Product Club leadership team Ollie Zhou, Rachel Chang, and Karan Gupta, under the guidance of Professor Kumar Sarangee, and Shashank Saggar.  

The industry leaders and faculty members that served as mentors and coaches for this event were (as per alphabetical order):

  • Deb Bose, SCU Alum, Integration Leader at Guidewire Software
  • Jian Cao, Program Manager at Cepheid 
  • Luke Congdon, SCU Alum, Director of Product Management at Nutanix
  • Yan Jin, SCU Alum, Global Product Manager at Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • Eryn Olson, SCU Alum, Associate Director of Marketing and Communication at SCU
  • Vishnu Ramani, SCU Alum, Global Marketing Manager at BD
  • Shashank Saggar: SCU Alum, Director of Product Management and Product Marketing at Adobe
  • Kumar Sarangee: Director of EMBA at SCU Leavey School of Business
  • Vimal Suba, SCU Alum, Director of Product Management at IronNet Cybersecurity

Testimony and feedback received after the event:

“This event is a great example of what makes Leavey School of Business (LSB) so great. Distinguished Silicon Valley based LSB alumni sacrifice their Sunday to mentor stellar LSB students in a product design simulation that is conceptualized by students. Experiential learning is key. Kudos to Product Club pioneers Rachel, Ollie and Karan and the simulation creator Shashank. LSB goes as far as its students and alums go.” - Dr. Kumar Sarangee, Principle Coach

"Events of these types are a great learning and collaboration experience for the students, empowering them to take their learning to the next level beyond the regular MBA curriculum. Thanks to the enterprising SCU product club team for organizing this event with the support of the super helpful advisory board members. “ - Deb Bose, Coach

"Such a fun event! Glad I was able to help coach a curious and smart team of SCU Broncos. Santa Clara University MBA is creating a great pipeline of future product managers.” - Luke Congdon, Coach

"When you're looking for the top candidates for a technical marketing job, this is the type of work you can expect from every Santa Clara University MBA graduate.” - Professor Charles Byers

"It was a well-organized event, and I loved every bit of coaching and seeing innovative ideas from the teams! Congratulations to a great start! Looking forward to the next event.” - Vimal Suba, Coach

"Thanks so much for the opportunity to participate. I was very humbled to have the coaching title, since I felt like I learned just as much (or more!) from my team and the other coaches. You, Ollie, and crew executed a fantastic inaugural event.” - Eryn Olson, Coach

"Hi Rachel, I would like to sincerely thank you and the team at Product Club for organizing such a great event. It was thoroughly planned and very well organized, I can tell you guys worked very hard to put this event together.  For my own experience as a participant, I learned a lot from the team discussion, from the mentor, from professor's guidance's and the videos you guys published in advance. I am looking forward to future events organized by product clubs.” - Manit Thaker, Participant

"The event was extremely successful, and I felt that you and your team spend a lot of time and effort to make it in this great shape. looking forward to attending the products club's future events.  Thank you so much, Rachel.” - Kareem Qaraman, Participant

"Thank you, Rachel. It was an amazing experience. Learnt a lot through the exercise. It was very well organized by you guys and I can only see this getting better in the years to come!” - Prashant Honavar, Participant

"It was a great event. It was fun as well as a good learning experience. Hats off to you and your team for organizing the event. Thank you so much” - Shivvi Shrivastava, Participant

“This event was a great example of the experiential learning opportunities offered at Santa Clara University and the benefits of having an amazing network of alumni and faculty. Shashank Saggar, Kumar Sarangee, and several other mentors guided our teams through our product development journey by sharing their expertise in the industry and added immense value to the experience.” – Melody Nouri, Participant

About SCU Product Club
Founded in July 2020 by Rachel Chang and Ollie Zhou, SCU Product Club’s vision is to accelerate the journey of SCU students to become future Product leaders.

About Santa Clara University
Founded in 1851, Santa Clara University sits in the heart of Silicon Valley—the world’s most innovative and entrepreneurial region. The University’s stunningly landscaped 106-acre campus is home to the historic Mission Santa Clara de Asís. Ranked among the top 15 percent of national universities by U.S. News & World Report, SCU has among the best four-year graduation rates in the nation and is rated by PayScale in the top 1 percent of universities with the highest-paid graduates. SCU has produced elite levels of Fulbright Scholars as well as four Rhodes Scholars. With undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, and graduate programs in six disciplines, the curriculum blends high-tech innovation with social consciousness grounded in the tradition of Jesuit, Catholic education. For more information see

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