A product manager with Brightspot since 2020, Adam Hershaft shares his experiences as the main customer contact for high-visibility projects including Walmart's newly launched corporate website.
You started at Brightspot after graduating from the University of Virginia in 2020. What brought you here?
I had initially met a couple people at the UVA career fair. I just loved the work we were doing and the interesting clients Brightspot works with. I also liked the size of the company, and I felt like it was a place where I could have greater responsibility. When I went to my on-site interview, the environment of the office was exciting and everyone really seemed happy, so I was drawn to that as well.
Can you tell me about the current project you are working on?
We recently launched a redesign of Walmart’s corporate website. This involved auditing their content, identifying publishing pain points and creating new site designs. We were able to develop an updated list for them of page templates and modular content to revamp their website. It was a long process but it has been very rewarding to be able to see all the hard work the team put in go live.
What do you enjoy most about your role as a product manager? What do you find most challenging?
The thing I enjoy the most is probably helping clients. It’s really inspiring when they get excited about a project or a campaign that they are looking to launch. I get to help them figure out exactly how to get from to point A to point B. I gather all of their requirements and get to give them a new site experience on Brightspot. Most of the time they are happy, and getting to work alongside them towards a common goal is a rewarding experience. I would say the most challenging aspect is just having to be dynamic at all times. You have to constantly be able to put out fires when they come up and be that first level of communication if things get stressful.
Do you have any advice for those who are just starting their careers in product management?
I would say don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are very intelligent people at this company and you don’t have to be the one with all the answers. Asking the tech leads, the developers and the designers about their previous experience is helpful because there are a lot of really experienced people at the company that can provide assistance.
How have you grown professionally since starting at Brightspot?
I would say I am more adaptable to change. That means being able to learn new skills—such as development using CSS and a lot of other things I didn’t know with my lack of a technical background. It’s all about being able to learn and absorb things as quickly as possible to be able to come up with a solution. I didn’t expect to learn and soak up as much as I have.
What's the best piece of career or life advice that you've ever received?
Come in to every situation with a positive attitude. Frequently it is easy to get bogged down with stress. Putting on a smile for a call with a client and internal calls always makes the team happier and makes everyone around you respond a little bit better. So, if you put positivity out, positivity often comes back.
Besides the people, what is your favorite part about working at Brightspot?
The best part about working at Brightspot is the work that we do. We have a lot of really great clients that trust us as partners. And so being able to be that first level of support for other organizations and to have that outreach has been very powerful.
What are your favorite activities or hobbies to do outside of the office?
I like watching TV a lot. I know it’s not a great answer but it’s true! I’m an avid binge watcher, so getting to watch all of the new shows that have come out during the pandemic has been how I pass my time. I also have been cooking a lot and got to try out a bunch of new recipes during quarantine.
What was the last movie you saw? Would you recommend it?
The last movie I saw was the latest Dr. Strange movie. It’s good if you like Marvel but it wasn’t the best. I wouldn’t recommend it.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I want to go to Japan. I love sushi and I know it’s the freshest place you can get it—so definitely there!