Graduate success: George Trossell, Senior Product Manager at Spectra Logic

George Trossell

George Trossell, Senior Product Manager at Spectra Logic, studied MEng Electronics and Communications Engineering and graduated in 2011. In this interview, George tells us about his time at Kent and his advice for students wanting to follow a similar career path.

How do you feel your time at Kent prepared you for working in the industry?
It gave me a the most amazing industry rounding. When I left Kent, I didn’t really have a good understanding where I wanted to go within the industry or what I wanted to do. But my degree gave me lots of options I could explore.

What did you learn in your degree that has been beneficial to you in your role?
How to adapt and how to manage time and workload. As our course was very intensive at times which is very realistic to how the real world is.

What are your main responsibilities?
I am responsible for managing a team of developers, prioritizing the product backlog (new features and bugs, the overall road map for the product) technical marketing of the product, training Sales and Technical teams on new and upcoming features, market analysis and single point of truth on everything related to the product.

Are you working on any exciting projects that you can share?
I am currently in the process of designing a new lower cost version of my product having also just refreshed the original versions of the product line. While I was a solutions architect I have worked on projects as lead architect on $100Million deals. (UK Met Office bid) and have a long history of designing the winning solution on multi-million dollar deals while as a Solutions Architect.

What are your plans for the future?
I am currently in the process of getting a green card to emigrate to America which will enable me to continue my path up the PM ladder.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow the same career path?
Don’t give up, EVER! I struggled at various points through my 4 years at Uni, I almost quit twice due to not feeling good enough to be there. Know it’s taken me a long time, it’s taken me 10 years to get here, but don’t try and skip any steps. I spent a long time in the field, some of the times its best thing ever and I have a lot of happy memories and have seen places you would never normally see (back of the Star Wars Sets during live filming), other times is horrible and all you want to do is go home however it has given me a lot of industry knowledge you just couldn’t get from sitting behind a desk all day long. Field experience is the best thing a PM can ever have! It helps drive the product in a way that the field wants and can sell. It’s really easy to see when a product has been designed by someone who has always sat behind the desk.

What was your favourite memory from your time at Kent?
Standing outside by the pond talking with all the lecturers, taking about anything and everything knowing they saw you as an equal and not a student.

One thing has always stuck with me from my time at Uni, which was choose a lecturer that you know you can work with, not the best-looking project. This has always done me well, I have always tried to work with managers that I like regardless of what the job is. A good manager can make a horrible assignment or job fun! A bad manager can ruin a fabulous job/opportunity.