Introducing PAIRIN’s New Director of Product, Jake Shanesy

We sat down with Jake and asked him a few questions to get to know him better. 

Q: Jake, why did you decide to join the PAIRIN team?

A: Right out of the gate, it seemed like a hardworking and fun team that collaborates towards a common mission of making hiring equitable and education relevant. A great mission and a great team? Win-win.

Q: Tell us about your previous experience in product roles?

A: Previously, I’ve been on a somewhat-larger team of 8-10 product folks at a healthcare startup in Minneapolis. This is where I learned the value of a successful implementation of a Product Team. From there, I was the VP of Product at a smaller startup based in Boulder where I learned leadership qualities and how to implement a process from scratch. It’s been a fun journey to get where I am, and looking back, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Q: As the Director of Product, what are your main responsibilities?

A: Put simply, I bring our vision to reality. From working with external stakeholders to road-mapping and planning out that next great feature with engineering or design, I’m involved with everything from ideation to delivery. One of the best things about my job is that no day is ever the same as another.

Q: Can you describe your leadership style in three words?

A: Honest, Transparent and Pragmatic.

Q: In this role, what are some of your biggest challenges? 

A:  Balancing competing priorities and resource constraints that any smaller company inevitably faces.

Q: Tech is an ever-changing landscape, so how do you personally stay informed on hot topics in the world of product management?

A: By reading blogs, going to product meet-ups, talking with mentors and going to conferences. Being a relatively new field that isn’t completely well understood, it’s essential to a product role to continue to network and collaborate with others in my field.

Q: In a product role, there is always work to be done. How do you handle work-life balance? Do you even have a work-life balance?

A: Just like my day-to-day, it always comes down to prioritizing what I like to do. I can’t go a day or two without being outside or working out, and by doing this, I’m able to stay on my game at work. Setting priorities and KPIs with my team allow me to hang up my laptop at the end of the day and settle into everything that I like to do outside of work.

Q: Along those lines, what do you do outside of work?

A: Besides hanging out with friends and family, by living in Colorado, there is no shortage of fun activities to do. I particularly enjoy fly fishing, hunting, backpacking, going to see live music and sometimes even playing some on my own.

Q: What are you most excited for in this role?

A: By having a direct impact on everything that we do and enabling others around me to be successful by providing clarity and a vision.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about working at PAIRIN?

A: We’ve got a fun team that is really down for anything. For example – the other night we went to a dance studio and learned the Thriller dance! Where else can you do that?

Thanks for taking the time to catch up Jake! We are excited to have you at PAIRIN.