MBA Alumnus ’18 Driving Change Within Social Media
As Facebook transitions into Meta, Jenkins MBA alumnus Malcolm Scott is transitioning into a new position developing features for the social media giant that will change how many millions of people interact with the platform.
No pressure though.
Why? Because NC State’s Jenkins MBA program prepared Scott well for what he calls his dream job — which he started just two years after he graduated in 2018. “The experiences in the program definitely gave me the confidence that I could do really big things,” he says.
Starting with Meta’s Messenger platform, which provides ways for users to share information with people and groups they choose. Scott’s team is looking at ways to enhance Messenger’s features for the 70 to 80 million daily users of the platform in the U.S.
“That’s the crazy thing about working for Meta. Millions of people use it,” Scott says. “It’s fun because you know everything you work on has an impact…That makes you and your team want to think bigger, knowing that everything you build can really make a difference in somebody’s life.”
As a Meta product manager, Scott and his team are building new features into Messenger that could result in more visual messaging, with enhanced images and three-dimensional avatar figures. They also may introduce new virtual reality and audio messaging capabilities.
Scott enrolled in the MBA program with the goal to work in technology.
“I’ve always wanted to work at the intersection of how decisions are made and how the product looks and feels…being able to really drive the change. I’m not the passenger, I’m the driver,” says Scott, who works remotely in Raleigh. “Meta gives me the chance to use all my skills.”
And the Jenkins program gave Scott opportunities to build those skills.
He pursued an MBA because “I wanted to reinvent myself in some ways,” partly by improving his public speaking and leadership skills, he says. “The MBA program definitely lent itself to that.”
One of his most valuable experiences in the Jenkins program was being on a team that won second place in a case competition at the National Black MBA Association conference.
That showed me I can compete with anybody. I’m as brilliant as anybody,” says Scott, who was in Jenkins’ full-time MBA cohort.
An adviser with NC State’s Poole College of Management Career Center prepared his team to present their project at the conference. He also credits that office with strengthening his interview skills through mock interviews and teaching him to negotiate a salary and sign-on bonus.
The real-world opportunities Scott pursued at Jenkins give him an edge in his career.
In a marketing practicum with the Bayer company’s crop science division, he improved his communication skills by interviewing customers about products. His internship at Ford Motor Co. after his first year at Jenkins led to an offer for post-graduation, full-time employment. Scott was a product manager at Ford before joining Meta.
A key part of Scott’s satisfaction with the MBA program was the people — classmates, faculty and staff. “All of them helped me grow in different ways. I loved the collaborative nature, a lot of group projects,” he says. “The people made it a joy to go to class.”
Although Scott’s MBA program is over, his education isn’t.
“The biggest thing I learned at NC State is that you need to be a lifelong learner. You have to identify where you want to go and understand what you need to learn or who you need to network with to get there,” Scott says. “The Jenkins program really set me up for success.”
One of his successes at Meta was creating a feature that allows users to easily find information about black-owned businesses near them. The feature is being beta-tested with a limited group of people. “That was fun for me to do and something I was passionate about,” Scott says. “It was very rewarding for me to get that signed off on.”
He’s counting on more success as he moves forward in his career, whether it’s building out Meta’s Messenger function or another project.
“Right now, I’m very hungry to continue to develop myself as a product manager,” Scott says.
I want to continue to sharpen my skills, my product sense and my execution to get better at what I’m doing. I want to be known as a product leader, not just a product manager.
This post was originally published in Jenkins MBA News.