Alumna Bethany Haworth (Innovation, Strategy & Organisation) on studies, passions and career support
Having studied music as an undergraduate at the University of Manchester, and subsequent an MPhil in Innovation, Strategy and Organisation at Lucy, I always had an interest in the ways in which digital technologies can facilitate music making. That's why, when an opportunity arose to join the Ampify team in London as a Product Owner, I decided to make the move from the start-up where I'd previously worked.
I was recently appointed as Product Owner for Ampify Music, who make the Launchpad, Groovebox and Blocs Wave iOS apps and a desktop music making software called Ampify Studio.
As Product Owner, I'm responsible for working with senior leadership to determine the strategic direction of our products, and working with the engineering team to deliver new features. This means I have the opportunity to shape the direction of the products we build, and to make sure these suit our users' needs.
I studied at Lucy from 2017-18, for my MPhil. I didn't live on campus, but still tried my best to participate in college activities, and I found having that support network really beneficial. In fact, a friend I made at Lucy has since become one of my closest friends in London, and I didn't expect that to happen!
The MPhil Innovation, Strategy and Organisation course at the Judge Business School is really research focused, while still including taught components, which was appealing for me as I had a specific research project in mind when I applied. I think the theories I came across while studying have been extremely relevant to my career since, so I'm really glad I pursued it.
After I left Cambridge, I was able to find a mentor through a scheme run by Lucy Cavendish. This allowed me to explore my options with someone experienced, who wasn't my manager, which proved an invaluable opportunity, especially when it came to knowing when the right time was to move on from my last role. Of course, looking for a job is never easy, and finding the right one for you can be a really frustrating process. I think my main advice to anyone looking to pursue a career in product ownership is to do their research about the tools and methodologies being used in industry (e.g. through Scrum and Agile online courses and books) and to look for experience wherever you can. Entry level product owner roles are extremely rare, so it's quite normal to find yourself in software development, product design, or even marketing or customer support as a stepping stone.
In the couple of years since leaving Cambridge, I feel that I've been able to find a good compromise between working in commercial industries and following my passions - I'm extremely lucky that my current role allows me to do both.
About Bethany Haworth
Beth is the product owner for a portfolio of music technology apps with over 15 million App Store downloads, at Ampify Music (part of the Focusrite-Novation family). Most recently, Beth was the product owner at OKRA.ai, working with international clients in FMCG, life sciences and the public sector to deliver innovative B2B machine learning products. Beth’s previous experience includes consulting at KPMG, and researching information systems innovation at the University of Cambridge.