From Intern to Product Owner: Mile GrnCarov
Berlin-based MB.ioneer Mile GrnCarov pulls back the curtain on his journey since 2019.
Testing out new things can be adventurous, but Mile doesn’t shy away from that – whether it’s on a personal or professional level. In 2019 at the age of 22, he moved from Bulgaria to Berlin to start a new job and a new life at Mercedes-Benz.io.
The beginnings as an intern
“While I was in university, I knew that I wanted to work in tech, mainly in marketing but I was open to try anything via an internship, so I applied to Mercedes-Benz.io,” he says. “I started as a growth and marketing intern, working with the Bertha team – a product that helps users to find the best gas station and enables them to pay for their gas from the app.”
Mile describes the move from Bulgaria to Germany, especially Berlin as quite a change. But after graduating in Business Administration and Political Science at an international university with a busy environment, starting at MB.io felt like a continuation of the journey he was already on.
“I never felt out of place here. I remember one of the first meetings that I ever went into, I heard so many ideas flying around from everybody, people showing what they’ve done over the sprints and everyone immediately taking action on specific tasks. And I thought: This is the atmosphere that would be cool to spend a lot of time in.”
“I quickly realized that this role was not just traditional marketing, but also data insights, UI/UX, and product development and we got to do everything from scratch.” In the eight-month internship, Mile created big marketing campaigns and developed product strategies to improve the retention rate or general user flow with a lot of data experimentation. He implemented new tools and tested out different acquisition channels for the product – from Instagram, and YouTube to even outdoor car cinemas.
“One thing I like about Mercedes-Benz.io is that you get entrusted with so many different responsibilities from the beginning. That helped my transition from being a young professional or an intern to working full-time. The responsibilities were already given to me and I was allowed to run small and big projects by myself”.
Becoming a Product Owner
After working as a Growth Specialist for the Bertha and Mercedes me Service app, becoming a product owner for Fuel & Pay in 2021 felt like a natural progression for him. Fuel & Pay is a product for the Mercedes Me app, allowing Mercedes drivers to pay for gas with the app and the Headunit system in the car. “Everything that I was doing before, was in a way leading me to this new role. In my growth role, I was already trying to organize new initiatives and trying to get different team members to move together to create something. Being a product owner seemed at the beginning something that’s a larger scale of what I was already doing.”
Following the mentorship of other MB.ioneers, who were sending him all sorts of books, articles, and YouTube videos to prepare for his Scrum.org exams, Mile admits that: “Nothing really got me as prepared as actually starting to do the role itself.” He started shadowing other Product Owners at the company, joined meetings, and looked through their documentation to understand the dynamics and impact of the role in practice.
When asking him what he specifically likes about being a Product Owner, he refers to the fact that: “It feels like every sprint you get to start a fresh page and try and do it better this time or try it at least differently. So it’s like a constant iteration of the work we do together.”
Exploring things & being inspired
One of his passions outside of work is producing visual content for himself. It ranges from work-related topics such as explaining new marketing tools to simple things in life he enjoys like making coffee – something that keeps him inspired to explore new things:
“It’s a culmination of experiences and content I consume every day and it drives me in my daily work life too. I don’t like to separate work and life too much. The two areas are more supportive than balancing each other out.”
Testing out new things can be adventurous but for many like Mile, it can lead to finding purposes, and arriving at new homes on a professional but also a personal level. In the end, it always feels like a mind-broadening experience.