Cynthia Tran Tillo


Cynthia Tran Tillo

Class of 1997


Principal Product Manager at Adobe

What are you currently working on?
I actually started my career at Hewlett Packard's semiconductor facility as a full-fledged Industrial Engineer.  This involved conducting manufacturing process cycle time studies, implementing Kanban, and modeling queues.  The one noteworthy thing I remember: we hired IEOR Professor Rob Leachman as a consultant for our lab and I got to approve his timecards!

What was the most important thing you learned while studying at Cal?
 have the fortune to product manage a portfolio of amazing solutions within Adobe's Marketing Cloud.  Chances are when you online shop and need to zoom into or customize a product, it is powered by my solution. Being a product manager leverages everything we learn  in Industrial Engineering around optimization techniques.  A good product manager is a master at optimization - balancing the often complex and competing demands of Quality, Scope, and Time.  Optimizing feedback from a variety of sources - customers, sales, competitors, market - and being able to synthesize into something meaningful.

What do you miss most about being a student at Cal?
The optimistic vibe of the University where students truly feel that anything is possible. Those late nights in the dungeons of Etcheverry where we cranked away on projects and built lifelong friendships.  And the eclectic genuine culture that you could feel just walking down Telegraph.

Do you have any advice for current IEOR students?
Get involved in extracurricular activities that provide you an opportunity to develop leadership skills and foster team collaboration. Once you move into the working world, your success is no longer dictated by your GPA and grades, but rather your emotional intelligence - how you are able to influence others, resolve conflict, and lead teams towards a common vision.