Several months ago, I was interested in working for Earnest, a startup that offers lower-cost student loans for students who may not have great credit, but have high earnings potential. I didn’t know anybody at the company, and didn’t want my resume to go into a black hole, so I instead wrote up product report on them, and gifted it to one of the product managers.
It didn’t work – they were looking for more technical PMs. However, it got me a great conversation. Several months have passed since then, so I’d like to share this with the world.
Here’s what I did:
- I conducted interviews with recent graduates and current students who are Earnest‘s target demographic:
- I gathered data on brand awareness among current students.
- I asked recent graduates to test out and walk me through their use of Earnest vs. their current loan servicer.
- Using the data I gathered along with my own research, I created a short product analysis of Earnest, highlighting its current challenges of offering competitive interest rates, providing usable tools for understanding debt and making payments, and expanding its brand awareness.
- I’ve outlined several proposed solutions to each of the challenges outlined above.