Although Rafael De La Rosa majored in political science at Hamilton College, “the tech realm called to me,” he says. He scored an internship at a startup tech company owned by an alumnus and was introduced to the world of product management. Now, at 28, he is the product manager for Ask Applications, a Yonkers-based division of IAC Applications that makes browser and mobile apps.
De La Rosa joined the company in 2015 as an assistant product manager and has since been promoted twice. He now oversees a team of nine developers and one assistant product manager who manage the company’s portfolio of 150-plus products. “I am the liaison between the business decisions and technical implementation,” De La Rosa says. “My job is meeting with the top-level businesspeople to understand their strategy for the company and then working with the developers to actually do it. The fun part is that I get to see the best of both worlds.”
He is known as a diplomatic leader who understands and successfully prioritizes conflicting needs from various departments. And though he has only limited coding experience himself, he is a thoughtful and creative designer tasked with thinking up new features to improve the performance of the company’s products.
Having worked at both a startup and an established tech company, De La Rosa envisions creating his own business in the future. “I have seen both sides, and I would love to one day grow a company from startup to huge, like this one,” he says.