Many people going into the partnerships industry have encountered the “playbook problem”—that is, the fact that they usually don’t get much guidance compared to entry-level employees in other fields. For a real-world example of how this can affect partnerships pros, look no further than Ravi Pandey. Right after he entered his first role in the industry, his new company’s head of partnerships exited his position, leaving Ravi in charge with no roadmap to follow.

Fortunately, Ravi found a way to take matters into his own hands. Enrolling in Firneo’s Certified Partnerships Professional program taught him everything he needed to know about what makes partnerships tick. And while Ravi is moving on to bigger and better things, the knowledge he gained from Firneo’s program will serve as the foundation for the rest of his partnerships career.

Sarah: How did you get started in the partnerships industry?

Ravi: I began as a partnerships manager, and our company’s head of partnerships hired me for that position. I met him on my first day, and he said, “Ravi, welcome aboard! So excited to have you. We’re going to do a lot of really cool stuff together.” That was the last I ever saw of him. He ended up resigning, and I became the de facto head of partnerships for our business. 

So there I was—very green to partnerships and even more green to the logistics space. I knew I needed to scale up my partnerships knowledge ASAP.

I started looking at books and other resources focusing on the partnerships industry. Then I came across Firneo’s course and thought, “You know what? I’ll just take this course and see what it’s about.”

Sarah: When did you join the Certified Partnerships Professional program?

Ravi: I was part of the very first cohort. Early on, I realized this was a uniquely structured course, and a big reason why is because the partnerships field is fairly subjective. There’s a technical side to it, but identifying opportunities for collaboration between two organizations is as much of an art as it is a science. 

I thought the program was great for people like me who had fallen into the field and had to lead their company’s partnerships strategy. It also helped me find a community of people working in the industry.

Firneo connects you with mentors—experienced business development partnerships people. These experts have been doing this longer than I have, and long after the cohort ended, we’re still in contact.

Sarah: What was your favorite part of the program?

Ravi: I definitely enjoyed doing case studies and business case development. It takes a lot of research, but once you learn the ropes it’s a game changer for your partnerships strategy. 

Sarah: Are you still working in your original partnerships role?

Ravi: No—the company I was at ended up having to consolidate due to the status of the freight market right now. Fortunately, a lot of what I’ve learned from Firneo’s course can apply to partnerships across many industries. 

It’s extremely helpful for partnerships pros in tech, but it’s a great foundation for any role. If you’re involved with partnerships, this course has something for you.

Sarah: What you’re doing now?

Ravi: Well, I’ve decided to fulfill a long-time career goal: I’ve gone back to school and I’m getting my executive MBA at the University of Michigan—that’s been pretty exciting!

I think the timing of my last position ending has been somewhat fortuitous. I realized I was ready to take the partnerships knowledge I’ve gained from the Firneo program and my work experience and really consolidate it so I can identify the partnerships roles I want to pursue. 

Sarah: I have two more questions for you. First, what advice would you give to someone getting ready to enter this course?

Ravi: I would say, “Don’t feel like you have to be right all the time.” You want to go in there with an open mind and learn as much as possible. Don’t worry about looking silly or anything! It’s an open secret that nobody handed any of us a playbook for this stuff, and the whole purpose of the course is to give you a strong foundation of partnerships knowledge rooted in time-tested experience. Scott knows exactly what he’s talking about—he’s as good as it gets, and you’re learning from the best. 

Sarah: Finally, what would you tell someone who’s trying to decide whether or not to join the program?

Ravi: Oh, that’s an easy one. They should definitely sign up for the course because there will be some valuable frameworks they can learn and put into practice in their partnerships role right away, as well as principles they will spend the rest of their career exploring. And best of all? You’ll meet peers and pros who stay with you for your entire partnerships journey. 

At the end of the day, this industry is all about relationships. If you want an opportunity to find your tribe, this is a great place to build those connections and see where things go.

Get Your Partnerships Playbook

Not everyone in partnerships finds themselves in a situation as dramatic as Ravi’s. However, there’s still a good chance that you’ve felt isolated or directionless at some point in your career. 

If that’s the case, consider Firneo’s Certified Partnerships Professional program—the eight weeks you’ll spend taking this course will give you the knowledge you’ll rely on for the rest of your career. Take the first step by signing up for the program’s next cohort today!

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