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Associate Product Manager

“The APM program is looking for the future leaders of our world – those who will truly drive change and tackle the hardest problems at scale. This opportunity is a chance for young minds to work on impactful solutions for the betterment of society, and to grow and be mentored in the process. The key to solving any problem is getting the right people to work on it – and the APM program does just that.”

– Eric Schmidt, Co-Founder of Schmidt Futures & Former CEO of Google

Associate Product Manager (APM) Program Overview

Schmidt Futures is now accepting applications from graduating seniors or recent college graduates for our fall 2021 cohort of Associate Product Managers (APMs). APMs are an entrepreneurial group of technologists who are motivated to change the world. The program brings together talented young leaders with technical training in computer science and other fields that are central to solving the world’s most pressing problems.

APMs will receive personalized leadership training, deepen their technical skills, participate in APM class trips around the world, engage with leaders across fields, and be mentored by a network of distinguished figures in technology.

APMs will emerge from the program ready to manage technical teams, start businesses, take on leadership positions in companies and other organizations, and become social and policy entrepreneurs.

The APM program entails a two-year, full-time commitment, during which APMs will be based in New York, with travel to Silicon Valley and other geographies as needed.

APM Values

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Ownership

You’ll own thinking about a big problem without a well defined answer. You’ll start small, test quickly, and scale – being extremely entrepreneurial in the process. APMs will have the opportunity to work on high impact issues that are affecting the world,  all while learning to change systems, solve challenges, and cultivate a new, diverse set of skills.

You should be curious about the world, believe that there is more than one way to solve a problem, and be able to thrive in ambiguity.

Community

Community

You’ll be a part of a family – we mean it. You’ll belong to a small cohort that will learn and grow together over the 2 year term. The program aims to bring together young technologists from all different backgrounds and experiences. During the course of your time at Schmidt Futures, you will build lifelong friendships and connections. 

You should value a team mentality and believe in empathy. You should love to collaborate and be receptive to ideas from others in order to solve for the greater good. 

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Mentorship

You’ll have the ability to work with top leaders in social impact leveraging tools from business, technology, and policy. You’ll also get the chance to work and learn from leading Product Managers, and will form close bonds with senior APMs.

You should be excited to create meaningful relationships and be part of a robust network of influential people that can help guide you throughout the rest of your career. 

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Impact

You’ll work to find solutions for humanity’s most pressing issues. You will be part of different rotations with partner organizations that will give you a chance to lead, to learn, to implement, and to have high visibility into decision making processes. 

You should be mission driven and relentless in your approach to use science and technology for social change. You should be bold and creative – no idea is too far-fetched.

Meet the APMs

Raya Kuo

Passionate about: public health, food security, wealth inequality

“I've helped a Penn State team scale up their operations helping smallholder farmers in Kenya, led user studies on a coronavirus symptom checker, built a Twitter bot, and am currently working on PM-ing a communication platform for underserved patient populations.”

Why I chose Schmidt Futures: “I chose Schmidt Futures because in my interviews with Ryan, Gal, and the executive team, I realized what a thoughtful and incredible group of people are at Schmidt Futures, and I very much wanted to be a part of it. I don't even really remember the specifics of what we talked about, but I wrote in my journal from that time that "it's kind of scary how much Ryan believes in me.”

Katherine Binney

Passionate about: criminal justice, the social safety net, education

“My first year of work has been with Recidiviz, a technology non-profit in criminal justice. My work has centered around products that bring information to parole and probation officers in the right way at the right time to increase uptake of actions that help justice involved individuals succeed. I've been involved with the project from exploratory user experience research through launch. I've had the opportunity to develop skills including pitching, product ideation, roadmapping, stakeholder management, and working with government officials. ”

Why I chose Schmidt Futures: “Over the course of college, I had many conversations with friends about the unintended consequences of software and big tech companies. While I believe that tech can play a part in improving society, it seems like big tech companies are so tech centric, they've often forgotten to listen to and learn from actual people that use technology and feel no responsibility for addressing harms caused by their products. When I started interviewing with Schmidt Futures, I realized this is a team that thinks critically about the people who are impacted by "tech for social good." I was also thrilled by the huge array of educational and professional experiences I saw in the team. When it came time to choose a job, the combination of thoughtful, passionate team members, significant non-tech focused modes of thinking, and resources & opportunity to work on compelling social problems made choosing Schmidt Futures a no-brainer.”

Samuel Ching

Passionate about: increasing the uptake of robust, explainable and equitable ML, building resiliency for local communities, building scalable business models for social impact organizations

“I've worked on removing barriers for computational medical researchers to work on clinically relevant problems, helped organize Schmidt Futures' COVID-19 response and now building the field of
Learning Engineering. ”

Why I chose Schmidt Futures: “The people! Everyone at Schmidt Futures is so accomplished, thoughtful and kind with the best of intentions to make an impact in the world. I thought it would be a good group to learn from - something that continues to be true everyday!”

Kara Holinski

Passionate about: women’s health, homelessness, financial empowerment

“I am currently working on our internal project called
Rise - aiming to identify young talent that would not necessarily be spotted by traditional selection networks. I am working on the accessibility effort - making sure the application is accessible to as many young adults as possible.”

Why I chose Schmidt Futures: “I chose Schmidt Futures because it provides APMs the opportunity to work on and lead high-impact projects to some of the most pressing issues facing humanity. In the role, I have been able to develop a wide variety of skills that will be versatile as I continue on in what will most likely be a non-linear career path and to work not only on impactful and interesting projects but with incredibly passionate, mission-oriented and curious people.”

Glenn Yu

Passionate about: poverty, access to basic needs, international development

“I worked at Benefits Data Trust helping to streamline government benefits access.”

Why I chose Schmidt Futures: “Schmidt Futures not only met my initial criteria of mission, team, and role, but also gave me the opportunity to continue exploring what I want to focus on with an amazing group of fellow APMs and team members.”

Anna Mitchell

Passionate about: education, long-term scientific and technological innovation, designing political systems that improve human well-being

“As my first APM project, I worked with ASSISTments, a nonprofit using machine learning techniques to provide automated personalized feedback on student math homework. There, I worked on strategy and goal-setting, analytics, and setting up machine learning systems in the cloud. Now, I'm working with Second Front Systems as a product manager on a software tool to help US and allied governments acquire the best technology for national defense. I also helped lead Schmidt's COVID response. I'm also incubating an organization to engage young technologists in policy and philanthropy work on a part-time basis.”

Why I chose Schmidt Futures: “I chose Schmidt Futures because of the people. Because the team has such an incredible variety of experience across tech, policy, business, philanthropy, and the military, I was eager to learn different toolkits for tackling complex problems like education, national security, and technological innovation.”

Anjali Fernandes

Passionate about: increasing educational equity, advancing inclusive civic engagement, strengthening the social safety net

“In my first APM rotation, I worked with a team at University of Chicago to build a ML platform to improve early childhood educational outcomes. I drove product strategy, operations & recruiting, and machine learning research. Now, I work with a progressive technology startup building tools to more effectively increase voter turnout and engagement. I also work on a variety of technology policy issues.”

Why I chose Schmidt Futures: “I couldn't pass up an opportunity to work with and learn from such an amazing team. There's an incredible diversity of experiences and skills, and everyone is deeply curious, kind, and mission-aligned.”

Darren Hau

Passionate about: climate and sustainability in business, national security, strengthening the fabric of local communities

“I focus primarily on projects with the potential to meaningfully shift society's impact on our climate. This includes (1) investing in people by kickstarting Catalyst, a network of professionals figuring out how to leverage their skills to tackle climate change, (2) exploring innovative financial mechanisms to dramatically increase capital for first-of-a-kind infrastructure projects, and (3) embedding in specific projects to make our food system more sustainable. I am currently a technical advisor for Farm Fare, a startup building software to network food hubs so they can better optimize their inventory, sales, and logistics.”

Why I chose Schmidt Futures: "100% the people. It's rare to find a group of highly competent, accomplished people who have such humility and sense of mission. It inspires us all to become the best versions of ourselves."

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As an APM you will get to:

  • Lead a core project or core project workstream that leverages science and technology to make traction on a major societal challenge.
  • Discover interesting and potentially impactful scientific, academic, and industrial work related to your project. 
  • Establish and monitor metrics to track progress against the challenge.
  • Work with other Schmidt Futures team members to identify and advance other projects and people where Schmidt Futures can have a transformational impact using advanced computing techniques.
  • Help form partnerships and coalitions and oversee the development of platforms and tools by third parties.

Click here to watch this year’s information sessions to learn more about the program and the application process.

How to Apply

We’ve extended the initial application to be due by October 4th, 2020. The video portion of the interview will close at 11:55 PM EST and the absolute deadline for all materials to be in will be 11:59 EST. The application will consist of:

  • Two 300 word essays
  • Two 60 second video interviews.
  • Name and contact details for previous manager from internship or job

The goal of the application is to help us determine who you are as a person and the experiences that may have shaped your life and accomplishments. We ask that you are as open and honest as possible, and that all responses are reflective of your own purpose and values. 

Those who are selected to interview will receive notification of the next steps in early October. The interview process will have a few stages that will run throughout the months of October and November, with final selection for the cohort at the end of November. 

If you have any questions, please reach out to us at apmapply@schmidtfutures.com.

Qualifications

Please note that not all requirements must be met in order to be considered for this position, as we are committed to looking holistically at applicants to build the strongest cohort.

  • Demonstrated abilities in driving successful outcomes in highly ambiguous situations.
  • Experience approaching challenges with grit and determination.
  • Strong emotional intelligence with the ability to listen, build relationships, and draw out expertise and support from colleagues, advisors and partners.
  • Curious and persistent, loves to learn new things, and is always digging deeper to find the best solution.
  • Commitment to principles and values that advance society and shared passion for the mission of Schmidt Futures: to find exceptional people and help them do more for others.
  • Engineering degree in Computer Science (or equivalent level of training and expertise) at the BS, MS, or Ph.D. level, and expected graduation no later than spring 2021.
  • Some knowledge of Artificial Intelligence preferably with hands-on experience in applying technology to solve problems in non-Computer Science fields.

We strongly encourage people with diverse backgrounds and skills to apply, including individuals with disabilities and international candidates.

Apply here!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why the Schmidt Futures APM program?

  • At Schmidt Futures we believe that the way to address humanity’s biggest challenges is to get the best people in the world working to solve them.
  • Through the APM program, we are connecting top recent graduates with individuals in government, technology, philanthropy, and academia that are using advanced computing to solve major societal challenges. These challenges range from closing the gap between cognitive development of rich and poor kids to driving advances in medicine with advanced computing.
  • Our goal is that APMs will create lasting change through their work, build a passion for a particular social impact area, and gain an entrepreneurial skill-set to leverage technology to solve big societal problems.

What are examples of projects that I could work on?

  • APMs work on a variety of projects in a range of fields, including healthcare, education, climate change, and poverty alleviation. Each project seeks to solve a specific problem, leveraging data and technology. Current examples of APM projects include:
    • A project to close the cognitive development gap between rich and poor kids. As early as nine months, infants born into poverty score lower on cognitive development measures than their more affluent peers. This disparity triples by age two and brings a cascade of negative consequences extending into lifelong health and social well-being.
      • An APM is working with one of the preeminent researchers on early childhood development in the world to build a “fitbit for language development” that gives parents feedback on how to increase interactions with their kids, which is the most important driver of cognitive development.
    • A project to help millions of smallholder African farmers achieve resiliency and avoid food insecurity in the face of climate change. Over 826 million people globally are food insecure now and this figure has risen over the last three years. The expectation is that the number will rise, potentially to 1.8 bn under a climate change scenario of 4° Celsius
      • An APM is working with cross-functional team of environmental and machine learning researchers and the UN to leverage satellite and curated crop image data in mobile app that gives African farmers real-time advice to achieve crop resiliency (e.g., when to plant, how to get the value out of every drop of rain and what crops grow best under which conditions).

Will I be working on projects alone or with a team?

  • APMs will always work with a team. The team will typically be a mix of folks from Schmidt Futures, as well as leaders from partner organizations that we are working with, ranging from universities to start-ups and even larger organizations.

How long will I work on a project?

  • Typically, projects will range from six to nine months. The aim is to give APMs enough time to get up to speed, build something meaningful, and learn about a new field while still allowing them to get a breadth of experiences during the two years of the program.

How much coding will I be doing, versus other types of work?

  • This will vary depending on the project. The decision will be made based on project needs as well as each APMs skills and interests. Many APMs in our current cohort have an interest in building their technical skills – including coding – during their rotations. Getting technical support from APMs is an interest from some of our partners as well. For APMs who do have this interest, they can expect to spend up to a third of their time on more technical tasks. Even for more technical projects, APMs will take real ownership to drive forward key elements of a solution.

I don’t have prior product manager experience. Can I still apply?

  • Yes. The majority of our 2019 APM cohort joined us without previous PM experience. Many of them had software engineering or start up summer experiences. The APM program is intended to help train recent college graduates to become the next generation of impact-oriented, creative leaders. We are looking for a cohort of applicants with diverse work and life experience.

What do you envision APMs doing after the program?

  • Our goal is that APMs finish the program with the skills, knowledge, and networks needed to make an impact in the world through technology. The path following the program will differ depending on the APM, but could take the form of managing a technical team, starting a business, taking on leadership positions in companies and other organizations, or becoming social and policy entrepreneurs. Schmidt Futures is committed to working with APMs to help them figure out what path makes the most sense for them and find opportunities through our extensive network.

Is there any potential for a permanent, full-time offer following the 2-year program?

  • Absolutely. We will support APMs in finding whatever the right opportunity is for them to continue to grow their skills and have an impact in the world, which could be outside or within Schmidt Futures.

Where will I be located geographically? Is there any remote work?

  • APMs will be based in NYC. You can expect to travel 20-30% of the time for project work as well as APM international trips.

Will you cover any relocation costs?

  • Yes. There is a stipend provided for relocation costs.

Are applications considered on a rolling basis? When will I know if I have been selected?

  • All applications will be reviewed following the October 1, 2020 deadline and interviews will be conducted thereafter. Final decisions will be made by the first week of December.

What would my start date be?

  • The 2021 cohort of APMs will start between summer and fall 2021.

Interested in learning more from the team?

  • Please check out our latest webinar here.