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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 Program Overview

Associate Product Managers 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, engineering, and similar fields that are central to solving the world’s most pressing problems.

Over the course of two years, APMs rotate among a range of projects, operating with ownership and autonomy while learning from senior leaders at Schmidt Futures and partner organizations. Some rotations may involve work with government or civil society for engagements of up to nine months. 

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

APMs emerge from the program ready to manage teams, start businesses, lead organizations, and become social and policy entrepreneurs. 

The program is a two-year, full-time commitment, based in New York, with travel as needed.

The application for the Fall 2022 APM cohort is now open. Graduating seniors or recent college graduates are eligible to apply. 

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

As an APM you will get to:

  • Lead a core project or core project work stream 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.

How to Apply

The application is now open for the Fall 2022 APM cohort. You can apply here!

The deadline to apply is September 1, 2021 at 5:00 PM ET. 

Candidates who apply before August 1, 2021 will be notified by September 1 if they advance to the interview round. Those who apply by the final deadline of September 1 will receive a response by September 17. 

The final cohort will be selected based on the full pool of finalists, and all selected cohort members will be notified at the same time in October 2021. 

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

Qualifications

We look for the following knowledge and skills in applicants: 

  • Creative and entrepreneurial. Brings a fresh perspective and celebrates new, better ideas.
  • Flexible problem solver. Able to work through ambiguity to take on and solve challenges.
  • Biased toward impact. Gets things done, with a track record of successful landings. 
  • User-focused. Gets to know users well in order to help create the most personalized impact.
  • Ownership attitude. Eager to do whatever needs to be done to get a product out into the world, forging trust with teammates through humility and hard work.
  • Curious. Excited to learn. Able to get up to speed quickly and go deep on new topics. 
  • Mission-driven. Committed to advancing society through the principles and values that drive Schmidt Futures: to find exceptional people and help them do more for others.

You must meet the following qualifications: 

  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Engineering or Computer Science (with graduation expected by June 2022) or an equivalent level of training and expertise.
  • A demonstrated ability or interest in applying science and technology to solve social problems.
  • Be based at the Schmidt Futures offices in New York and travel within the U.S. and internationally regularly as needed following company policy and permitting circumstances.

Information Sessions

If you’re interested in learning more, sign up for upcoming webinars with our team here: 

Date Time Topic Registration Link
Thursday, June 24 12:00-1:00pm ET Program Overview & Application Tips Register
Thursday, July 8 5:00-6:00 pm ET Program Overview Register
Tuesday, July 20 12:00-1:00pm ET Program Overview Register
Tuesday, August 3 5:00-6:00 pm ET Application Tips Register
Thursday, August 20 12:00-1:00pm ET Panel with Cybersecurity Talent Initiative  Register
Thursday, August 26 4:30-5:30pm ET Program Overview Register

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 non-profits, government, philanthropy, and academia that are using technology to solve major societal challenges. These challenges range from closing the gap between the cognitive development of children from high-income and low-income backgrounds 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. Examples of APM projects include the following:

Close the Cognitive Development Gap Between High-Income and Low-Income Children: 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. One APM worked with one of the preeminent researchers in the world on early childhood development 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.

Build Crop Resiliency in Africa in the Face of Climate Change: Over 826 million people globally are food insecure, and this figure has risen over the last three years. Experts expect this number to rise, potentially to 1.8 billion, under a climate change scenario of 4° Celsius. To prepare for this, one APM worked with a cross-functional team of environmental and machine learning researchers and the United Nations to leverage satellite and curated crop image data in a mobile app that gives African farmers real-time advice to achieve crop resiliency. This includes information such as 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 APM’s immediate team will be a mix of technology folks from the partner organizations that they are working with. This typically includes a senior product manager or leader, software engineers, and/or a designer. APMs will also receive continued support and mentorship from their teammates at Schmidt Futures.

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. 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.

What do you envision APMs doing after the program?

Our goal is for APMs to 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.

What is the application timeline?

The deadline to apply is September 1, 2021 at 5:00 PM ET.

Candidates who apply before August 1, 2021 will be notified by September 1 if they advance to the interview round. Those who apply by the final deadline of September 1 will receive a response by September 17.

The final cohort will be selected based on the full pool of finalists, and all selected cohort members will be notified at the same time in October 2021.

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

Yes. Candidates who apply before August 1, 2021 will be notified by September 1 if they advance to the interview round. Those who apply by the final deadline of September 1 will receive a response by September 17. The final cohort will be selected based on the full pool of finalists, and all selected cohort members will be notified at the same time in October 2021.

Is there an advantage to applying early?

There is no competitive advantage to applying early. The primary benefit is that you will receive early notification of your application status and whether you have been selected as a finalist to advance to the interview round. This early notification may be helpful for candidates considering other opportunities on different timelines.

Candidates who apply before August 1, 2021 will be notified by September 1 if they advance to the interview round. Those who apply by the final deadline of September 1 will receive a response by September 17. The final cohort will be selected based on the full pool of finalists, and all selected cohort members will be notified at the same time in October 2021.

What is involved in the application process?

Round 1: Applicants complete the written application form. We will ask you to provide your resume and responses to two essay prompts.

Round 2: Strong candidates will advance to the skills assessment round, which includes a take-home assessment. The assignment will require you to apply your strategic thinking along with your data analysis skills, using an artificial example based on a true problem that is representative of the types of problems you would think about as an APM.

Round 3: Finalists will advance to the interview round. Finalists will meet with Schmidt Futures team members and our current APMs. We will assess your strategic thinking skills and provide you with the opportunity to learn more about the work and culture at Schmidt Futures.

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

Yes. The majority of APMs join us without previous PM experience. Many of them had software engineering, strategy, or startup internship 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 experiences.

Do I need to know a specific coding language in order to apply?

No, but the most competitive candidates will have a strong grasp of programming concepts and will be able to communicate and make decisions about technical ideas, even if you are not the person coding the final result. It is helpful to have some experience with data analysis and data visualization.

Are international applicants eligible to apply?

Yes, we welcome applicants from international backgrounds. If you will require work authorization in order to work in the United States, please indicate that in your application. For more information on Visa’s and eligibility, please visit the U.S Immigration website.

What would my start date be?

The Fall 2022 APM cohort will start their program in August 2022.