Product Fellowship

BenchK12 - Remote - Part time

As the Product Fellow, you’ll help our Product and Customer Experience teams ensure that the BenchK12 product is meeting and exceeding the needs of our State and Local Education Agency partners and empowering educators from the moment they seek to become an educator and every day that they’re in the classroom.

Description of the Opportunity

As an early member of Bench’s team, you’ll be on the ground floor of a startup as it is launching its product for pilots with our State agency customers. Whether you’re passionate about edtech, govtech, future of work, blockchain, the gig economy, interoperability, artificial intelligence, algorithmic pricing, or another emerging space, you’ll bring a fresh perspective, paired with a get-it-done, solution-oriented attitude. This is a part-time, contract, remote role beginning in August 2022 through December 2022 with the possibility of renewal for 2023.

Who We Are

BenchK12 is an education technology startup that is solely focused on building a scalable, next-generation talent empowerment platform for K12 that can be utilized by the smallest local education agencies (LEAs) to the largest nationwide. Bench is a platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and software-as-a-service (SaaS) that is building both a platform for self-sovereign verifiable credentials for K12 educators and the agencies that hire and support them, as well as the individual applications to empower a better experience to retain educators and staff in the K12 education sector. Rather than individual LEAs owning and managing the professional data of educators, we put the data back into the hands of the educators who create it and utilize to expand their careers. We’ve launched our prototype SaaS product that is focused on removing the friction from the teacher credentialing process and connecting substitute teachers with classrooms more holistically. We’re taking what we’re learning from that and applying it to the on-going development of Bench’s platform for pilots with State agency partners in the ‘22-’23 school year.

We started Bench with the belief that technology should be a helper to make things more simple and streamlined so more time, talent, and treasure can be spent in the classroom and on students and families. Right now, too many resources are being devoted to managing data and administrative processes rather than data being used to empower better decision-making, improvement, and resource allocation. We began with a simple hypothesis — that if we can build something that is truly responsive to the specific needs of K12 education, empower professionals to own their data, keep it simple and affordable, provide outstanding partner support, and never stop making it better— we can finally solve *something* in education that will free up educators to focus on the most important thing: students and families. Our values and internal practices mirror our product vision and strive to create an empowered professional community where everyone feels valued and understands the importance of their work in achieving our goals for our education partners.

Our company was founded by Brooke Barrett, who has spent over two decades working in P20 education, youth, and community development in a variety of roles ranging from an educator to consultant to funder. The founding team, collectively, has over 150 years’ experience in education and technology.

Who You Are

A lot will change in these early days of our company, so in addition to the key qualities we’re seeking below, you need to have the ability to be agile and able to adapt as needed.

  • You’re a curious, creative, and thoughtful continuous learner and problem-solver. You believe you can learn from everyone you meet. You’re constantly thinking about how to make something better, but you don’t get stuck on trying to make something perfect. You don’t believe that something can’t be solved. You’re a sponge, constantly exploring new industries, ideas, technologies, and tools and thinking about how you can tie it back to your work. You’re not afraid to ask for help and you regularly seek out experts, surround yourself with books and articles, and learn from others as you come up to speed.
  • You enjoy collaborating but are self-motivated. The average age of our team skews older than most startups, so we expect you to know how to professionally and maturely collaborate with experienced leaders. Since we are an all-remote company, we also expect that you know how to manage your time well, set and meet reasonable goals and deadlines with others who are depending on you, and set aside a reasonable number of hours in your work week to collaborate with others in real time.
  • You are tech-savvy and know how to access a variety of resources and tools. As a startup we *are* the technology help desk, so you will need to know how to use the Google Workspace suite of tools, as well as know (or quickly get familiar with) Smartsheets, Trello, Jira, et al. Bonus points if you can introduce us to other helpful tools to accomplish other tasks more efficiently and effectively. You will need to provide your own device and get set up with reliable internet access, but we’ll provide you with a small stipend to help with your remote work setup.
  • You have a diverse and complementary network. Each person on our team brings a unique set of relationships to our company; together we’re stronger than we could ever be alone. You have a complementary network of professionals that will help you and us develop a best-in-class product and challenge our thinking on what’s possible.
  • You have several years of experience. You have spent some time working in education, product development, and technology (or all!), but you are excited to work in a startup environment rather than a more established company. You have a solid background in working on studies to create market analysis, SWOT analysis, evaluation of market sizes, and customer analysis. You have an understanding of business requirements gathering and software project life cycles and are growing your knowledge and experience in product management.
  • You’re a bridge between technical and non-technical audiences. You are interested in working with a technical team to align on features, requirements, and development work packages and you have excellent verbal and written communication and presentation skills with the ability to communicate technical and non-technical topics to novice and knowledgable audiences.
  • You are a graduate student. You are pursuing a PhD or Master's degree in Computer Science, Business Administration, or a similar/related field. Bonus points if we can help you gain credits or contribute to your academic work.

Your Responsibilities

This is what you will have ownership of and be expected to deliver during your internship. As an early-stage startup, we won’t realistically have a line of sight to how the responsibilities will specifically evolve, but this is our best guess right now!

  • Conduct market research around existing software solutions to manage educator credentialing (specifically substitute teachers) and their full educator life cycle (including other technology they may use to manage their careers).
  • Define requirements for BenchK12’s software related to new features, internal and external strategic projects and communicate those requirements to our product and developer teams as part of product management.
  • Analyze existing solutions for feature completeness working with BenchK12 staff.
  • Collaborate with the BenchK12 product, developer, and experience teams to pilot new features and solutions including tasks such as data preprocessing, dataset management, feature engineering, modeling, validation, and deployment.
  • Integrate proposed solutions into the newly developed product roadmap and/or evaluate business models for newly developed features.
  • Assist in identifying new needs, building, and managing tech team staff, vendors, contractors, and subject matter experts to realize the product roadmap.
  • Research new people, technologies, and applications, sharing what you learn with our team.
  • Build relationships with State credentialing agencies, State and Local K12 CT/IOs, Directors, and other technical professionals in K12 education, as well as with other potential external technology partners.
  • Develop your subject matter expertise to be able to understand both the front and backend development of the SaaS and PaaS products and how they can integrate with the most common data architectures/infrastructures that exist in K12 education.
  • Be able to communicate to technical and non-technical leadership various technology challenges, tradeoffs, and solutions.

Compensation

As an early-stage startup that is not currently venture-funded, we can’t compete with the more fancy compensation packages, but we try to make up for that by being really great people to work with and working on a mission that can’t be matched elsewhere.

That said, we know that doesn’t pay the bills or fill your belly, so we’re able to offer a $40/hour stipend for 10-15 hours of work/week for up to 16 weeks (max $9600.). We have a generous time off schedule including the first week of September (unpaid), Thanksgiving week (unpaid), and a paid flex week off of your choice. We’ll also provide you with a $500 work-from-home stipend to help you with whatever you need– for things like filling your snack drawer or help with your internet bill, totally up to you.

How to Apply

Apply here using this form. This is a rolling application process and we're looking to contract as soon as we find the right candidate, so please apply ASAP. We will respond to all applicants with next steps within seven business days post submission.

BenchK12 is seeking to serve and empower every current and potential educator, and every student and family they serve. In order to do that well, our team must reflect the vibrant diversity in our communities and schools across the United States. We welcome the unique contributions that you can bring in terms of your education, opinions, culture, ethnicity, race, sex, gender identity and expression, nation of origin, age, languages spoken, veteran status, color, religion, ability, sexual orientation, and beliefs. For example, our current team is two-thirds female, 40% non-White, speaks a variety of languages, is U.S. and Internationally-based, practice a variety of religions, but all believe that educators need modern technology to support and enhance their work, career growth, and aspirations.

Don’t meet every single aspect of the description, below? Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply to jobs unless they meet every single qualification. At BenchK12, we are dedicated to building a diverse, inclusive and authentic workplace, so if you’re excited about this role but your experience doesn’t align perfectly, we encourage you to apply anyways. You may be just the right candidate for this or other, future roles. (Shoutout to Tegus, for this inclusive language!)

Thank you for taking the time to apply; we look forward to learning more about you!

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Role

Product Management

Experience Level

Mid Level

BenchK12

BenchK12 is building the #FutureofWork for #Educators as the first Talent Empowerment platform designed for #K12.
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