I never had a first day of work quite like the early morning last June when I walked into Matter’s San Francisco office, still groggy from my flight across the country. Within minutes, I was pulled into a group circle where my new coworkers took turns expressing their nervousness and excitement for what was about to happen. We all put our hands in and shouted “Matter Seven!” on three. The next thing I knew, Corey was pulling open the office’s garage door, and dozens of excited, slightly dazed people streamed into the space, ready to get started on a 20-week journey that would change them as people and as entrepreneurs.
We did a getting-to-know you activity in which everyone took turns introducing themselves to the group as if they were someone else. Corey stood up and introduced himself as the new Google News Lab fellow, and then I got in front of the room and greeted everyone assembled as the co-founder and managing partner of the company I had joined only two hours ago. It was the fastest I’ve ever been promoted.
By the afternoon, I was back to the humble position of fellow. The rest of bootcamp week, and the 9 weeks that followed back at Matter’s Union Square location, were an exhilarating, exhausting blur. I quickly learned that once you’re on the Matter team, you’re all-in. This was not one of those internships where you’re expected to spend your time taking lunch orders (although you might be called on to help source catering), or where you’re sitting in a corner, working on some assignment that’s been handed off to you while everyone else goes about their business (although you will have the opportunity to pursue your own project, with the team’s guidance and support).
At Matter, we like to say that no job is too small or too large, and we mean it. For every day that you’re taking out the trash, there’s another day where you’re taking a stab at developing the company’s new OKRs. All the while, you’re working with an incredible group of people who are committed to helping you grow professionally, and with teams of passionate, visionary entrepreneurs who welcome your input as they design think their way through growing their ventures — and who always look forward to having you join them at karaoke.
This year’s Google News Lab fellow is going to dive in at what may be an even more exciting and intense moment in the Matter cycle: you’ll arrive right as Matter Eight is entering its final sprint to Demo Day. The twelve teams — 6 in NYC and 6 in SF — will be pushing their ventures as far as they can, preparing their pitches, troubleshooting live demos, and relishing their remaining weeks as a community. Our partner organizations will be doing the same. The Matter team will be supporting them all in their efforts, while also shooting and editing video, pulling off a high production value event, and preparing to source our next class of entrepreneurs, among many, many other things. As a full, if temporary, member of our team, you’ll be helping us with all of that.
What else will your fellowship entail? This is going to be your summer, so we want you to tell us. Are you a web developer or graphic designer interested in helping us refresh our website? A video pro who’s ready to take over our Demo Day production? A passionate student of the media landscape who wants to do a deep-dive into our mission and document the ways in which our portfolio companies are changing media for good? Something else entirely? Our ideal candidate will share the mindsets that drive Matter, while also bringing new skills and talents to our team. Tell us what you’re best at, and give us an idea of how you might leverage your unique skillset. We don’t care whether you want to work from SF or NYC, so long as you’re in it for the duration.
Applications for this year’s class of fellows close January 15, so if this sounds like it might be the place for you, get on it! I promise that it’ll be one of the most rewarding ways you could spend your summer. And if you’re anything like me, you might end up finding a way to stick around for good.