Senior Product Owner – Malengo

About this job

Location Employees can work remotely
Posted 4/19/2023
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Company Description

Malengo is a non-profit organization (US: 501(c)(3); Germany: gGmbH) that facilitates international educational migration. We provide mentoring and financial support to students from low-income countries who want to complete a Bachelor’s degree in a high-income country. We aim to give millions of students the opportunity to pursue the education they want, and to lift themselves and their families out of poverty in the process. We believe that this is one of the most effective poverty reduction strategies in per-dollar terms that is available.

Malengo currently supports low-income, high-ability students in Uganda in applying for and completing a Bachelor’s degree in Germany. By 2030, we aim to support students from most low-income and lower-middle income countries, and facilitate undergraduate studies in more than a dozen destination countries. Our program is sustainable by combining a strong network of volunteer mentors with a financial model in which students support future generations of scholars once they have a high enough income (income share agreements, ISAs).

Job Description

We are now searching for a Senior Product Owner who can help us develop a tailored customer relationship, application, and payment management system so that we can take our organization to the next level and rapidly scale our scholar support to support many hundreds of students in the coming years.

Responsibilities include:

  • Develop a digital transformation strategy across our student journey so that we can replace manual processes and increase our efficiency and effectiveness. This may include:
    • Overseeing the development and maintenance of a portal which allows students to apply for participation in the Malengo program
    • Developing and maintaining a digital tool which helps students understand their options for study abroad and allows them to find universities and courses that match their talents and interests
    • Conceptualizing and deploying digital approaches to remotely prepare students for tests of English (e.g. the TOEFL), especially in low-bandwidth environments
    • Developing and maintaining a portal that shepherds students through the process of applying for universities, visas, housing, and part-time jobs
    • Developing and maintaining a portal which matches volunteer mentors with students and allows them to support the students in navigating their lives at university
    • Overseeing the development and maintenance of a payment system that administers income share agreements (ISAs)
    • Build out project requirements, terms of reference, and assuring quality outputs from technology vendors like our CRM provider, specific project engineers, etc.
  • Work with our program teams to identify KPIs and build out dashboards so that we can regularly monitor our progress, set targets, and continuously improve the way we work
  • Oversee the digital infrastructure of the organization


We seek a highly motivated, entrepreneurial, and versatile leader who will help to grow Malengo from a fledgling project into a large-scale, high-quality operation that serves thousands of students each year. You might be the ideal candidate if you recognize yourself in these descriptions:

About the candidate

  • You are inspired by Malengo’s mission and want to create opportunities for thousands of students from low-income countries
  • You have a strong entrepreneurial drive and want to build and develop an organization from the ground up
  • You have demonstrated success integrating technology to improve systems and processes, particularly in environments with low bandwidth and smartphone use, and among those with low digital literacy
  • You have deep familiarity and expertise in product ownership, especially in overseeing the development of complex tailored CRM and payment systems (ideally including establishing interfaces with German accounting and payment systems)
  • You can explain technological concepts in ways that empower those who do not understand their complexity
  • You are highly socially skilled and can develop and maintain relationships with our team, vendors, and other partners
  • You are solution-oriented and have a continuous improvement mentality, both about yourself and the organization
  • You speak very good English. French and/or German fluency is a plus
  • The position is remotely based, with a preference for Germany or East Africa
  • You should be willing to travel at least four times a year to get together with the team

Additional Information

What we offer: 

  • The opportunity to join a motivated and diverse team on a high-impact mission
  • The possibility to shape a young startup and to create opportunities for thousands of students
  • Competitive salary commensurate with background and experience
  • Healthcare benefits
  • Retirement plan
  • A choice between Unlimited PTO or 30 vacation days per year

Please indicate your salary expectation in your application.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Anticipated start date: as soon as possible.

Malengo is committed to diversity, and we believe that our work is strengthened by our differences in background, culture, experience, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ethnicity, disability, and more. We actively seek and welcome applicants who identify as BIPOC, women, members of the LGBTQIA community, persons with disabilities, and people at the intersections and peripheries of these identities.

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