Data Scientist, Admissions
San Francisco & Mountain View
What We Do
Y Combinator (YC) is a startup fund and program. Since 2005, YC has invested in over 2,000 companies including Airbnb, Dropbox, Stripe, Reddit, Instacart, and Docker. These companies are now worth over $155B combined. YC has built programs that support founders throughout the life of their company. Many of our services were created by YC alumni who later became YC partners — so, we understand the challenges involved with building a company. We help founders navigate their biggest challenges — from learning how to start a company, to finding customers, to raising funding and hiring their first employees, to raising a Series A and scaling beyond.
About the role
Twice a year, we receive tens of thousands of applications from promising startups all around the world. Reviewing these applications is one of the most important aspects of YC’s business. The ideal candidate will be a software engineer first, data scientist second. You will be the point person for data pipeline, analysis and modeling efforts, primarily focusing on admissions data. While fundamentally a technical role, promising candidates should also be excellent communicators, proactively seek out strategic opportunities to improve processes, and be open to doing non-technical tasks like reviewing applications and interviewing startups.
In this role, you will support efforts in the following domains:
- Build new admissions software features
- Conduct exploratory analysis on admissions data to inform strategic decision making.
- Collaborate with software engineering to maintain and extend existing data infrastructure.
- Build machine learning models to support admissions processes.
- Develop internal tools for parsing unstructured data.
- Understand the admissions pipeline and determine new ways to improve data collection, search and review.
- Review startup applications and interviewing founders
We’re looking for someone with:
- Interest in fields at the intersection of computer science / statistics / social science
- Knowledge/experience with standard ML toolkit, both unsupervised and supervised modeling techniques.
- Experience / interest in NLP technologies.
- Strong software experience, ideally in Ruby/Rails and Python.
- 3+ years of software engineering experience.
- At least one year of professional data science experience.
- Good communication skills (written/verbal).
- An interest in startups
The ideal candidate is self-motivated, independent, and passionate about using data to answer interesting questions to find promising founders and make YC the best experience for them. Strong candidates will be comfortable with handling a diverse set of tasks - from modeling the expected number of applications in a given batch to building the software that handles those applications, to actually reviewing them.
We are looking for someone senior enough to know best practices, but still excited to get their hands dirty. You should understand and know how to choose the right tool for any given data problem, even if that tool ends up being a survey or talking to users face to face. YC started as a family business, and we look for low-ego people who prioritize getting the job done over tool or title.
This is a good job for someone who is excited about startups and interested in learning more about them. You’ve likely worked at or started a startup, or want to do so in the future.
Location & Benefits
The YC admissions team is based in downtown SF. We can help you move here, but don't hire people who can only work remotely.
We offer highly competitive compensation (even with the top tech companies in the valley) and even equity in YC. We also offer full benefits that you might expect from established companies, including top healthcare benefits, 401k matching, generous parental leave, commuter benefits, catered lunch, and a flexible vacation policy.