Open Position: Innovation & Academia Associate

swissnex Boston and the School of Management Fribourg are looking for a driven, versatile and curious person to join our team as an Associate. If you are passionate about supporting our future-oriented work in higher education and innovation & entrepreneurship, and ensure the success of our related activities, we want to hear from you.

About us

swissnex Boston creates opportunities for researchers, entrepreneurs, artists, designers, and other future-makers to expand their reach and make meaningful, collaborative connections with innovators in Switzerland and North America. Our mission is to support the outreach and active engagement of our partners in the international exchange of knowledge, ideas and talent.

Our activities include:

  • Working closely with universities and research labs to promote the flow of ideas, knowledge, and talent through collaborative events, partnerships and network-building
  • Advising and supporting universities on trends in higher education and strategic initiatives
  • Accelerating startups and assisting entrepreneurs in entering the North American market
  • Advising corporations, non-profits and international organizations on market trends and best practices
  • Collaborating with artists and designers on innovative projects at the intersection of art and science
  • Supporting Swiss innovators and thought leaders in expanding their North American presence

With offices in Boston and New York, we are part of the swissnex Global Network, an initiative of Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation with locations in Brazil, China, India and San Francisco. Forward-looking by design, we scan broadly for trends and “signals from the future” to inspire people and organizations to prepare for the challenges of tomorrow. Our biggest impact stems from projects that are truly multidisciplinary and bring together actors who don’t normally cross paths, much less collaborate.


As an Associate at swissnex Boston, you will join a dynamic team working in a creative and collaborative environment located between Harvard and MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. You will be responsible for a wide variety of activities, including but not limited to:

  • Developing networks and relationships in both the local and Swiss landscapes in the fields of higher education and innovation & entrepreneurship.
  • All phases of event and project management (planning, budgeting, execution, follow-up) for events and delegations in higher education and innovation & entrepreneurship
  • Tracking and reporting on activities in our database and to our headquarters
  • Networking and outreach to find speakers, audiences, and partners
  • Coordinate the visit of a class of MBA students from the School of Management Fribourg for a deep dive into the ecosystem and to discover new markets. The one-week study trip program will include company visits, events and lectures.
  • Support the School of Management Fribourg on growing its network of in the United States by researching, compiling, and sharing information
  • Creating value for Switzerland through all these activities, and more!


  • This internship position requires that candidate studies in a university or university of applied sciences in Switzerland towards a bachelor’s or master’s degree and is requested to do an internship in order to obtain the degree, or
  • The last university degree (bachelor/master) is not older than one year at the beginning of the internship
  • Candidate has not gained professional experience in the field of his/her studies
  • The total period of internships (including this one) in the federal government does not exceed 12 months
  • Applicants must be Swiss citizens or have a valid Permit C
  • Excellent skills in English, good public speaking ability


Candidate must also be able to demonstrate the following competencies:

Learning Agility:
Ability to think through problems from a fresh point of view and comfort with ambiguity and complexity. Willingness to challenge the “status quo.” Curiosity and passion for ideas. Love of learning. Has a genuine passion about swissnex’s mission, and is enthusiastic about asking questions, connecting people and knowledge.

Responds resourcefully, flexibly, and positively when faced with new challenges, transitions, and demands. Willingly and effectively deals with the stress and the complexities of various situations. Moves forward productively and optimistically under conditions of change and uncertainty.

Building relationships:
Establishes and maintains strong, open, and trusting relationships internally and externally. Relates well to management, colleagues, peers, and direct reports. Champions a caring culture of respect, diversity, and inclusion that values the unique talents, ideas, and experiences of all employees. Earns the respect of others through effective interpersonal skills, reliability, empathy, and authenticity.

Models and promotes collaboration and works effectively with others across the organization to achieve goals and global opportunities. Demonstrates proficient cross-organization communication, cultural sensitivity, and partnership in interactions with others. Involves others in decisions and plans and credits them for their contributions and accomplishments.

Generates and champions new ideas, approaches, and initiatives, and creates an environment that nurtures and supports innovation. Leverages knowledge and best practices, fresh perspectives, breakthrough ideas, and new paradigms to create value. Encourages new ways of looking at problems, processes, or solutions.

Results orientated. Sets challenging yet achievable goals; pursues them persistently, overcomes obstacles while focusing on meeting or exceeding these goals. Plans out work, organizes resources and monitors progress. Has a strong desire for swissnex, own team, and self to succeed.

What We Offer

  • Starting date: May 1st, 2020
  • Duration: 6 months minimum, contract extendable up to 12 months
  • Status: full-time (40 hrs/week)
  • USD 2’400.00 compensation (per month)
  • Four weeks’ vacation per year (pro rata temporis) and select Swiss and US holidays.
  • Hands on involvement in projects and tasks related to the mission of swissnex Boston (main fields of work: Science, Innovation, Higher Education, Entrepreneurship and Art)
  • A multicultural, creative, inspiring, stimulating and team-oriented work environment with unlimited coffee and lots of Swiss chocolate
  • A Cambridge, Massachusetts location near Harvard Square

Apply Now

Please complete and submit the application below, along with your resume and a cover letter. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling deadline.

Final Deadline to apply: March 31st, 2020