Rivet School,

Director of Partnerships

1 month ago
Employment type
Richmond, CA
Closing date

About this organization

Across the country, college completion rates are abysmal. Here in California, for instance, just over a quarter of students enrolled at a California State University (CSU) campus graduate within four years. Of students who do graduate from college, around four in 10 end up underemployed in a first job. Traditionally underserved populations — like working students, parent learners, and those who are first in their families to attend college — disproportionately suffer.

We think this status quo is unacceptable. Rivet School is college built for real life — a new type of college experience designed from the ground up to support traditionally underserved students. Rivet School students earn an accredited, job-relevant bachelor’s degree in as little as 2-3 years, and for around $10,000 total. We’re part of a network of colleges with this model called hybrid colleges, and we’re leading the way with many of our innovative program models.

​​Rivet School is a fast-growing nonprofit currently supporting ~200 students across California, and aiming to grow to 1,000 students by 2025. We’re a tight-knit, supportive, and diverse team of 20.

About this job

At Rivet School, we find our students through a mix of direct online outreach, word-of-mouth referrals, and partnerships with community organizations and employers. While all three channels are valuable to our growth, partnerships demand a high level of attention to yield results. But when they work, it’s like magic! Partnerships lead to a win-win-win outcome for everyone involved: Rivet School grows, our partners get great outcomes for their clients/employees, and prospective students unlock new opportunities through a college degree.

We need you to help us build out our long-term strategy, tools, and systems to strengthen and expand our partnerships, as well as to lead our Partnerships Team in sourcing, onboarding, and maintaining lasting referral partnerships. Our students perform better when a committed partner is backing them. The more stakeholders we have rooting for our students’ success, the more likely it is they’ll make it to the finish line. You’ll lead our partnerships team in doubling down on effective partnership strategies (like partnering with school systems for our Educator Pathway) while exploring innovative new partnership opportunities across new industries and sectors, all with the goal of recruiting future Riveters and growing our impact.

As the Director of Partnerships, you’ll work directly with Nora Maxwell, our Managing Director of Growth & Admissions, and Dorothy Gray, our Senior Partnerships Lead.

Target start date: Tuesday, January 3rd, 2023

This is a full-time role with flexible hours and location. Our office is in Richmond, CA. You’ll be expected to work in our Richmond office at least 1 day per week to attend team meetings. Periodically, you may need to travel around California for partner meetings and events, but outside of that, you’re free to work where you like, with openness to periods of remote work.

For this role, we have a preference for candidates based in the greater Bay Area, but we’re open to a remote version of this role (with occasional travel) for the right candidate who lives outside of the Bay Area in California or elsewhere in the U.S.

For non-remote candidates, we do mandate proof of vaccination and boosters against COVID-19 for employment, to be submitted at the time of offer acceptance.

We offer health benefits (medical, dental, and vision), 15 days of PTO per year, 17 recognized holiday days off, 1 floating holiday, and 10 days of Wellness Time (formerly known as sick time).

At Rivet School, we use a competency-based hiring and leveling framework to ensure equity and fairness in promotions and compensation. The associated salary range for the level of this position is $95,000 - 100,000.

Roles & responsibilities

Strategic planning and projects (~50% of role): Partner with our Executive Director and the Managing Director of Growth & Admissions to chart and execute a strategic vision for Rivet School’s referral partnerships. You’ll also work directly with new and existing partners to build innovative, lasting, and scalable partnerships.

Referral partnership expansion (~30% of role): Build out and manage a team of Partnership Leads to source, onboard, and maintain long-lasting and effective referral partnerships. From time to time, serve as the “face of Rivet School” at partner convenings, conferences, and community events.

Ops and systems-building (~20% of role): Maximize efficiency, efficacy, and impact of partnerships by building out and codifying partner account management processes.


Below we list some of the specific skills, experiences, and dispositions we're looking for in a candidate. We also don't expect all strong candidates to excel at each and every one of these skill areas! So if you're intrigued by this role, but have less familiarity with one of the bullets below, we strongly encourage you to apply anyway.

Characteristics & qualities

You have a deep interest in helping traditionally underserved students access opportunity. A typical Riveter is in their late 20s; a first-generation college student; Black, Latino, and/or AAPI; a parent or has significant family responsibilities; and has previously enrolled in and stopped out of college. You understand that our current education system discriminates against low-income people and people of color in systematic ways, and you want to be part of changing outcomes.

You've likely managed a team and have had budgetary responsibility. (Bonus points if you have experience doing this in a nonprofit context.) You’re a low-ego manager that creates space for team members to show up as their whole selves. You’re a natural coach, and love investing in and developing talent.

You are an excellent communicator, writer, and presenter. You’re excited to be the face of Rivet School — communicating our mission, vision, and program elements to different audiences and environments. You’ve planned for and led high-stakes meetings.

You are a data-driven and rigorous thinker. You sweat the small stuff, always follow through on your commitments, and are meticulous about documenting, communicating, and organizing your work.

You excel at thinking “around the corner” — anticipating where a team should go next, and charting out a path to get there. You’ve played a role in shaping organizational strategy in a past role.

You’re comfortable owning and executing on big projects — but you’re also willing to dive into the nitty gritty. You are excellent at building and stewarding authentic relationships, and deftly navigate operational and organizational hurdles to make partnerships work.

You have a history of creating flawless deliverables, whether in school, at work, or in your personal life. These could include presentations, email communications, reports, handbooks or manuals, and/or spreadsheet trackers.

You’re capable of juggling multiple projects at once. You’re a fast learner, like building new things, and are comfortable navigating complexity and ambiguity. You care deeply about achieving excellence, but never at the expense of yourself or others.

Our Core Value Expectations

Not Yet: You’re open & receptive to feedback, acknowledging gaps and taking steps to correct them.

No BS: You are honest, communicative, and balance competing interests appropriately, and help foster an environment in which the full team can do the same.

We are the Riveters: You treat Fellows and team members as whole people with whole lives and do not shame team members or fellows for falling short of expectations.

Own the Journey: You adopt a low-ego, self-responsible approach to work and collaboration, taking accountability for mistakes and proactively seeking solutions to challenges.

Work experience and background

You should have experience in developing partnerships across organizations/companies — and you might also be a savvy networker in your sector. We’re particularly interested in candidates that have worked in a partnerships or business development capacity in the IT, non-clinical healthcare, higher education, or K-12 fields prior to this role.

You’ve likely managed a team of individual contributors (ICs) to work together towards a shared goal or objective — perhaps working towards sales goals, recruitment targets, or adding new organizations to a partner portfolio.

In general, we define “work experience” broadly, and we care as much about work experience as we do your character, potential, and belief in our mission of building a better college experience for low-income and working students.

We do not absolutely require a bachelor’s degree, but we do view it as an asset. Rivet School also supports staff members without a BA on their pathway to earning a college degree. We also are particularly enthusiastic about candidates who share proximity to our learners — candidates who worked while attending college, attended a community college en route to a BA, were an adult or parent learner, or in some other way deviated from the so-called “traditional” pathway.

To apply

Learn more about the role and apply at this link: https://www.rivetschool.org/careers/director-of-partnerships

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