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Early Career Program Specialist

Making Waves Foundation

Job Description

Early Career Program Specialist

Full Job Description

Our Vision for the Early Career Program Specialist

Making Waves Foundation is seeking a skilled professional to join their Early Career & Alumni team and assist Wave Makers and recent college graduates with career planning and support. The Early Career Program Specialist will play a crucial role in providing direct support to the department and collaborating with the Wave Makers, Alumni, Coaching team, and the Marketing & Storytelling team to promote career exposure, exploration, and experience. The ultimate goal is to establish a pathway to career opportunities and to strengthen existing partnerships that lead to internships and job opportunities. The Early Career Program Specialist will also be responsible for leading the creation of career development content for Wave Makers and Alumni.

In the initial 6-12 months, a successful candidate will have worked to enhance the career development content and increase participation in career-focused workshops, alumni career panels, and other events. They will have also collaborated with the Senior Manager of Early Career & Alumni to strengthen internal and external partnerships that promote personal and professional growth for the Wave Makers.

Our Commitment to the Early Career Program Specialist

We are proud of the above-market total rewards package to our employees in line with our guiding principles of centering transparency and equity, rewarding expertise and performance, and championing professional wellness. This position is a full-time, exempt role, and will be eligible to receive:

  • A competitive base salary range of $75,055-$101,545 based on requisite work experience and performance during the interview process. In line with our commitment to equity, fairness, and transparency, we have adopted a no salary negotiation policy.
  • 51 total days off per fiscal year (a combination of company-paid holidays, vacation, sick, and personal time)
  • 100% employer paid medical (Kaiser HMO Platinum), vision, and dental benefits for the full-time staff member and a spouse/domestic partner or dependent child(ren).
  • Lunch on in-person days (5x a month) and free access to Grubhub+, 3% retirement match, a $750 HRA account to help fund mental health benefits, FSA for medical and childcare expenses, and an annual professional development stipend
  • A hybrid work environment where staff work from the office on five (5) common days a month with flexibility to work remotely otherwise. We provide a monthly wi-fi reimbursement and a home set-up stipend to set staff up to successfully work remotely.


The statements below are intended to describe the general nature and scope of work being performed by this position. Other duties may be assigned as needed.

Early Career Student & Alumni Services: Provide career advising to support student internship and job placements. (30%)

  • Advise students and alumni via one-on-one and/or small groups on complex career challenges and individual career development plans including but not limited to administering and interpreting career assessments and goal setting.
  • Support students with developing career-related skills via resume and cover letter writing, interview prep, internship and job search strategies, etc.
  • Support Wave-Makers in post-college goals through individual coaching and providing resources for topics including, but not limited to, graduate school admissions and career transitions
  • Provide support for alumni through presentations, workshops, seminars, group working sessions, and individual coaching

Program Implementation: Compile staff- and student-facing resources and systems to support integrated career programming. (45%)

  • Coordinate with Sr. Manager Early Career & Alumni to ensure smooth alumni programming (e.g., workshops, alumni panels, alumni survey,)
  • Coordinate, create, contribute to, and deliver professional development workshops, presentations, and materials for Coaching team
  • Support student and alumni engagement to inform program design (e.g., plan and prepare agendas for advisory meetings, conduct outreach)
  • Work collaboratively with Making Waves Foundation and Making Waves Academy staff to ensure Wave-Makers receive excellent services
  • Collaborate with other staff and departments to ensure students receive comprehensive support services which may include but are not limited to: Career exploration, career readiness, and career experience
  • Collaborate with Marketing and Storytelling team to develop career and alumni content, event marketing, and contribute to content strategy for social media, websites, newsletters, and other channels.
  • Support partnership development that leads to career/internship opportunities for Wave Makers (e.g., research, scoping, implementation)

Data Organization & Administration: Implement robust early career and alumni data tracking and collection systems to inform program services. (20%)

  • Identify and track students who are internship and/or job ready
  • Develop and organize strategic outreach and communication methods
  • Input and organize early career/alumni survey data, pre and post event information, etc. into Salesforce
  • Research and compile full-time, part-time, internship, volunteer and leadership opportunities for our student job portal
  • Support with the creation and implementation of program-wide surveys and data collection efforts
  • Additional duties and responsibilities as needed

Learning & Development: Actively Engage in Continuous Improvement and Organization Processes (5%)

  • Prioritize Professional Growth: Research, schedule, and participate in professional development opportunities in service of their professional growth and impact on the organization
  • Participate in organization-wide systems, processes, and rituals (e.g., annual and quarterly goal setting, employee engagement surveys, All Hands); commit to providing feedback to improve our work in the future


  • 4+ years of relevant work experience in early career, college success, alumni relations or related field
  • Bachelor's degree and work authorization required
  • Experience working directly with college students in both individual and group settings, virtually and in person, peer-to-peer or in a professional setting
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail; ability to prioritize and work independently and address several challenges simultaneously
  • Strong computer and database skills, experience with Salesforce and Signal Vine a plus
  • Demonstrated proficiency and/or growth potential in key Skills for Success: Adaptability/Flexibility, Communication, Planning/Organization/Time Management/Prioritization, Problem Solving/Decision Making, Relationship Building, Self-Development, and Service Orientation
  • Ability to be discreet and maintain confidential information
  • Ability to work occasional evenings and weekends events
  • Occasional local travel required under non-pandemic conditions

Skills You've Acquired & Values You Hold:

  • Demonstrated commitment to coaching our students to graduate from college as quickly and with as little debt as possible while equipping them with the skills and experiences needed to be competitive contributors to the global workforce
  • Experience supporting college and career-related programming, creating student-friendly content for high school and/or college students
  • Planning and Executing: Able to organize, prioritize, track, and manage workflow. Strong project manager who has strong attention to detail and executes to reach goals. Consistently tracks tasks to meet goals, timelines, and milestones, and effectively follows through on plans.
  • Culture Values: Relates and aligns with our mission and core values (drive impact, promote equity, build community, do hard things, learn and grow). Committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Building Relationships: Develops beneficial internal and external relationships to achieve results. Consistently demonstrates the ability to work effectively with others, including inspiring, challenging, and supporting self and others to be at our best.

About MWF

Making Waves Foundation is an education nonprofit that supports historically underserved and underrepresented students to pursue college and career pathways that set them up for a thriving career, financial independence, and a choice-filled life.

We support Making Waves Academy (MWA), a 5-12 grade public charter school in Richmond, CA. After high school graduation, each of our students (we call them "Wave-Makers") are invited to join our college success and early career program, where they can receive a need-based scholarship, one-to-one college coaching, and financial literacy training. Each year, we support over 1,200 students in grades 5-12 and over 500 college students on their journeys to and through college. In 2020, Making Waves Foundation launched a new strategic plan to serve more students and families. We will do this by taking the best of what we've learned at Making Waves Academy about college access and the best of what we've learned at Making Waves Foundation about college success and work to increase the college attendance and graduation rate for low-income students across Contra Costa County and beyond.

Making Waves Foundation is requiring all staff members who work on-site to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as defined by the CDC. Accommodations or exceptions can be requested directly to someone on the People & Culture Team for medical or religious reasons.

Making Waves Foundation strives to build a staff that reflects the cultural diversity of the communities that we partner with. Making Waves Foundation provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. We encourage BIPOC identifying individuals to apply.

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