Career Coach and Program Strategist

Richmond, CA

< Back to all roles
Apply for this role

Who we are

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 15. 


What is Career at Rivet School?

We know earning a degree can unlock long-term economic stability for our students.  Studies show that median career earnings for a bachelor’s degree are more than twice as high as for someone with only a high school diploma or GED, and significantly higher than someone with some college but no degree or an associates degree. In addition to higher salaries, we want our graduates to access improved benefits and increased job satisfaction throughout their lifetime. Yet right now, colleges of all kinds are scrambling to figure out the best way to support graduates toward career success.

At Rivet School, we’re actively working on this challenge, because we know a degree means nothing if it doesn’t lead to a great career. We’ve developed a menu of career competencies for our students to master to support their individual needs, with program elements for each competency currently under development. So far, we’ve launched a remote externship consultancy called RivetWorks to give working students the opportunity to gain different professional experience, and created a living resource bank to prepare students for important moments on their career journey.

Why we need you

With our first chapter of growth behind us, we’ve created a career strategy designed to meet our students where they are, build on their strengths, and help them identify and achieve their career goals. We’re excited to find our second Career team member to ramp up our program and services.

As a Career Coach and Program Strategist, you’ll work with Claire Michaels, our Director of Career. Your mission will be to provide career counseling, help design and implement programs, and use your insight about student experience to develop program operations. Responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:

  • Career coaching: Spend between 50-60% of your time working one on one with students, primarily remotely.  You’ll provide short term, goal oriented career coaching engagements focused on developing career plans and articulating skills. You’ll also provide tactical support like identifying and setting up informational interviews.
  • Program implementation: As a new member of a small team, you’ll plan and coordinate career programming,  track graduates, administer surveys, announce career related successes, recruit students and businesses, and provide weekly check-ins for program pilots.
  • Program Operations Development: Modify our practices, develop student-facing materials, and coordinate with other members of the team to triangulate support for students (like working hand in hand with their College Coach).
  • Program Strategy: Based on your knowledge of our students’ needs, you’ll play an integral role shaping our career strategy and program design.

To do this work well, you’ll need the desire to work one-on-one (primarily remotely) with students, as well as the ability to understand what’s needed to make a new program work – for students and for our team. 


Who you are

Characteristics & qualities

  • You believe all students are whole people with complex lives, and you believe anyone can succeed with the right support and environment.
  • You understand that our current economy discriminates against low-income people and people of color in systematic ways, and you want to be part of changing outcomes.
  • You believe all people deserve to do interesting, fulfilling work that supports them and their family financially.
  • You believe that employers stand to benefit from hiring people from diverse backgrounds and that doing so will help their bottom line.
  • You love connecting with others. You are attuned to people’s needs and you honor those needs, while balancing them with your own.
  • You jump at the chance to solve problems collaboratively. You’re quick to diagnose what isn’t working and come up with solutions. You ask a lot of questions to uncover the nature of things. When interacting with others, you listen first, then speak. 
  • You don’t assume that you have all the answers, and you are always open to new knowledge, even if it destabilizes your assumptions.
  • You sweat the small stuff, always follow through on your commitments, and are meticulous about documenting, communicating and organizing your work.

Work experience & background

  • You likely have about two years of experience in career advising or workforce development.
  • You likely have about two years of experience mentoring, coaching, or teaching people from diverse backgrounds, especially across race and class.
  • You likely have at least one year of experience with strategic thinking and planning for program development and implementation.
  • You are a keen communicator and writer. You have the emotional intelligence to shepherd a conversation to the desired outcome.
  • You have experience following multi-step processes, maintaining spreadsheets, and documenting qualitative and quantitative information.

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.

Why you should apply

As an early member of our Career team, you’ll support students directly and influence program development.


You’ll use your critical thinking, creativity, and emotional intelligence to increase access to higher education and, more broadly, to economic opportunity. 

Here’s what a few current students have to say about our nascent Career programs:

‘This program helped me branch out to a different profession that I didn't know existed.’
‘Participating in this program helped me identify what career choice works for me!’
‘My favorite part was doing consulting for the first time because I have a professional background in retail/customer service, so being able to get experience in something new was great.’
‘I felt like a part of something and it gave me motivation! Also the knowledge I gained is going to be useful for my future.’

We’re committed to helping you achieve your professional and learning goals, so expect to grow. This will be really hard…but also (based on our first-hand experience) really fun!


The nitty gritty

  • Target start date: Monday, 1/10/22
  • This is a full-time role with flexible hours and location:
  • You’ll have a lot of flexibility in the hours you work, but because many of our students work during the day, coaching often happens in the late afternoon or evening. Ideally, you’ll be comfortable working shifted hours (for instance, 11am - 7pm) up to 3 days per week.
  • Our office is in Richmond, CA, but our students live and work all around the greater Bay Area and California. Under current local guidelines, our team is fully remote and expects to continue working remotely until working in person is determined to be safe. At that point, ideally, you’ll travel to Richmond 2 days per week to attend team meetings and periodically to the SF / Peninsula / South Bay for coaching, but outside of that, you’re free to work where you like.
  • We do mandate proof of vaccination against COVID-19 for employment, to be submitted at the time of offer acceptance. 
  • We offer health benefits (medical, dental, and vision) and 30 days of PTO per year (15 days of PTO and 15 recognized holidays).
  • At Rivet School, we use a competency-based hiring and leveling framework to ensure equity and fairness in promotions and compensation. For this position, we are open to candidates with a wider variety of experience levels. The associated salary range for these levels is $65,000 - $78,000 / year.

Rivet School works to upend historically entrenched inequities by reimagining the post-secondary school experience, especially for first-generation and non-traditional students. We commit to living our mission and values by hiring a diverse team, and especially welcome candidates who reflect the identities and experiences of the students we serve—who are majority parents, Black and Latinx, and low to middle-income—to apply.

As an equal opportunity employer, Rivet School is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified individuals and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, marital status, veteran status, pregnancy, parental status, genetic information or characteristics, or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

Apply for this role

Why Rivet School

Rivet School isn’t just a great place for students.

Just as we pour our energy into making Rivet School an amazing place for students, we invest just as much in making Rivet School a great place for our team. While we’re serious about our work — and about pushing ourselves to grow — we’re also serious about having fun, showing up for each other, and taking time to pause when we need it.


Here’s what our team members say about working here:

“I’ve never worked in a more supportive organization.”

“It’s hard to imagine a better workplace. Team members are genuine, empathetic, open to feedback, and competent.”
“There’s high-quality work produced across the team. Things are systematized, well-documented, organized, and clear.”

If this environment speaks to you, speak to us! We look forward to getting to know you.