Chief Operating Officer (COO)

Richmond, CA (preferred)

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Who we are

Across the country, college completion rates are abysmal. In our home state of California, just over a quarter of students enrolled at a 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, students of color, 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.


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. 

Why we need you

With a first chapter of growth behind us, we’re primed to build out the leadership team that will take Rivet School from 200 to 1,000 students over the next four years. The Chief Operating Officer (COO) role will play a central role on our executive team, steering all administrative and operational functions, while partnering closely with our Executive Director and our Board of Directors on strategy, fundraising, and team leadership.


As a right-hand partner to our Executive Director, you’ll support:


  • Strategic priorities & organizational leadership (approximately 20% of role): Partner with our Executive Director and the Rivet School Board to chart and execute on a strategic vision for the organization. Manage Rivet School’s rhythm of business, including annual and quarterly goal-setting processes.

  • Rivet School program operations (~20% of role): Work with our Director of Growth & Admissions and Director of Program to ensure that our program is operating efficiently and effectively, while supporting the well-being and sustainability of our team.

  • Fundraising (~15% of role): Partner with our Executive Director to develop and execute on Rivet School’s fundraising strategy, manage fundraising operations, and support funder stewardship.
  • Financial planning & analysis (~15% of role): Partner with an outside accountant and bookkeeper to ensure that Rivet School remains on sound financial footing. Own budgeting, financial projections and modeling, and cash flow management.

  • People strategy & operations (~15% of role): Oversee hiring and recruiting systems, talent strategy, employee benefits, and team culture.
  • Technology & data systems (~15% of role): Work with our Senior Business Operations Manager (who will report to you) to build and maintain strong data and technology systems.

Who you are & what you can do

The responsibilities above represent a starting point. But we expect that your role will change quite a bit as our organization continues to evolve and mature.


To grow alongside Rivet School, you’ll need to be comfortable rolling up your sleeves and diving into the nitty gritty — and also comfortable managing a team, delegating responsibilities, and crafting long-lasting systems.


Below we list some specific skills, experiences, and dispositions we think the right candidate is likely to have. But we could be wrong! So even if you don’t have all of the experiences and skills below, but think you’re the right person for the job, we encourage you to apply anyway:


  • Team & project management: You likely have multiple years of experience leading an organization or managing a significantly sized team, with budgetary responsibility. (Bonus points if you have experience doing this in a nonprofit context.) You are strong at project management, sweat the small stuff, always follow through on your commitments, and are meticulous about documenting, communicating and organizing your work. You’re an excellent writer and presenter.
  • Financial planning & analysis: You’re very comfortable building and maintaining financial models. You understand (at least) the basics of accounting and bookkeeping, and are a savvy consumer of financial statements. You can distill and present financial information to key stakeholders.

  • Technology and data: You’re a whiz with tech tools. You love (and are really good at) using technology to solve operational problems. You’re a rigorous thinker, and committed to using data to make organizational decisions.
  • Strategic thinking and planning: You excel at thinking “around the corner” — anticipating where a team or organization should go, and charting out a path to get there. You’ve played a key role in shaping organizational strategy in a past role, likely as an organizational leader or leadership team member.

  • Organizational leadership: You’re excited to be the face of Rivet School (alongside our Executive Director) for internal and external stakeholders. You’ve planned for and led high-stakes meetings. You’re confident being in a role where your successes and failures will likely impact the entire organization.

  • People strategy and operations: You have experience developing thoughtful, rigorous, and inclusive hiring processes. You’re a natural coach, and love investing in and developing talent.
  • Antiracism and equity: You apply an equity lens to your work and seek opportunities to engage and act on issues related to antiracism and identity inclusion. You may have led high-quality diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives or programs before. And you’re energized by our vision to upend historically entrenched inequities by reimagining the post-secondary experience.
  • Everything else: As an organizational leader, you recognize that your role doesn’t end with bullet points on a job description. You’re simultaneously able to track and manage a wide set of workstreams, and you thrive on the variety and complexity this creates.

Finally, we strongly encourage applications from candidates who share proximity to our student population (which is ~75% Black and Latino, ~50% parent learners, and ~80% first-generation college students), and/or who've themselves experienced a "non-traditional" post-secondary education.

Why you should apply

As a key member of our leadership team and partner to our Executive Director, you’ll play a crucial role in taking Rivet School to the next level. Your work will directly impact the lives of our growing student body, and will help increase equitable access to high-quality higher education and life-sustaining careers. 


You’ll also join a committed, high-performing, thoughtful, and very fun (if we say so ourselves) team. Here’s what a few team members say about working at Rivet School:


I've never worked in a more supportive organization. The team fosters a culture of collaboration and openness that makes me feel comfortable bringing my whole self to work everyday.
It’s hard to imagine a better workplace. Team members are genuine, empathetic, open to feedback, and competent.
I appreciate our open discussions on race, equity and inclusion and how each of us takes responsibility to use this lens in our work. There’s a genuine commitment to antiracism and equity work, both at the team and organizational levels.


Learn more about the Rivet School team on our website here, or on Glassdoor

The nitty gritty

  • We are looking to fill this position as soon as possible. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
  • This is a full-time role based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Team members typically collaborate in person ~2 days/week at Rivet School’s hub in Richmond, CA, but our hybrid work environment also enables team members to take extended periods of remote work. For this role, we have a strong preference for candidates based in the greater Bay Area, but we are open to considering remote candidates who are able to travel to the Bay Area at least 2x/month.
  • We offer comprehensive health benefits (medical, dental, and vision), including 50% premium support for spouses and dependents.
  • We offer 32 days of PTO per year (15 days of PTO and 17 recognized holidays), plus five sick days and generous leave policies (parental leave, bereavement, etc.).
  • At Rivet School, we use a competency-based leveling framework to ensure equity and fairness in promotions and compensation. The annual compensation for this role is $140,000.


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.

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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.


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