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Business Operations Lead

Rivet School

Rivet School

Sales & Business Development, Operations
Richmond, CA, USA
Posted on Friday, March 15, 2024
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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 the 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 the Postsecondary Success Collective — network of innovative organizations that use a unique university to community model.

​​Rivet School is a fast-growing nonprofit currently supporting ~200 students across California, and aiming to grow to 800 students by 2026. We’re a tight-knit, supportive, and diverse team.

Why we need you

Our team is growing quickly — and our processes and operations need to keep up. In this role, which will span HR and team culture, finance, vendor management, and development operations, you’ll help us build and sustain strong, scalable systems to support our organizational growth.

Here are some projects our two-person Operations team has tackled recently:

  • Sourced a vendor and created a knowledge management system for Rivet School’s partner organizations
  • Evaluated the needs of our growing team to expand employee health benefit coverage
  • Redesigned our compensation systems for greater clarity and consistency
  • Transitioned students and staff from an acquired organization’s payroll, program operations, and tools to Rivet School’s own processes
  • Revamped our HR policies to account for regional laws and requirements as our team grows

Your first year at Rivet School may include strengthening and implementing our existing internal operations, like:

  • People and HR operations (60%): You’ll play an essential role in facilitating our progress towards organizational goals, maintaining our ongoing business processes, and fostering a healthy team culture. This may look like:
    • Facilitating our quarterly goals process
    • Creating, analyzing, and reporting on our quarterly Team Experience Survey
    • Coordinating in-person and virtual team building, including planning a possible team retreat
    • Tracking and enforcing Rivet School business policies and benefits
    • Coordinating hiring processes
    • Running payroll
  • Development operations (15%): You’ll ensure the financial sustainability of our organization by helping maintain our donor funnel infrastructure. This may look like:
    • Researching potential donors
    • Assembling and analyzing student datasets for donor reporting
    • Working with our Executive Director to improve our donor pipeline management processes
  • Vendor management (15%): Based on your knowledge of our student and organizational needs, you’ll expand our reach by managing external vendors. This may look like:
    • Representing Rivet School’s interests with external partners
    • Meeting with contractors to debrief, vet, and assign work
  • Finance operations (10%): You'll serve as a cornerstone in maintaining financial health and compliance, ensuring our budgets and spending reflect our priorities. This may look like:
    • Vetting team expenditures
    • Processing vendor invoices

You’ll also have the opportunity to work on strategic and creative projects, like:

  • Leading the implementation of our internal staff wiki
  • Conducting a salary market analysis to ensure Rivet School compensation remains competitive with comparable roles/organizations
  • Creating and establishing file management best practices across the organization
  • Working with our Admissions team to create efficiencies in our student Loaner Laptop program

Beyond the first year, you’ll likely have an opportunity to specialize — in one of the functions above, or elsewhere across the organization.

Who you are

Below we list some of the specific skills, experiences, and dispositions we're looking for in a candidate. We 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 some of the bullets below, we strongly encourage you to apply anyway.

Characteristics & qualities

  • RELIABILITY & FOLLOW-THROUGH
    • You sweat the small stuff, always follow through on your commitments, and are meticulous about producing accurate, error-free work.
  • OWNERSHIP MINDSET
    • You are in constant search of ways to improve your own work, your team’s work, and the organization around you, and put those ideas into action.
    • You don’t wait for others to hand you directions or tasks; you chart your own path.
  • STRATEGIC & CREATIVE GOAL-ORIENTATION
    • You excel at project management and jump at the chance to solve problems collaboratively.
    • You ask a lot of questions to uncover the nature of things. You’re quick to diagnose what isn’t working and come up with solutions.
    • You like building new things, tinkering on existing ones, and are comfortable navigating complexity and ambiguity.
  • GIVING & RECEIVING FEEDBACK
    • You embody a low ego approach and proactively seek assistance. 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 embrace giving and receiving constructive feedback.
  • STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION
    • You’re a keen communicator and writer, especially when it comes to distilling and simplifying complex information and step-by-step processes.

Our Core Value Expectations

  • Not Yet: You’re open and receptive to feedback, acknowledging gaps and taking steps to correct them.
  • No BS: You are honest, communicative, and balance competing interests appropriately, and you 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’re comfortable turning ideas into reality. You’ve managed projects that required you to work with multiple stakeholders, meet multiple deadlines, set and manage expectations, and balance competing priorities.
  • 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, event itineraries & logistics, and/or spreadsheet trackers.
  • You have experience interpreting data (both qualitative and quantitative).
  • You likely have at least one year of relevant work experience.

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.

Finally, 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 Black and Latinx, low to middle-income, and adult and/or parent learners taking a “nontraditional” educational path — to apply.

Why you should apply

As a member of our Operations team, 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. On our quarterly surveys in 2023, our team members rated (with a 100% response rate) an average 4.9 out of 5 on the question "My manager creates a trusting and open environment," and 4.8 out of 5 for "I would recommend Rivet School as a great place to work.” Here’s what a few team members say about working at Rivet School:

Our team is kind, intentional, thoughtful, and genuinely encourages me to bring my "whole self" to work.

It’s hard to imagine a better workplace. Team members are genuine, empathetic, open to feedback, and competent.

The feeling that everyone here wants the best for the people we serve, the communities we work in, and for one another. I really value this aspect of our team. It makes me truly love being a part of this team.

I enjoy working with a manager who is invested in my growth. My manager provides me with constructive feedback that is valuable to me growing professionally. I feel that I work with people who care about the work we do; this contributes to a stronger sense of comradery [sic] and purpose I carry in my day-to-day work.

I appreciate our open discussions on race, equity and inclusion and how each of us takes responsibility to use this lens in our work.

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

The nitty gritty

  • Target start date: As soon as May 20, 2024.
  • This is a full-time role based in the San Francisco Bay Area with flexible hours and location, and openness to periods of remote work. While our team has a hybrid work environment, the responsibilities of this role may require management of our office space and equipment in Richmond, CA.
  • We do mandate proof of vaccination and boosters against COVID-19 for employment, to be submitted at the time of offer acceptance.
  • We offer comprehensive health benefits (medical, dental, vision, and life), including 50% premium support for spouses and dependents. We also offer 15 days of PTO per year, 18 recognized holiday days off in 2024, 1 floating holiday, 10 days of Wellness Time (formerly known as sick time), access to a professional development fund, and generous leave policies (parental leave, bereavement, etc.).
  • To ensure equity in our hiring process, we assess candidates using pre-set questions and evaluate each step in the hiring process against a pre-set rubric. The steps in this hiring process are as follows: Initial application form (apply below), phone screen (30 minutes), performance task (90 minutes), second round interview (60 minutes), final-round interview (2 hours), and reference checks. While we reserve the right to adjust this process, we’re committed to holding all candidates to the same process and sharing updates as soon as possible.
  • At Rivet School, we use a competency-based leveling framework to ensure equity and fairness in promotions and compensation. The associated starting salary range for this role is $66,400 - $74,200 / year.

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 laws.

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