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Program Manager, Partners and Events

The Organization 

At Thrive Scholars, our goal is to see talented BIPOC students from economically disadvantaged communities develop economic mobility and financial security, and become the diverse corporate, civic, and academic leaders our country so desperately needs. 

Our comprehensive, data-driven, high-touch program model  [1]focuses on the key inflection points that can be the difference between graduating from any college, and graduating from a top college with the grades, degree, career skills, and network needed to thrive in careers that equip Scholars for economic mobility. 

The Position

Thrive Scholars is looking to recruit a Program Manager, Partners & Events, who will lead the ongoing development and implementation of our career and corporate partner programming. In this role, the Manager will work with our Career Pathways and Corporate Partnerships teams to refine and build on our corporate partner engagement model, ensuring a commitment to the student experience and learning outcomes.

Our corporate partnership model engages industry partners nationwide in our Scholars’ academic and professional journeys. An anchor of this model is the Corporate Sponsors Program, through which partners financially sponsor program participation for and provide professional support to a group of Scholars. Alongside this program, partners often support our full Scholar community through engaging employees in mentoring Scholars; participating in career-focused programming (e.g., industry panels, job shadowing); and hiring Scholars for internships and alumni for jobs. Along these lines, the Program Manager, Partners & Events will have opportunities to collaborate across departments to identify, design, and implement opportunities for Scholars to engage with partners in highly impactful ways that support Scholars’ long-term career goals.

In this role, you will bring together your experience in youth program/event management, partner stewardship and engagement, and your collaboration and relationship-building abilities to deliver a well-integrated, high-quality corporate partnership program for all stakeholders.


Reports to:  This position reports to the Managing Director of Career Pathways.

Key Responsibilities: 

In this role, the Program Manager will lead, implement and execute events connecting our Scholars with partners, to support our Career Pathways partner-facing programming and create impactful experiences for Scholars that support their career goals and position them to attain economic mobility. These responsibilities include:

Program Management & Administration

GOAL: Ensure a high-quality, consistent, and reliable experience for all stakeholders, including Scholars and partners.

  • Working closely with the Career Pathways and Corporate Partnerships team, this role will be a thought partner on the creation of partnership program plans that serve student learning goals and partner objectives, and that complement and align with Scholars’ experiences within the broader Thrive Scholars program.
  • Plan and execute key program components, including the student selection process for the Sponsored Scholars program, student orientation, partner/scholar events, and engaging varied stakeholders where appropriate.
  • Communicate and report on student updates and partnership experiences to internal and external stakeholders in partnership with account managers.
  • Ensure partner and Scholar program satisfaction goals are met.
  • Maintain accurate and up-to-date scholar and partnership database records, and leverage data to track and assess the scholar and partner experience and inform program design and improvements.

Event Planning and Support

GOAL: Ensure virtual and in-person Career Pathways partner events are well-run, promoting a positive and impactful participant experience. Examples of events include Corporate Sponsorship Events, Career Pathways programming events involving partners (ex., Industry Panels, Capstones, and Day on the Job events, etc.)

  • Oversee workflow management, tracking, follow-up, and reporting for complex events that involve multiple program areas, ensuring that projects are successful and program staff have the information and clarity they need.
  • Manage a master calendar of Sponsored Scholars program events to support programmatic activation.
  • Collaborate with key stakeholders on event vision, purpose, and goals. 
  • Plan partner event logistics, including promoting and managing event sign-up, venue, and technology.
  • Coordinate with and provide logistical support to corporate-sponsored scholars. 
  • Provide day-of logistical and technical event support and troubleshooting. 
  • Document Scholar participation in our database, as applicable. 


Cross-Departmental Operations Collaboration

GOAL: Ensure cross-departmental communication and efficiency by collaborating with staff across the organization. 

  • Collaborate with the Alumni Engagement and Mentorship Programs team to inform programming to include corporate partner engagement opportunities and events.
  • Work with the Communications and Content Manager on social media, blog, and website content. 
  • Collaborate with the Corporate Partnerships and the Development team on external communications as needed. 

Qualifications and Experience

There are innumerable ways to learn, grow and excel professionally. We respect this when we review applications and take a broad look at the experience of each applicant. The qualifications and experiences listed below are intended as a guide; we do not expect candidates to check every box.  

  • Minimum of three years of professional experience and two years managing youth programming/events. 
  • Experience engaging with corporate partners/corporate volunteers
  • Experience in and a passion for working with first-generation and BIPOC high school and/or college students
  • Deep understanding of the systemic barriers underrepresented students encounter in the pursuit of higher education and career advancement
  • A highly skilled relationship-builder who can effectively engage and develop trusting connections with high school and college students as well as seasoned professionals, industry executives, and corporate leaders
  • Track record of success of designing and implementing program, event, and project plans
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to create varied messaging that effectively, motivates and directs students, non-profit professionals, and corporate audiences
  • Demonstrated ability to collect and manage data with accuracy, and to leverage data in managing program processes and identifying program improvements; experience with Salesforce or other databases a plus
  • Ability to leverage technology to build rapport with, and facilitate highly engaging interactive training and events for, students and corporate professionals across the country
  • A highly-organized individual who is effective in taking initiative and prioritizing short-term and long-term needs in a fast-paced work environment involving multiple projects and stakeholders 


Along with the specific qualifications and experiences noted above, viable candidates will be expected demonstrate the following competencies:

  • Strategic Collaboration: Understands how and when to work with others to drive strong results. Able to balance attention to both results and relationships.  
  • Building: Creates new and better ways for the organization to be successful, shaping theory and/or practice in the field. 
  • Leading through Change: Effectively engages and mobilizes stakeholders through change by mitigating stress, demonstrating compassion, and illustrating and planning for a desirable future. 
  • Project Management: Effectively and consistently manages tasks and processes to on-time completion of clear and predetermined outcomes.
  • Commitment to Results: Takes action to produce high-quality work with measurable results in service of Thrive’s mission and Scholars.

Position Location: Flexible. 

Travel Expectations: 

This role will include some travel throughout the year (approximately 8-10 trips per year) and potentially up to 2 weeks of work at our on-site Summer Academy, typically held in-person at the University of Chicago and at Amherst College. 

Compensation & Benefits 

Thrive Scholars offers a competitive compensation and benefits package including high-quality health and dental insurance, three weeks of paid vacation, generous professional development funding, and access to an employer-matched retirement plan. This is a full-time, non-exempt position.

Starting salary range: $69,700 - $77,500

COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement

Thrive has a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all employees, including remote staff. Individuals selected for job opportunities must be fully vaccinated and up to date, per CDC guidelines [2], and will be required to provide proof of vaccination status in advance of your hire date.

If you are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons or sincerely-held religious beliefs, Thrive will consider requests for reasonable accommodations consistent with our policy. Accommodation requests cannot be guaranteed, Thrive will consider requests where we are able to provide such accommodations without undue hardship to the organization pursuant to applicable law. Any such accommodation must be approved in advance of signing an offer letter.


Thrive Scholars provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment based on race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, national origin, sexual orientation, age, disability, or veteran status.

Knowing its importance to the success of our work, Thrive Scholars is committed to diversity and inclusion, and we aspire to build a diverse staff team and community. We strongly encourage people of all backgrounds to apply. We appreciate your time and will review and respond to all applications received.

For more information, please visit thrivescholars.org [3]

  1. https://www.thrivescholars.org/programs/our-model/?navOpen=career-development
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/stay-up-to-date.html
  3. https://www.thrivescholars.org/

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