Summer Fellow 2020
About Bellwether Education Partners
Bellwether Education Partners is a national nonprofit focused on dramatically changing education and life outcomes for underserved children. We do this by helping education organizations accelerate their impact and by working to improve policy and practice.
Bellwether envisions a world in which race, ethnicity, and income no longer predict opportunities for students, and the American education system affords all individuals the ability to determine their own path and lead a productive and fulfilling life.
Our work focuses on six service areas:
- Policy analysis and research
- Strategy and growth planning
- Organizational effectiveness and efficiency
- Implementation support
- Educational program evaluation
- Academic and program advising
We believe that the only way to ensure all children have access to a high-quality education is to take a holistic approach by changing field-level policies and perceptions while strengthening and supporting individual organizations. Since many of the challenges organizations face are complex, they require multiple perspectives and areas of expertise.
Through our integrated offerings, we provide comprehensive, coherent, and lasting solutions to education’s most long-standing and complicated problems.
Bellwether boasts high employee retention and referrals, and — according to Washingtonian magazine — we're one of Washington D.C.'s 50 Great Places to Work, based on employee satisfaction. We're intentional about building a culture where staff feel challenged, engaged, and recognized for their accomplishments, and we're proud that our team — both in D.C. and around the country — feels confident in the decisions we make and the ways we flexibly approach work.
Bellwether takes our mission of serving educators, students, organizations, and communities seriously. But we try not to take ourselves as individuals quite so seriously. We do challenging work, and we know how to have fun. From jumpsuits and talent shows at retreats, to PowerPoint presentations on werewolves and vampires at team meetings, we embrace our individuality — our quirks, talents, and diversity of viewpoints. We welcome different experiences and perspectives because we know that our team is stronger for having a variety of political, cultural, and educational beliefs represented.
Bellwether strives to make the work rewarding and sustainable so we can find harmony between demanding jobs and full personal lives. We are proud that our team has poets, hockey players, food bloggers, activists, teachers, karate black belts, church leaders, cyclists, and much more. Our flexible work environment allows many of our team members to work where they like, and when they like (within reason, of course). This allows us to operate in ways that feel most productive to us and do more of what we love doing on our own time.
These qualities are clear in the core values that guide our work and reflect what is truly important to us as an organization:
- Mission Mindset: We are dedicated to dramatically improving outcomes for low‐income students. Our nonprofit status allows us to focus on this mission, and it guides the people we hire and the clients and projects we support.
- Tailored Excellence: We work with our clients to develop customized, innovative solutions. We direct our unwavering focus on quality toward successful outcomes for our clients.
- Synergy: We believe the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and that our teams make each other better.
- Integrity: We exemplify the highest standards of individual and organizational ethics. We carefully balance client confidentiality with transparency to other clients and the public.
- Diversity and Inclusion: We believe that to achieve our mission, we must be a diverse and inclusive organization broadly reflecting the various communities we serve.
- Flexibility: We believe in the philosophy of “working smarter, not harder.” We trust our co-workers and teams to do excellent work in the manner they see fit.
- No Drama: We have no tolerance for drama or the politics of education affecting our work. We respectfully and proactively deal with frustrations, disagreements, and unexpected hurdles.
Further, we value many forms of diversity and believe race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic issues play an especially acute role in the education sector and consequently our work. By actively seeking and hiring talent with diverse backgrounds and experiences, and maintaining an environment where divergent ideas and perspectives are freely expressed, we increase our collective ability to deliver thoughtful, relevant solutions and analyses for our clients and the education sector.
About the Position
Summer Fellows work as members of small teams and take on leadership roles within Bellwether and in our work with clients. Summer Fellows play an important role within Bellwether teams on client engagements by identifying issues, forming hypotheses, designing and conducting analyses, building models, synthesizing conclusions into recommendations, developing work plans, and ultimately helping to implement change with our clients. Throughout an engagement, a Summer Fellow is directly involved in discussions and presentations with senior client leadership. Fellows will also have the opportunity to contribute to internal capability building. Throughout the fellowship, fellows will work closely with Bellwether Associate Partners, Senior Associate Partners, and Partners to execute projects.
Summer Fellows are accountable to Associate Partners and Senior Associate Partners within Bellwether who, in turn, guide their work and invest in their professional development. This particular opportunity is in the Strategic Advising practice within Bellwether, led by Managing Partner and Co-Founder Mary Wells and by Partners Lina Bankert, Rebecca Goldberg, Jeff Schulz, and Gwen Baker. While the Summer Fellow will have exposure across Bellwether’s program areas to broaden his/her skills and perspectives, the majority of time will be allocated to supporting Strategic Advising.
In that context, the Summer Fellow’s primary responsibilities and duties will be to:
- Take on client responsibilities, as described above;
- Partner with clients and senior Bellwether team members to develop high-impact business strategies and implementation plans in response to real-world, time-sensitive challenges brought forward by the client;
- Develop work plans and execute against these plans with independence and a high degree of ownership;
- Perform quantitative and qualitative analysis on core strategic issues for clients and synthesize insights;
- Identify key data sources and gather data through interviews and secondary research;
- Manage client interactions, including strong meeting preparation and follow-up;
- Serve as a thought partner, leveraging internal and external networks, to engage in team problem solving, share evolving business trends and best practices, and contribute to knowledge creation initiatives;
- Write and deliver high-impact presentations, strategic plans, and research briefs; and
- Generate creative, action-oriented insights and recommendations for both internal and external improvement.
Bellwether is a strong fit for professionals who possess strong personal drive and motivation; demonstrate exemplary professional behavior and values; and who are resourceful, responsible, tenacious, independent, and self-confident.
The ideal candidate for this position will have formal training and experience from a premier management consulting organization and success as a strategy consultant (or success in a similar role requiring analytical thinking and problem-solving), bring a sophisticated understanding of relevant issues in education reform, and possess an entrepreneurial spirit. In addition, the successful candidate will have:
- At least three years’ professional experience in a role requiring strategic consulting, project management, research, and analytical problem solving;
- Demonstrable passion and commitment to working in the field of education reform;
- Some familiarity with the challenges facing schools and education reform efforts in the U.S.;
- A well-rounded interpersonal skill set with the capacity to build strong client relationships, work effectively in a team environment, and facilitate joint problem solving with clients and internal teams;
- Excellent quantitative analytical skills (including a high degree of comfort with financial modeling and data analysis), creativity in problem solving, and a keen business sense;
- Strong communication skills, both verbal and written;
- A highly self-motivated work style and willingness to proactively take on leadership roles within project teams and the firm;
- Maturity, flexibility, and comfort working in a small organization;
- A strong academic record including a graduate degree, ideally in business; and
- Comfort with some travel.
Bellwether Education Partners provides competitive compensation based on experience and qualifications.
Washington, DC strongly preferred, but open to other locations.
Applications or inquiries about the position should be directed to:
Lynne Graziano, Recruitment Coordinator
The application deadline is December 31, 2019. Applications should consist of a letter of interest and a current résumé and should be submitted electronically.
Bellwether Education Partners is committed to providing equal opportunities. It is our policy to ensure that all individuals with whom we are in contact are not discriminated against on the basis of age, race, ethnicity, color, disability, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran’s status. Further, as described above, Bellwether is committed to building a diverse team and strongly encourages individuals from all backgrounds to apply.