Wanted: Director of College Counseling ($700 bounty)

We’re looking for the next Director of College Counseling for our Los Angeles, California office. If you send us someone we successfully hire, we’ll pay you $700 after the person completes three months of successful work.

Wanted: Our next Director of College Counseling (Los Angeles, California)

*Do you believe that finding, applying to, and getting into college should be enjoyable, not stressful?

*Have you thought about becoming an independent counselor, but you’re worried about getting started, working alone, or handling the pressure of entrepreneurship?

*Would you like to join a team of wildly ambitious, unwaveringly supportive, lovably weird admissions zealots who have very strong feelings about their favorite—and least favorite—college essay questions?

If you’re nodding your head, you might be interested in becoming the Director of College Counseling at our Los Angeles, California office.

What is Collegewise?
Collegewise is a small but rapidly growing college counseling company that does college counseling differently. Our goal isn’t necessarily to get every kid who works with us into an Ivy League school. Instead, we work with A students, C students, and everyone in between to help them find and apply to the colleges that are right for them, prestigious or not. We do it all with just the right mix of advice, encouragement, and occasional cheerleading to make the process exciting and enjoyable for the families in our program.

But running a Collegewise office takes more than just good counseling. Successful directors are those who are not only drawn to the college counseling side of this role, but also to the opportunities and challenges of running a business (more on all of that below).

What does a Collegewise Director of College Counseling do?
First, you will be a Collegewise counselor, working with your own caseload of 25–50 students—most of whom are juniors and seniors—to help them find and apply to the right colleges for them.

You’ll also be in charge of leading a Collegewise office. You’ll make sure that families who hire us have a fantastic experience in our program. You’ll manage at least two counselors to help them be as successful as possible. You’ll speak in public and build positive relationships with high schools and community-based organizations. You’ll have a lot of responsibility, with the training, support, and room you’ll need to be successful.

Southern California is the home base of Collegewise. So not only will you be joining an existing office and team, but you’ll also be regularly rubbing elbows with our leadership and many of our most experienced counselors.

Let’s hear it for the perks!
Competitive salary, 401k, medical and dental benefits, vacation, etc.—we have all of those, and are happy to tell you more about them if you apply. But here are a few extras we appreciate about where we work.

  • The learning—and training—never stops here.
    Every director who joins us completes an initial 40-hour training, followed by mentoring, support, and ongoing professional development like regular webinars and in-person trainings offered by our most experienced counselors. Nobody coasts on experience here—we walk our talk about always getting better.
  • We want your ideas.
    The only way for a company to be innovative is to let smart people occasionally try things that might not work. While there are specific Collegewise counseling practices where we enforce conformity (we don’t want our students to be the experiment that might not work), we’re generally not a place where you’ll have to fight just to try something you’ve thought about.
  • We don’t work with every family who wants to hire us.
    We prefer to work with families who are predisposed to be delighted by what we do and how we do it. And that starts with enrolling the right people. So you’ll have the ability to say “No” to a potential family you believe is not a good fit. It’s not something we do often, but in those cases, you get to pass on a family you would have struggled to make happy, and they get the opportunity to work with a different counselor who will be a better fit (we even refer them to the competitor we think could best help them).
  • We enjoy a real winter break.
    Our students submit all (yes, all) of their applications before the winter holidays. So we (and they!) take two weeks off in December to enjoy our holidays free of application-related worries.
  • We take actual ownership of our work.
    Employees are given the opportunity to earn an equity stake in our company. That’s not necessarily a good reason to take a new job. But it’s a nice benefit if that job becomes a place you’d like to call home for a long time.
  • We run a business we can be proud of. 
    You won’t be crossing over to the private counseling dark side here. We have an excellent reputation with both high school counselors and admissions officers. In our spare time, our counselors volunteer with several organizations committed to improving access to higher education for under-resourced students. We present at NACAC and local ACACs, we recycle, and we have at least three confirmed vegetarians here. Yes, we’re biased, but really, this is a pretty great place to come to work every day. We work hard, we love what we do, and best of all, we like—and are proud of—the team we get to do it with.

What are the downsides?
Every job has its less-than-perfect components, and we think applicants have the right to know what you’d be getting into before you apply.

  • It’s not 9-5.
    You will work hard, sometimes in the evenings and on Saturdays during the busy fall season.
  • The customer isn’t always right.
    We do this job because we really enjoy working with kids and parents. But we’re in the customer service business. Sometimes customers are unreasonable. Sometimes they don’t take your advice. Sometimes they blame you for things that really are not your fault. Thankfully, those cases are the exception rather than the norm here. But it still happens, and when it does, those are not our favorite days.
  • It’s a business.
    We’re running a business, and you’ll be responsible for your office’s financial performance. We’re not going to ask you to be (or train you to become) someone who says things like, “What’s it going to take for me to put you in this counseling program today?” In fact, we’ve learned that the best sales technique is simply to be so good that your customers can’t help but tell their friends. But the financial aspect would likely be a source of stress for someone who just wants to counsel kids, without other responsibilities.

Salary and start date
This position starts at $52-80K depending on experience, with annual bonuses, as well as room for future growth in both salary and responsibility. We’d like our new director to start as soon as possible, but we can adjust the start date to accommodate the right person.

What’s the next step?
If your interest is piqued, get to know us a little better on our website. Find out more about what we do, who you’d be working with, and what we believe. If you like what you read and think you could find a professional home here, please send a résumé and cover letter to jobs@collegewise.com.

We really can’t emphasize enough that like a great college essay, an effective cover letter should help us get to know who you really are. Don’t be afraid to be yourself—smart, thoughtful, or maybe even funny. Just don’t be generic. You might also consider checking out our five tips for job-seekers.

If you have questions about the job, please email us at the above address rather than call us. We promise to respond to you quickly.

Thanks for reading our post. We’d love to hear from you, but if we don’t, we hope you find the perfect professional fit someplace else.