Program Director, Life Sciences Career Pathways

Boston, Massachusetts or Los Angeles, California
November 04 2020
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type
Job Type

The Organization


At Thrive Scholars, our goal is to see talented low-income students of color develop the inter-generational wealth and financial security their more privileged peers take for granted, and become the diverse corporate, civic, and academic leaders our country so desperately needs.


Our comprehensive, data-driven, high-touch program model focuses on the key inflection points that can be the difference between just graduating from any college, and graduating from a top college with the grades, degree, career skills, and network needed to thrive in the career of their choice. Over our six-year program, Scholars benefit from admissions and intensive academic preparation before college and a comprehensive set of academic, personal, social-emotional, financial, and career supports throughout college. Within the four year career development curriculum, Scholars participate in early exposure and discernment programming, two years of intensive personalized career coaching focusing on hard and soft skills, access to our professional network, and corporate partnerships for internships and jobs, ensuring that they are competitive entrants into any career of their choice and that they are positioned to grow and lead within their industry.  


In the year ahead, Thrive Scholars will be growing the number of students we serve and deepening our career development programming to include brand new industry-specific tracks, ensuring that Scholars have the tailored preparation they need to enter and grow within competitive career fields, including Life Sciences.  


The Position


Thrive Scholars is looking to recruit an experienced and effective Program Director, who will lead the development and implementation of our new Life Sciences Career Pathway. In this inaugural role, the Director will ensure that interested Scholars are equipped to excel in the life sciences field, including in roles within biotech, research, pharma, diagnostics, health careers, and more. 


At the onset, the Program Director will have the opportunity to shape the design of the new Life Sciences focused career development curriculum that will be embedded within the holistic six-year Thrive Scholars program. The goal of this curriculum is to ensure that Scholars gain relevant experiences, knowledge, and skills to support their career success in this field. Once the track is launched, beginning in fall 2021, the Director will oversee the Life Sciences programming and will also directly provide tailored individual career support to a caseload of Scholars within the Life Sciences track.


In this role, you will be able to bring together your expertise of life sciences career paths, your skills in program and project design and implementation, and your rapport-building and coaching abilities, to create and deliver a transformative career development experience for our Scholars. 


The Program Director, Life Sciences Career Pathways, can be based in Los Angeles or Boston and will report to the Senior Director of Career Development. 


Post-COVID, this role will include occasional academic-year travel and potentially up to 1 week of work in Los Angeles or in Amherst, Massachusetts during our Summer Academy. 


Key Responsibilities:


  • Program Design and Leadership: 
    • Design and implement a Life Sciences focused curriculum that spans the entire six-year Scholar experience and ensures students have the preparation to enter and grow within the job market successfully. In designing the new life sciences track, the Program Director will build on our existing generalist career development curriculum and will work with each of our program teams to integrate career development programming within our Summer Academy, College Access, College Success and Mentorship programs. 
    • Create resources, online courses, and facilitate virtual and in-person workshops and panels on topics that support students in navigating their post college life sciences career path.
    • Plan and lead student engagement events including company presentations, industry panels, industry treks or company visits


  • Individual Scholar Coaching and Support:
    • Provide individual coaching and support to Life Sciences track students, focusing on career exploration; career roadmapping and skills development; applying for internship, job and graduate school and fellowship opportunities; and the bar for success in the Scholar’s identified function and industry. Coaching most often will take place through in-depth video, phone and email exchanges.
    • Provide support to volunteer mentors who are also working with students on the Coach’s caseload.
    • As the primary relationship manager for students on the caseload, assess and triage holistic needs that Scholars may have, including needs related to academic and socioemotional success. 
    • Work with Thrive Scholar industry partners to maximize internship and full-time recruitment pipeline and on-the-job success.  This will include consulting on recruiting strategy, understanding hiring profiles for targeted roles, identifying candidates based on successful profile, interview preparation, and coaching support before and during internship/job
    • Maintain records of all appointments, presentations, and services to students.


  • Department and Organizational Collaboration:
    • Research employment trends, industry insights, and best career coaching practices; curate and share this information with career coaches and program teams. 
    • Provide ongoing data analysis and outcomes measurement. Analyze data and prepare statistical reports as needed.
    • In collaboration with others on the Career team, support the implementation of career programming across industries, including events, workshops, webinars, conferences, and the production of lasting resources


The Ideal Candidate

  • Bachelor’s degree required, master’s degree in STEM field preferred
  • Minimum 7 years of professional experience, including 5+ years in life sciences industry 
  • Minimum 2 years relevant experience in advising, coaching, or talent development, or people management role  
  • Entrepreneurial skills and demonstrated track record of building and implementing developmental programs or initiatives
  • Strong coaching and rapport-building across a diverse population 
  • Strong knowledge of life sciences career paths and employment landscape
  • Deep understanding of the college to career journey for underrepresented students
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Excellent analytical, and organizational skills
  • Capacity to balance multiple and varied tasks, meet deadlines, and use well-developed time management and organizational skills
  • Experience with Canvas or other LMS
  • Experience using a database for documentation and reporting (Salesforce preferred)


Thrive Scholars offers a robust 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 exempt position.


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 

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