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Position Title:  Associate
Reports to:  Senior Associates and Principals

Salary Range:  $120,000 – $145,000

The Associate supports Senior Associates and Principals as part of client facing teams, playing an active role in all aspects of client engagement. This includes executing on project design and approach, gathering and analyzing information, formulating and testing hypotheses, and developing and communicating recommendations. Associates will also have the opportunity to present results to client management and implement recommendations in collaboration with client team members.

rpk GROUP is seeking an Associate with particular expertise and experience in optimizing operations within higher education, health care, or nonprofit sectors. Examples would include assessment of and execution on organizational restructure, creation of shared service models, assessment of opportunities to leverage technology to improve service delivery, creation of strategic sourcing purchasing models, and establishment of performance metrics to guide operational excellence.   The ideal candidate will also have a strong background in finance and an ability to analyze financial and operational activity to assess organizational outcomes and return on investment.

The Associate will work remotely from their own home office and report to a Senior Associate or Principal for supervision and support. Travel will be required for client meetings and several staff meetings per year. Work may be required outside of normal business hours to meet client demands (i.e., in the evenings and weekends), but a flexible schedule during the work day is permitted.

Job Responsibilities

Responsibilities will include, but may not be limited to, the following areas and items:

Research and Client Engagement

  • Conduct primary research (e.g., interviews, focus groups) and secondary research (e.g., using online sources) for clients in support of strategy development, business planning, and other projects
  • Manage the entire lifecycle of research related to client projects, including developing protocols, administering surveys, analyzing results, and surfacing findings
  • Draft, revise, edit and format client communications including memos, interview protocols, worksheets, agendas, project work plans, surveys, presentations, minutes, etc.
  • Lead, with support of analysts, efforts to develop graphics and/or data visualizations to be used in client communications, presentations, and reports
  • Present results to client management

Optimization of Client Operations

  • Assess current client operations to determine opportunities to optimize those operations, create cost savings, and eliminate “pain points”
  • Create client service lines that reflect student and employer demand, and analysis of projected net revenue from those service lines
  • Create recommendations for optimization of operations, to include: organization structure, duplication of effort, shared services, leveraging technology, strategic sourcing, outsourcing, and performance metrics
  • Assess potential cost savings and reallocation opportunities from implementation of recommendations

Project Management and Support

  • Support client projects as a member of the team from start to finish, including meeting planning, monitoring deadlines and deliverables, updating work plans, communicating in a timely fashion with clients, and managing workflow and documentation
  • Serve as a thought partner to the Lead Consultant and other members of the project team, providing feedback on meetings and interviews, critical thinking on how to meet project goals, and planning on project trajectory

Firm Advancement

  • Take on internal roles to help strengthen rpk GROUP as a firm, including but not limited to writing, presenting, and engaging across rpk’s professional social media accounts
  • Support business development by contributing in brainstorming sessions and reviewing proposals
  • Participate in ongoing, firm-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion trainings
  • Drive process improvements, including new technology adoption

Required Qualifications

The Associate position requires superb communication skills and mastery of common technology tools. This individual must be engaged, diplomatic, patient, and helpful; communicate challenges in order to solve problems; and take direction as well as work independently.

Required qualifications include:

  • Bachelor’s Degree required; graduate degree preferred
  • Minimum of 3–4 years professional experience
  • Experience in higher education, nonprofit, or healthcare operations
  • Exceptional analytical and quantitative problem-solving skills
  • Ability to identify and quickly comprehend research questions, and then independently pursue relevant information from secondary sources
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a virtual setting
  • Ability to communicate complex ideas effectively, both verbally and in writing
  • Willingness to travel (up to 25% of time)
  • Strong Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint skills

Preferred qualifications include:

  • Experience in higher education, nonprofit, or healthcare finance, and an ability to analyze financial and operational activity to assess organizational outcomes and return on investment

rpk GROUP’s compensation package includes a competitive salary (dependent upon experience) and liberal paid-time off (PTO).  We outfit staff’s home offices as needed (including a laptop, monitor, keyboard, printer/scanner, etc.); provide monthly stipends for telecommunications; and cover all travel expenses for staff meetings and other required travel.

To Apply

To be considered for the Associate position, please send your resume and cover letter to [email protected]  with the subject header “Associate Consultant Position.” We will review submissions as they are received and will contact applicants to request more information and/or to schedule interviews as appropriate. We seek to fill the position as soon as possible, and it will remain open until filled. No phone call inquiries about the position will be accepted.

rpk GROUP is an equal opportunity employer and does not unlawfully discriminate against employees or applications for employment on the basis of an individual’s race, color, religion, creed, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable law. This policy applies to all terms, conditions and privileges of employment, including recruitment, hiring, placement, compensation, promotion, discipline, and termination.




rpk GROUP is a leading voice in the creation of new business models and effective growth strategies for higher education. Follow us on Twitter: @rpk_GROUP