Jobs at Sparks Consulting
Since the beginning, we have been fascinated by the differences in learning environments – and how they serve different people.
We initially started with college counseling for athletes who wanted to row in college by working to help students identify what they enjoyed about the sport and then help them utilize those observations to find a solid “fit” – both athletically and in terms of overall university culture – for their undergraduate experience.
Then we began to run sport camps. In short order, we realized we could utilize our understanding of different learning environments to seek to isolate the catalysts that create different environments in order to create our own experiences aimed at particular types of people with particular goals.
The science of experiential education is still young – and while we work to incorporate peer-reviewed research into our programming, we also want our work to be on the forefront of the field.
We seek those who desire to explore experiential education with us as we work to build conclusions and structures that utilize those conclusions to the advantage of our participants.
The best thing we offer to those who would like to work with us is not just an adventure in education, but deeper introspection and work in the field of human experience – with the advantage of immediate application.
College Counseling Associates
Our counseling staff provides an opportunity to mentor upcoming student-athletes, stay in touch with the athletic world, and continue to develop your skill sets as an educator. Though work occurs virtually, the firm takes community seriously and seeks to provide group and independent educational and professional development opportunities in college counseling as well as camp operations and management.
Selectivity for these positions is extremely high. We require talent and experience, but also seek passion and a high level of adaptive intelligence that enables solid expectation management in client-facing work as well as an ability to take part in our cutting-edge recruiting economy research.
Applicants should ideally possess experience behind a collegiate athletic recruiting desk and have a proven interest in education, organizational culture, or business. College counseling experience is not a pre-requisite. Compensation is very competitive.
Above all else, associates must show a committment to continual improvement of themselves.
Interested applicants may submit a cover letter, resume, and three references to firstname.lastname@example.org
Experiential Education is generally the place many begin work at Sparks. Staff come in as camp coaches or program leaders then move to college counseling or program director roles. There are variety of roles in the experiential education division.
The Program Leader role differs from the standard camp counselor position in that it holds far larger amounts of responsibility and expectations – not only insofar as ability to work within the camp environment, but also insofar as engagement in the deeper educational mechanisms of our programming. Many of our senior staff have worked program leadership roles.
Ultimately we seek individuals who are thoughtful, disciplined, and passionate about education who desire to better deploy those characteristics in a leadership capacity. Working our camps is like sport: you can just go through the motions, but if you want to find success it requires discipline, commitment to a shared vision, and a willingness to go beyond one’s self.
We work with our Program Leaders such that they can see our educational methodology at work, issue observations, and provide feedback as we seek to better our understanding of experiential education. Properly applied, the work should satisfy both physically and intellectually.
Of course, we also have fun along the way.
Program Leaders enjoy the benefit of working closely with senior coaches from a variety of programs and countries. They ride in coaching launches, sit in on evening talks, and chat with like-minded individuals at camp. Leaders are able connect with our coaching and senior staff, engage in thoughtful conversation about our sport, broaden their network, and ultimately develop as people and educators.
Program Leaders who excel in their roles are invited back for subsequent summers and may be subsequently selected to take on domestic and international program director positions.
Domestic and International Program Directors
Program Directors are experienced educators who direct our domestic and international sport camps on the ground. Leadership experience, familiarity with our work, and a passion for education are pre-requisites. We require a bond of implicit trust and evaluate accordingly; positions may be 16 time zones outside of the US.
Directors meet prior to camp for training and planning. Program Directors are expected to be able to evaluate situations and act on their own accord while providing feedback for long-term implementation. Evaluation standards are extremely high; some director slots have taken a previous year’s work specifically for “interview” purposes.
These roles are well suited to teachers and coaches who are genuinely interested in investigating and developing their approach to experiential education over the summer. We encourage educators with sincere interest in better defining the realms of experiential education to connect with us.
Research positions with Sparks require individuals who possess rich analytical skills combined with a continual need for innovative, concrete refinement. Previous experience in collegiate athletics is preferred, but not necessary. Curiosity and critical thinking, though, are must-haves.
Research at Sparks seeks to combine traditional economic analysis with collegiate athletic recruiting such as to utilize a uniform system of analysis across very diverse markets in each sport. Your ability to classify and verify data is extremely important. However, you'll also have the ability to define methods of analysis and innovate new recruiting market indicators.
There are few direct prior experience correlations beyond securities analysis; as such, we thoroughly evaluate applicants and welcome a diverse pool of prior experience and interest sets.
To apply, e-mail email@example.com with your resume and a cover letter that explains why this opportunity interests you and why you feel you would be a good fit for the position. Please include samples of prior analytical work if available.
We're a small company by design - and we desire to stay as lean and mean as possible. As such, our organizational structure remains flatter than others and we invest in all of our staff. This includes support roles - which maintain greater autonomy (and greater expectations) than other relative positions elsewhere. Work is virtual, which adds to the need for diligence, disciplined individuals.
Compensation for support roles is extremely competitive; we continue to seek the highest levels of talent possible for these positions.
To indicate your interest in a support role at Sparks, please send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org with a resume and a short statement of interest.
The key commonality on our staff is a proven desire for continual self-improvement.
After all, we're by and large former collegiate athletes for the most part. More than half of our staff possesses graduate degrees, the majority in education. But, a graduate degree is not a pre-requisitite. Being able to show you enjoy the cycle of work, achievement, and revision means you have many of the skills and strengths to work at Sparks.
If you like the idea of a stimulating and challenging career alternative and an opportunity to work with highly motivated colleagues, we encourage you to apply.
- Start with your educational background, followed by your professional athletic background.
- Include all academic coursework, including work that did not result in a degree
- Emphasize innovation and adaptation for achievement in all parts of your resume
- Where athletic recruiting experience is concerned, list relevant athletic admissions protocols (grant in aid, athletic index, etc.)
- Include any demonstrated interest in business (relevant work experience, classes taken, etc.)
Cover Letter Advice
- For all positions: explain your philisophy on student-athlete fit with athletic programs and institutions - what's the ideal? Have you helped students find this - if so, how?
- If possible, briefly explain your current understanding of the elements of experiential education. This will not help or hurt your application, but it establishes a good foundation for the interview.
- If possible, briefly explain your understanding of economic supply/demand factors. Again, this is not a requirement for a job with Sparks.
- What brings you to us? We're interested in why you're reaching out.
- Interviews are conducted via video chat. Most are multi-round - featuring experience in the first round and case-studies in the second.
- In the experience interview, we're seeking to talk about four key elements: personal impact, adaptive drive, problem solving skills, and leadership & coaching experience.
- In the case study interview, we'll be providing you with case studies relevant to the position you're applying for to assess your problem solving abilities and explore the way you formulate conclusions. In some cases, we supply some of the basic logic for you to utilize as a foundation for your work.