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.
Relationship Driven Counselors
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
Passionate Adventure Educators
Experiential (or alternatively, "adventure") education is our main interest at Sparks. As we all know, experience can be a powerful teacher - and unlocking the mechanisms of that power is fascinating and rewarding work.
Below, you'll find descriptions of the leadership roles available:
- Associate Program Leaders
- Program Leaders
- Program Directors
Associate Program Leader
Sparks realizes life-changing experiences through rowing camps across the US, New Zealand, and Europe. Our community of adventurers is recruiting Associate Program Leaders (APLs) for Summer Camps at Boston University, Columbia, and UPenn: we seek individuals fiercely dedicated to growing through experience. APLs typically have experience rowing and are currently enrolled in an undergraduate program.
About the APL program
"My experience in the APL role at Sparks was both enjoyable and rewarding. I loved having the opportunity to work with all the campers and staff members, and had just as much fun as when I was a camper myself. The role also helped me develop communication and organizational skills that have been invaluable to me over the past several months." - 2018 APL
The APL program develops future leaders and is suited to those passionate about education, with a heart for challenge, adventure, and growth.
College-age student-athletes can uniquely relate to and support campers through the challenges of youth rowing and life. In exchange for bringing this invaluable ingredient to camp, Sparks provides APLs a rich learning environment built from raw, authentic experiences, impactful responsibility, and mentorship from highly accomplished educators. Sparks also provides room, board, and opportunities to train with or without coaching, all with the backdrop of an historic northeastern city.
As an APL, you work on a team of experienced educators to support the health and thriving of approximately 60 participating athletes, requiring continual engagement with campers and awareness of their physical and psychological well-being. Further responsibility is based on your performance and grows as you learn.
It is our hope that, following the program, you progress into other positively impactful roles at Sparks, in education, or wherever fulfills your desire for adventure and growth. We encourage program alums to keep in touch with our community so we may exchange learnings and support your progress in life.
- Camp operations: work alongside other staff to support the safe progression of camp.
- Leadership development: APLs engage a structured leadership development curriculum.
- Connection: engage with athletes and discuss their questions or concerns about camp, rowing, and life.
- Activities and discussions: participate in and learn to facilitate reflective conversations.
- Photo and videography: capture camp digitally and work with the Sparks social media manager to share the experience.
- Kind-heartedness, an interest in education or leadership, and strong psycho-social skills
- Adaptability in the face of barriers or changes
- High school diploma
- Age 18 or older
- Min. 1 year rowing experience
- Able to easily travel to camp locations (Boston, New York, or Philadelphia)
- Previous experience in experiential education or adventure is a plus
- Medical training (CPR/First Aid, Wilderness First Responder/WFR, EMT certification, or other) is a plus
- Experience with photography, videography, or digital marketing is a plus
Please direct questions to brad at sparksconsult.com
Sparks exists to help student athletes find and realize life-changing athletic experiences so that they can utilize the power of experience throughout the rest of their lives.
We are a community of adventurers dedicated to growing through experience. If you are interested in experiential education, adventure, and rowing, then please step on up and join us.
Responsibilities for Program Leaders:
Support camp operations and logistics
This includes everything from walking campers to/from the dorms, performing room checks at night, and running various errands
Management of Associate Program Leaders (APLs)
Our APL program is designed to help less experienced collegiate athletes to develop their pedagogical and management skills
Run large and small group activities and reflective discussions
PLs will run large group activities throughout camp
Each PL will work with a small group of campers, meeting with them at least once per day to reflect on the day and discuss various topics pertinent to their rowing and personal development
Help build community amongst campers and staff
At Sparks, we are a community and we are constantly working to make it stronger and more supportive. PLs are a crucial piece of this community as they spend a lot of time with campers and helping camp to run smoothly
Support campers, staff, and coaches during camp
From talking about being homesick to catching boats on the dock as they land, PLs have a variety of tasks to help keep campers safe and camp running
This challenging role is foundational to the Sparks camp structure and is suited to those passionate about education and development of both self and others. Many PLs move on to domestic and international Program Director roles.
Preferred Qualifications & Experience:
- Minimum 21 years old
- Bachelor's Degree
- Teaching or coaching experience on the junior or collegiate level
- Medical Training (CPR/First Aid)
- A background and/or understanding of the field of experiential education
- An interest in programmatic culture, coaching pedagogy, and/or general education
- Psycho-social skills, self-awareness, authenticity, and kind-heartedness
- Able to easily travel to camp locations
Direct questions to davep at sparksconsult.com
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 those genuinely interested in deeply investigating and developing their approach to experiential education over the summer. We encourage educators with sincere interest to connect with us.
Organized and Thoughtful
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 email@example.com 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 definitely not a pre-requisitite - particularly if you're interested in Program Leadership positions.
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.
- 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
- For positions where athletic recruiting experience is concerned, list familiarity with relevant admissions protocols.
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.
- What brings you to us? We're interested in why you're reaching out.
- Interviews are conducted via video chat. Some are multi-round - featuring experience in the first round and case-studies in the second.
- In the multi-round experience interview, we're seeking to talk about four key elements: personal impact, adaptive drive, problem solving skills, and leadership & coaching experience.
- In the multi-round 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.