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A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position.

Job Summary

The College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA) invites applications for a Mentorship & External Engagement Manager for the optiMize department. This position reports to the Director for Social Innovation for the College of LSA. optiMize is the College of LSA’s social innovation and entrepreneurship initiative. The LSA optiMize department operates in close partnership with the optiMize student organization to offer workshops, mentorship, and funding for students to create self-directed projects that make the world more just and sustainable. Our primary program is the optiMize Challenge, a co-curricular initiative during the academic year that serves as an incubator for student-led projects.  Projects can receive up to $20,000 — we awarded a total of $215,000 in 2018, and students receiving funds participate in a 3-month summer fellowship program working full-time on their self-directed projects.

Working collaboratively alongside the Director for Social Innovation and the optiMize Program Manager, this new position leads the expansion, development and implementation of optiMize’s mentorship program. Mentorship is crucial to our program — both to the success of the student-led projects and to the development of the students’ personal capacity to create change in the world. With a community of more than 600 students, we aim to engage 100 mentors per year. The person who fills this position will collaborate with optiMize student leaders, engage directly with the optiMize mentorship community, and serve as a mentor themselves to a diverse group of student participants.

We are seeking candidates who enjoy working in a fast-paced, evolving area; are comfortable taking action in a growing and changing workplace; and who will actively engage in a dynamic, high-performing team environment. We seek candidates with a commitment to creating access to opportunities for our diverse population of alumni, and have an interest in and commitment to creating inclusive programs.


Mentorship program development 15%

  • Define mentorship in the context of the liberal arts for optiMize

  • Conduct benchmarking and literature review to identify best practices in mentorship

  • Create formal mentoring model for Michigan alumni and other prospective mentors

  • Define mentorship program outcomes and methods for assessment

Mentorship program administration  30%

  • Create timeline and oversee process for launch of program in academic year 2018-19

  • Prepare collateral materials for mentors

  • Collaborate with optiMize student leaders to ensure resources and programming are relevant and accessible

  • Monitor student and mentor participation, identify and manage areas for improvement, and devise methods for increasing access and quality

  • Maintain program budget and project program expenses

  • Identify mentorship program highlights for donor relationship and stewardship purposes

Mentorship program outreach & engagement 30%

  • Cultivate a strong community of mentors with diverse perspectives and backgrounds

  • Manage optiMize’s mentorship newsletter and listserv

  • Promote opportunities to prospective mentors, students, and campus partners to ensure broad usage of the mentorship program

  • Design and lead mentorship trainings for new and existing mentors

  • Design and lead trainings for students to learn to engage with mentors

  • Facilitate connections between mentors and students

  • Be a mentor yourself by hosting personal office hours for direct mentorship of current and prospective optiMize students

  • Host virtual and in-person mentorship events

  • Assess the campus mentorship landscape and work to foster collaboration and communication with campus partners engaged in mentorship

Leadership & collaboration with student organizers 20%

  • Work closely with optiMize student staff members focused on mentorship and alumni engagement

  • Lead weekly meetings with student staff

  • Help student staff develop professionally

Mentorship platform development & administration 5%

  • Investigate possibilities for software platforms that can enhance our mentorship programming

  • Manage optiMize’s mentorship database

Professional development 5%

  • Attend workshops, trainings, institutes, and conferences related to mentorship, the profession, and optiMize mission

  • Remain current on research, scholarship, and best practices related to the liberal arts and sciences, higher education, and position specific requirements

Required Qualifications*

  • Experience working with highly engaged supporters of a program or organization

  • Experience managing projects that include a wide range of highly engaged stakeholders and participants

  • Experience managing a budget for a project or program

  • Alignment of values with optiMize’s mentorship principles (see

  • Ability to work successfully with information systems like Google Drive, as well as the ability to learn new software systems

  • Ability to organize data using spreadsheets

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

  • Strong commitment to relationship development and consistent communication

  • Ability to coordinate schedules and commitments of many stakeholders to create seamless collaborative experiences

  • Experience working in a collaborative team environment

  • High level of organizational ability, including the ability to organize and coordinate a diverse workload with attention to detail and ability to meet deadlines

  • Ability to act independently, take initiative and promote innovation

  • Flexibility to meet changing priorities

  • Investment in issues of equity, access and inclusion

  • Ability to work collaboratively and respectfully with student leaders

  • Ability to work evenings, weekends, and travel occasionally as needed

Desired Qualifications*

  • Bachelor’s degree highly preferred
  • 3 years of relevant work experience
  • Experience as a mentor, advisor, teacher, or coach (formally or informally)
  • Experience working with fundraising and donors
  • Experience with community organizing
  • Ability to mobilize and organize people for a common purpose
  • Experience working in a social enterprise, nonprofit, or other social impact-focused organization

Additional Information

This is a 40 hour per week temporary position.

Background Screening

The University of Michigan conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer and may use a third party administrator to conduct background checks. Background checks will be performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Mission Statement

The mission of the University of Michigan is to serve the people of Michigan and the world through preeminence in creating, communicating, preserving and applying knowledge, art, and academic values, and in developing leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future.  The University of Michigan is committed to foster learning, creativity and productivity, and to support the vigorous exchange of ideas and information, not only in the classroom but in the workplace by: 

  • Creating a work environment in which people treat each other with respect and dignity, regardless of roles, responsibilities or differences. 
  • Providing support, direction and resources enabling us to accomplish the responsibilities of our jobs and to reach the goals that are set for professional and personal growth.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.