Senior Associate of Communications

Chicago Scholars

About Chicago Scholars:

Chicago Scholars is transforming the leadership landscape of our city by resolving the fundamental barriers to success for academically driven, first generation college students from under-resourced communities. Through college counseling, mentoring, and by providing a supportive community to our Scholars through each phase of our program: College Access (Launch), College Persistence (Lift) and College to Careers (Lead), we ensure that they realize their full potential as students and leaders.

86% of Chicago Scholars graduate college within 6 years. Per the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research, only 49% of their peers earn a degree within 6 years. Upon graduation, our Scholars move into leadership positions across Chicago, helping to drive the economic future of their communities and our thriving city.

Position Details

Senior Associate of Communications
Chicago Illinois
Chicago, IL

Position Summary:

The Senior Associate of Communications will drive the day-to-day execution of our multi-channel marketing strategy and create systems to manage and maintain brand consistency while ensuring maximum effectiveness. Qualified candidates for this position will have proven experience with multiple web, social media, and email platforms and have the ability to write, copy-edit, and proofread in a rapid response environment.

Key Responsibilities:

Strategy: Manage social media strategy and support wider strategy development to ensure we are reaching our key stakeholder groups and effectively promoting the organization, its programs, and its impact.

  • Develop daily channel-specific social media content that engages our audience and effectively tells the story of Chicago Scholars. 
  • Work with Director of Marketing and Public Relations to develop systems and processes to manage external communication needs across internal teams and consistently report successes, insights, and best practices. 
  • Research new media technologies that can be integrated into our current and future messaging campaigns. 
  • Identify opportunities for new stakeholder development projects that support Chicago Scholars goals, reach new stakeholders, and build awareness of Chicago Scholars. 
  • Maintain a keen understanding of industry trends and make appropriate recommendations regarding communication strategy surrounding them.

Execution: Implement communications needs on channels including social media, websites, and emails for key stakeholders, including Scholars, Mentors, Volunteers, Parents, Employees, College Partners, Career Partners, and Donors.

  • Execute communications needs based on a calendar of deliverables, including social media, website updates, and email messaging. 
  • Work with program team to ensure all communications are within brand and messaging standards. 
  • Work in partnership with Data Evaluation Team to ensure the accurate promotion of program impacts. 
  • Coordinate with external contractors as necessary to deliver graphic design needs for messaging to external stakeholders and oversee standards. 
  • Develop and support communications materials for organizational events. 
  • Support proposal writing, as needed.

Outcomes: Develop and compile performance measures to evaluate the impact of communications programs and tools.

  • Coordinate input from internal/external stakeholders. 
  • Monitor and analyze communications outcomes based on available analytics (social media, Google Analytics, email analytics, etc.).

Additional Responsibilities:

  • Support the development team with accomplishing department goals, including the execution and support of organizational events.
  • This role will occasionally work on nights and weekends for Scholar and development events and programming and may have the opportunity to manage an intern. This role is also required to attend and support mandatory all staff events: The UnTied Gala, College Choice Celebration, New Student Orientation, Leadership Summit, the Onsite Admissions Forum, New Student Interview nights, and our Quarterly Staff Retreats.
  • Other duties, as assigned.


  • Education: College degree required.
  • Experience: 2-5 years of relevant experience preferred.

Technical Knowledge:

  • Excellent communications writing skills 
  • Demonstrated technical knowledge in most of the areas below; 
  • Proficiency with Squarespace, Wordpress, or similar website management system. 
  • Proficiency with email management and creation software, particularly Emma or Pardot.
  • Familiarity with Google Analytics and other digital analytics tools. 
  • Moderate proficiency with basic HTML Coding preferred. 
  • Photography and Videography; Web Design. 
  • Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Acrobat Pro).

Core Competencies:

  • Adaptability and Flexibility: Ability to operate effectively and flexibly in changing contexts and operating environments.
  • Stakeholder Management: Demonstrated ability to cultivate and sustain relationships with diverse audiences (educational level, socio-economic circumstance). Service-orientation to developing communications materials and working with colleagues.
  • Collaboration & Teamwork: Demonstrates awareness and respect of cultural and individual values. Listens to ideas from others, even when different from own. Is careful to ensure all sides are heard before reaching a conclusion. Shares time, energy and knowledge with others to ensure they can succeed.
  • Growth Mindset: Views growth as important for personal and professional development; seeks out opportunities to expand skills, even if change is required. Ability to collect, enter and track accurate data to inform decision making.
  • Communication: Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to build relationships with stakeholders, including staff, board members, external partners, and donors. Excellent writing skills.
  • Accountability: Demonstrated ability to achieve high performance goals and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment. Ability to motivate and to take initiative as a self-starter.
  • Problem Solving and Critical Thinking: Able to break down tasks into manageable sections in order to make informed decisions and solve problems. Able to perceive and resolve a gap and overcome obstacles between a present situation and a desired goal.
  • Creativity and Innovation: The ability to craft organizational design and messaging in new and effective ways. Create and identify new approaches to address challenging situations and problems; develops new ideas or adapt ideas from elsewhere using best practices to create desired outcomes

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