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University Admissions Fellow

Nova Pioneer is looking for a superstar University Admissions Fellow to build from scratch our systems for ensuring great post-graduation outcomes for all Nova Pioneer students. We aim to make an investment in that sets a new bar for what schools across Africa need to be doing to set students up for success in the 21st century—in university and beyond. This is an opportunity to be the architect of a lasting exemplar that raises expectations and helps students pursue their boldest aspirations.


Imagine a world in which every young person across Africa attends a school that truly sets them up for success in the 21st century. A school that cares about individual students and allows them to explore the world around them. A school that focuses more on developing skills than on memorizing content. At Nova Pioneer, we have done more than just imagine this future—we are bringing it to life.

Nova Pioneer is a pan-African, independent network of schools offering high quality, accessible education from pre-primary through secondary school. Nova Pioneer uses a unique, enquiry-based learning approach that encourages students to ask “why” instead of telling them the “what”. It allows them to form their own thinking through exploration, investigation and collaboration. Nova Pioneer currently has 6 schools in South Africa and Kenya with a vision to launch 100 schools and reach tens of thousands of students across the African continent in the next decade.

Our distinctive team culture reinforces our ambitious vision:

  • We model the growth mindset we want our students to embody: you will stretch yourself outside your comfort zone, get constant feedback, and grow more quickly than ever before
  • We pursue excellence in every detail and do whatever it takes to produce great work quickly
  • We model servant leadership—putting our students before our team, and our team before ourselves
  • We bring joy to everything we do because it fuels the hardest work and learning

To learn more visit


As University Admissions Fellow you will work closely with the Director of Partnerships to rapidly begin designing and implementing our systems for university readiness, counseling, application support and placement. Our overriding goal will be to deliver great university admission outcomes for our first alumni cohort who will graduate from Nova Pioneer schools in Kenya and South Africa in late 2019. Working backward from that goal, you will build a roadmap for key activities that need to happen in each year prior to graduation and the required underlying systems we need to build. Together with colleagues you will engage directly with students and families (with a particular focus on students currently in Grade 10 / Form 2) to understand and help shape expectations and aspirations, help them take early action to get a step ahead with readiness, and make them feel supported.

The role will be based in Nairobi, Kenya.

Specific responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:


  • Map and segment the landscape of domestic and international universities that will be most relevant to Nova Pioneer students
  • Develop thorough list of (and begin building relationships with) organizations providing support to African students applying to international universities
  • Research and synthesize best practices in university counseling, admissions support, and alumni support
  • Build data systems to track student progress/readiness and outcomes throughout the university admissions cycle
  • Help develop Nova Pioneer ‘pitch’ to universities to support partnership building efforts


  • Develop systems that will guide approximately 85 seniors in 2019 through the University search, application, and matching/selection process
  • Collaborate with Learning team to design a cutting-edge University Counseling model that sets students up for a successful transition to university--including systematic ways to identify students’ career interests and potential courses of university study and translate those into informed decision-making about academic areas of focus in high school
  • Develop a system to help group students by aspirations, skills and academic performance to ensure the right university support (including clear eligibility criteria for providing extra support to students who aspire to study at international universities)
  • Build dashboards and team habits to monitor and support students’ academic and non-academic goals from Form 2 (grade 10) through the first/sophomore year of college
  • Design and begin implementing ways to engage parents in the college search and financial aid processes, and bolster their ‘college knowledge’

Application and Beyond

  • Design information packets and college knowledge sessions to ensure that students and families are well appraised of the various application steps and make timely progress against each step
  • Develop support systems to help students prepare strong University applications
  • Develop brief training manuals (playbooks) for all systems to ensure continuity
  • Develop a transition support protocol to ensure that selected students transition smoothly from the Nova Pioneer environment into their new university environment
  • Develop the building blocks of an alumni engagement strategy that will ensure continued collaboration and support through university


  • You have flexibility in your plans for the next 6 months and are jazzed about an unusual opportunity to spend a stint living overseas and help change the world
  • You have at least 2-3 years of work experience including significant independent project management experience
  • Your past supervisors have consistently perceived you as a strong performer and have given you positive feedback on your analytical and communication skill set
  • Experience working in college/university counseling or admissions preferred but not required
  • You love building things, you sweat the small stuff, and you take pleasure in excellence more than credit or status
  • Our culture resonates deeply with your values—and in particular, you are excited to challenge yourself by embracing mutual vulnerability and a firehose of feedback


To apply, please complete the form on the right hand side of this page. We cannot process applications that are emailed to us.

Please note: Where a copy of your resume is required, copying and pasting from a formatted document e.g. Microsoft Word may not result in the formatting transferring correctly to the final resume. You are encouraged to attach your resume in Microsoft Word® or PDF format to protect formatting.

Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the right candidate is identified. Only qualified candidates will be invited for interviews.

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