Associate, Strategy and Corporate Development

Western Governors University

Job Description

Internals must apply by Friday, May 14th.

About University Development  


The University Development Department plays a vital role in WGU’s mission to change lives for the better by creating pathways to opportunity. The department drives WGU towards tenfold transformative impact by developing the framework and function for sourcing, evaluating, prioritizing, designing, and managing ideas that advance our strategic priorities. We have a particular focus on establishing the entities and entity structure, as well as assembling a team and collaborating with system stakeholders necessary to incubate, launch, and commercialize new, scalable education offerings. We also facilitate the development of WGU’s long-term strategy and lead the optimization of system innovation architecture and infrastructure. The department is responsible for understanding the industry landscape, business strategy, finance and concepts of disruption to help shape and drive strategic initiatives.  

University Development is deeply committed to being equitable in our processes and impact, creative and future-oriented in our thinking and doing, and responsive to the needs of all stakeholders. We lead through novel data-driven insights and perspectives. We are building a learner-centered learning and economic opportunity ecosystem and disrupting current models and institutions that don’t deliver for learners. We connect with other like-minded and leading thinkers and doers to use our collective financial, social, political, and human capital to accomplish shared objectives.  


Job Summary

The Strategy and Corporate Development Associate delivers assigned small projects or sub-projects under the direction of others. These projects could include research and analysis; thought leadership; change management; process design, development, and facilitation; business incubation; product development; and seed and venture investment. In this role, you will be expected to deliver projects in an ambiguous environment with shifting priorities. You will work collaboratively across functions, internally and externally. You will be expected to bring strong quantitative skills, long-term and strategic thinking, and solid business judgment to evaluate the opportunities that we both respond to and cultivate ourselves. You will share in our collective responsibility to mentor others and drive the overall success of the team.

Essential Functions and Responsibilities:

  • Delivers assigned small projects or sub-projects under the direction of others (90%): 
    • Partners with initiative leaders to define each project’s vision and objectives 
    • Promotes a clear understanding—among all stakeholders—of the vision, objectives, and strategy of a project through relentless prioritization of milestones/tasks and management of expectations around project scope, schedule, and budget 
    • Works to complete tasks individually or collaboratively—as defined by the needs of the task—to reach project milestones within scope, on schedule, and on budget.  
    • Prepares and present clear, concise presentations and communications for multiple audiences including the executive team, Board of Trustees, and external partners. 
    • Builds business plans from ideation and concept to financial modeling, business model, go-to-market strategy, talent plan, etc. 
    • Supports designs and executes on the funding/capital strategy for assigned projects. 

  • Explores new opportunities (10%): 
  • Researches and articulates the strategic rationale and risk/return characteristics of investment opportunities (M&A, strategic investments, corporate-level partnerships, the launch of internal start-ups).  
  • Sources ideas and perform opportunity assessment including financial modeling and analysis, market research, market sizing, etc. 
  • Builds a professional network of internal and external contacts to keep abreast of opportunities, emerging business models, and industry trends. 
  • Prepares and present clear, concise presentations and internal memos for the executive team, Board of Directors, and external partners. 
  • Works collaboratively across functions (technology, legal, finance, communications, tax, brands, sales) to support various phases of M&A projects including supporting valuations, financial structuring, and due diligence.  



Knowledge, Skill, and Abilities

  • Strong financial analysis skills including building financial models. 
  • Basic quantitative research skills (i.e. demonstrated proficiency in data analysis/visualization and statistical techniques and tools such as SPSS, SAS, SQL, R, Stata, Matlab, relational databases, Excel, Cognos, Tableau).  
  • Basic qualitative research skills in one or more methodologies (i.e. literature review, ethnography, focus groups, survey, content analysis, in-depth interviews, case study, etc.).  
  • Advanced knowledge of Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint. 
  • Ability to master new software quickly. 
  • Demonstrated ability to establish and manage collaborative relationships with team members, subject matter experts, senior leaders, trustees, and external organizations with the highest degree of professionalism. 
  • Ability to use data to tell emotionally and analytically compelling stories through oral and written communications to audiences of all sizes and types. 
  • Strong writing skills.  
  • Ability to quickly assess and comprehend the shifting landscape of learning, higher education, talent, and workforce development. 
  • Some knowledge of higher education practices and structure including research, teaching, learning experience design, university governance, faculty hiring, and promotion, etc.
  • Some knowledge of product management, project management, and agile scrum methodologies preferred 


Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent practical experience. 
  • 3 years of experience in a finance, research, strategic consulting,  general management, corporate strategy, innovation, corporate development, venture capital, private equity or investment banking role. 
  • Experience presenting to and interacting with audiences at all levels, especially senior executives.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in a relevant field strongly preferred 
  • 5 years of relevant experience 
  • Experience working in large complex organizations as well as startups  
  • Demonstrated global experience and perspective strongly preferred 

Working Conditions

10% travel

Job Requirements