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Administrative Assistant

In a nutshell:

IDEO San Francisco is in search of an Administrative Assistant (aka Leadership Coordinator) to join our Design for Learning Studio. If you are curious as to what is the Design for Learning Studio at IDEO, we share more information a little further down.

We are looking for someone to be part of a dynamic and creative team who relies on you for organizational guidance. You will be assisting a Managing Director in their day-to-day activities, such as calendaring and travel, while occasionally juggling client workshops, office management and team events. Additionally, you will take on special projects from time-to-time.

Why is this job important to IDEO?

The Coordinator role demands an entrepreneurial individual with a high level of discretion, empathy, and self-motivation. Our pace is fast, our processes fluid, and our environment less than traditional. We are a highly networked organization that thrives on relationships, trust, collaboration, and credibility. We are looking for someone who is quick, brave, detail-oriented, and organized to the extreme. He/she will represent IDEO in a spirited and professional manner, both internally and externally. No two days are alike, and this individual will help our studio navigate its way through initiatives and challenges with confidence, problem-solving, polish, and a sense of humor. Finally, flexibility, curiosity, and multitasking are key given the ever-evolving nature of the role.

Once here, you'll take the edge off by:

  • Acting as the first point of contact for the Managing Director and handling internal and external correspondence with appropriate tone, craft and delivery.
  • Coordinating internal meetings and external engagements with a high level of tact and personalized service. This will also include surfacing key takeaways and capturing next steps in meetings that you help facilitate as well as helping brief stakeholders and preparing materials prior to those discussions.
  • Proactively connecting with other groups throughout IDEO in a way that builds relationships, trust, and credibility. Collaborating with the location support team to create an extraordinary employee and visitor experience in the office.
  • Understanding separate, complex and demanding parts of our business and executing based on context awareness and a priority hierarchy that you help set and drive. That means anticipating needs before they’re surfaced while balancing the core tasks of the role: managing appointments, screening e-mail, arranging travel, creating and maintaining organizational systems, and managing expenses.

Relevant experience:

Coordinators can come from traditional and non-traditional backgrounds: executive assistants, theater, music, hospitality. Yet coordinators have a shared set of core skills from years of experience in roles that enable and support others:

  • Synthesis / The Coordinator is a skilled reader of everything: emails, facial expressions, tone of voice, calendar dynamics, body language. The moments that the coordinator facilitates are each a culmination - a synthesis - of all these inputs.
  • Seeing the forest / The Coordinator is able to see the forest from the trees and connect the dots in a way that others cannot, both because of the magnitude of information they are tapping into every day and because of their super synthesizing skills. This does take trust and discretion.
  • Spring loaded readiness and situational awareness / The Coordinator proactively tackles the situation at hand. This doesn’t mean that we barrel into the moment without thought. We flex our mode based on the situation - whether it’s stealthily making our moves behind-the-scenes or being front and center. Building off of our synthesis and our intuition, what matters is we willingly jump in. Often without explicit consent… since the best results may not ensue if we’re forever waiting for a green light.
  • Getting it done / There are levels to this one: a) You’re getting it done; b) You’re getting it done right away when you’re asked; c) You are two steps ahead, and before they know it you’re proactively doing what needs to get done!

What does IDEO offer you?

IDEO is a place unlike any other. It’s a place where you can solve diverse, complex challenges for our clients or the organization, alongside thoughtful, intelligent individuals who lead with curiosity, empathy, and optimism. Sure we work hard, but we also intentionally craft moments that allow our community to pause, create, and connect. We encourage our community to bring their whole selves to work, respect the need for work-life balance, and allow for autonomy in the design process and your career.

As a Coordinator with our Design for Learning Studio in San Francisco we provide the opportunity for you to:

  • Collaborate with people from different backgrounds such as interaction designers, mechanical engineers, business designers, graphic designers, and design researchers.
  • Become part of a culture that lets you both learn and teach while working with people outside of your immediate area of expertise.
  • Be challenged to think more holistically.

Learn more about IDEO and Design for Learning:

How can design advance learning and education?

Questions about you (you'll find these in the application):

Tell us about a time when you were in charge of something and it all went horribly wrong. What did you do to get it back on track?

What's your super power, when it comes to making others successful?

Application requirements and instructions:

Please apply online by uploading your resume and cover letter including your pop quiz question answer.

Equal Opportunity Employer

IDEO is an equal opportunity employer; applicants are considered for all roles without regard to race, color, religious creed, sex, national origin, citizenship status, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, marital, parental, veteran or military status, unfavorable military discharge, or any other status protected by applicable federal, state or local law.

Apply now