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Studio Director, Cornell Tech, NYC

Cornell University

Cornell University

New York, NY, USA
Posted on Tuesday, May 21, 2024

About Cornell Tech:

As a university founded to be a place where “…any person can find instruction in any study,” diversity and inclusion are at the core of our values and mission. We strive to be a welcoming, caring, healthy, and equitable community where students, faculty, and staff with different backgrounds, perspectives, abilities, and experiences can learn, innovate, and work in an environment of respect, and feel empowered to engage in any community conversation. As a member of the Cornell University community, it is important to recognize our shared responsibility to each other to cultivate a culture of inclusion for all. Cornell Core values

As an individual contributor you will model and support a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion, and wellbeing and continually seek to understand how your role, behaviors, and actions impact the success of this culture.

While position responsibilities vary greatly, the Skills for Success and Leadership Skills for Success are foundational to what is expected of every employee and leader working at Cornell. These skills are essential for individual and organizational success. Staff Skills for Success; Leadership Skills for Success

Cornell Tech is a graduate campus of Cornell University that brings together faculty, students, business leaders and tech entrepreneurs in a catalytic environment to reinvent the way we live in the digital age.

A hallmark of Cornell Tech is a rapid pace of change and growth, which serve as opportunities to pursue excellence and improvement, not merely scale. We iterate to learn quickly from our activities and to improve our programs and ways of working. We further expect our organizational structure to continue to change, given the pace of our activities and programs and our iterative learning process. We see Cornell Tech serving as a model organization for our students, demonstrating the operations of a highly effective, dynamic, information-age organization.

Cornell Tech’s Studio is the signature differentiator of the eight master’s degree programs at Cornell Tech. All 400+ of Cornell Tech’s master’s students participate in a practically oriented, multi-disciplinary, team-based curriculum, corresponding to eight credits across two semesters. In the Studio, students work in multi-program teams to learn and practice user-driven tech industry development processes, creating prototypes of digital-enabled products and services. Students engage with end-users, companies, nonprofits and government agencies in creating prototypes of digitally enabled solutions to real-world challenges, getting vital feedback and ideas from fellow students as well as faculty and practitioners from the NYC tech community, via a variety of formats, including flipped-classroom lectures, crits, scrums, sprints, and more.

For information about Cornell Tech please visit tech.cornell.edu. Information on Studio is available at tech.cornell.edu/studio.

Rewards And Benefits:

Competitive compensation, generous time-off, and great benefits …More on Cornell Benefits

Position Summary:

While position responsibilities vary, every member of our community is expected to foster a culture of belonging and a psychologically healthy work environment by communicating across differences; being cooperative, collaborative, open, and welcoming; showing respect, compassion, and empathy; engaging and supporting others regardless of background or perspective; speaking up when others are being excluded or treated inappropriately; and supporting work/life integration of oneself and others.

The ideal candidate has a flexible, entrepreneurial spirit, thrives in a startup environment, has the ability to connect academic culture and curriculum to real-world digital culture, and excels in developing and managing relationships. This position requires occasional work on evenings and weekends, particularly during the academic year.

The Studio Director is responsible for the overall successful operations of the Studio. This has several important groups of activities: (1) developing, vetting, and managing external relationships with 100s of companies, organizations, and individual practitioners who ensure the real-world relevance of the Studio; (2) supporting visiting lecturers to teach practitioner-led classes (in coordination with academics); (3) supporting students in all needs they have in the Studio, especially resolving team conflict; (4) working with and supporting Studio coaches as teaching assistants to extend Studio teaching capacity; (5) orchestrating logistics for frequent class and event formats for 400+ students and 100+ practitioners; (6) coordinating the efforts of multiple instructors and ensuring all curriculum materials are complete and error-free; (7) engaging with other groups within Cornell Tech to apply aspects of the Studio curriculum and operations, e.g. Runway, Break Through Tech; (8) overseeing and executing 2 flagship campus Open Studio events with up to 1000 attendees each; (9) managing the Startup Awards process, in which Cornell Tech invests in up to 5 student teams to continue their efforts post-graduation; (10) operating all of the above within established budget parameters; and (11) liaising with faculty and staff to ensure Studio activities are coordinated with other campus events. The Studio Director has currently a staff of four full-time employees and many part-time student workers.

Required Qualifications:

  • Masters degree and 3-5 years’ experience, or equivalent combination
  • Work experience in either an academic or corporate setting coordinating or managing student services, event planning, training, or program development and implementation
  • Strong communication, relationship building, and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to take a leadership role in being a public spokesperson for the program and thrive when focused on finding and developing relationships
  • Ability to cultivate and develop inclusive and equitable working relationships with students, faculty, staff, and community members.
  • Experience in and/or demonstrated commitment to supporting diversity, equity, access, inclusion, and wellbeing.
  • Proven ability to manage in a team context, as well as the ability to be effective when working independently
  • Demonstrable technical skills and experience with standard desktop tools including Microsoft Office, Google Workspace (G Suite), Zoom, and Slack, and ability to operate cloud-based tools, including Airtable, Mailchimp, Adobe Sign/DocuSign, etc.
  • Demonstrable ability to oversee CRM tools (e.g. Salesforce)

Preferred Qualifications:

Masters degree and 7-10 years’ experience

Position Responsibilities:

Oversee the Studio: 30%

  • Develop and deliver a strategy for the successful operations of the Studio; act as steward for organization solicitation and implement Studio programming
  • Build and supervise the Studio team: plan and manage the work of staff and volunteers/students/temps
  • Partner with faculty to ensure curricular alignment with practitioners and with activities across the Studio
  • Manage the Studio program, including guest speakers, crits, Maker Days, etc.
  • Ensure Studio teams have adequate support mechanisms including conflict resolution related to their work in the Studio
  • Evolve and scale the Studio program as Cornell Tech continues to expand
  • Lead the development and execution of programs for peer-to-peer mentorship
  • Develop strategic communications for students and practitioners
  • Oversee the setup and operations of the physical Studio, collaborating with facilities and other groups
  • Collaborate with Strategic Communications on content marketing for Studio programs and outcomes
  • Manage the design of the Studio CRM solution to track engagement with practitioners and companies
  • Responsible for solicitation and evaluation of Product Challenge proposals from companies
  • Solicit and steward big companies to participate in BigCo Studio
  • Direct the Open Studio and other major events each semester
  • Continuously look for ways to improve the content and quality of the program
  • Engage with other functions at Cornell Tech to apply components of the Studio curriculum (e.g. Runway, Break Through Tech)

Relationship Management: 35%
Develop relationships with global organizations and practitioners:

  • Develop and execute a comprehensive engagement strategy for large organization participation in the Studio at Cornell Tech, continually assessing and refining strategy in line with the Studio’s growth
  • Lead and actively participate in solicitation of organizations and practitioners regarding engagement opportunities
  • Evaluate, assess and determine feasibility of engagement proposals from organizations and practitioners; establish implementation approach
  • Cultivate and continuously build a diverse portfolio of relationships within startups, businesses, nonprofits, etc. and with entrepreneurs, product managers, engineering managers, etc.
  • Analyze and determine connectivity of organizations and practitioners to relevant engagement opportunities in the Studio and at Cornell Tech broadly
  • Oversee, develop and execute programs for student-to-practitioner mentorship
  • Collaborate, streamline and enhance procedures with other Cornell Tech departments to gain efficiencies
  • Continuously enhance and foster relationships between Cornell Tech and NYC tech communities

Manage actively engaged organizations and practitioners:

  • Define and implement strategy for maintaining and re-engaging practitioners and organizations as programs scale and grow year-over-year
  • Recruit organizations and practitioners for a variety of engagements each semester including Product Challenges and crits
  • Manage actively engaged practitioners, including onboarding, communications, engagements, quality assessment, feedback, etc.
  • Develop and operate systems to coordinate engagements between students and practitioners
  • Manage and ensure all contact information and engagements are accurately recorded and updated in the CRM
  • Oversee and design practitioner appreciation events
  • Solicit donations from actively engaged organizations in collaboration with Development to support the Studio’s unique curriculum
  • Continuously enhance and improve and innovate practitioner engagement and mentorship

Program Management: 30%

  • Oversee Studio programs by implementing events with external practitioners, including guest speaker panels, crits, etc. and working with the Director of Studio Programming to support advanced scheduling and coordination of the Studio calendar
  • Present detailed information to students and external practitioners at events such as crits, Maker Days, orientation, etc.,
  • Partner with leadership to review applications and determine Spring Studio student team participants for Startup, BigCo and PiTech Studios
  • Develop, oversee and execute 2 flagship campus Open Studio events with up to 1000 attendees each
  • Develop strategic communications for students and practitioners
  • Design and execute the Startup Awards process, in which Cornell Tech invests in up to 5 student teams to continue their efforts post-graduation: including running VC Days and judging sessions, supporting execution of events and inviting guests to Spinout Clinics
  • Recruit a diverse panel of judges and VC and facilitate a voting process to determine the Startup Award winners
  • Coach student companies on presenting and pitching to an external audience
  • Lead efforts to deliver and scale the Public Interest Tech (PiTech) Studio
  • Strategize how to improve and scale the program as a whole, both by independently providing timely feedback and suggestions, and by leading retrospective sessions with the team at the end of each term
  • Develop, manage, and oversee budget

Other position-related responsibilities: 5%

  • Participate in projects with occasional work responsibility falling above or below current classification.

Familiarize yourself with Cornell's COVID-19 workplace guidance as well as the university's COVID-19 services and information.

University Job Title:

Mgr Program

Job Family:

Student Services



Pay Rate Type:


Pay Range:

$91,941.00 - $127,696.00

Remote Option Availability:




Contact Name:

Evelyn Gordon

Job Titles and Pay Ranges:

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Noted pay ranges reflect the potential pay opportunity for each job profile. The hiring rate of pay for the successful candidate will be determined considering the following criteria:

  • Prior relevant work or industry experience

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  • Unique applicable skills

  • Academic Discipline (faculty pay ranges reflects 9-month annual salary)

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