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Strategic Partnerships Manager- Midwest Region, Chicago, IL

Western Governors University

Western Governors University

Sales & Business Development
Chicago, IL, USA · Remote
Posted on Friday, September 22, 2023

The salary range for this role takes into account the wide range of factors that are considered in making compensation decisions including but not limited to skill sets; experience and training; licensure and certifications; and other business and organizational needs.

At WGU, it is not typical for an individual to be hired at or near the top of the range for their role, and compensation decisions are dependent on the facts and circumstances of each case. A reasonable estimate of the current range is:

Pay Range: $70,100.00 - $105,200.00

If you’re passionate about building a better future for individuals, communities, and our country—and you’re committed to working hard to play your part in building that future—consider WGU as the next step in your career.

Driven by a mission to expand access to higher education through online, competency-based degree programs, WGU is also committed to being a great place to work for a diverse workforce of student-focused professionals. The university has pioneered a new way to learn in the 21st century, one that has received praise from academic, industry, government, and media leaders. Whatever your role, working for WGU gives you a part to play in helping students graduate, creating a better tomorrow for themselves and their families.

Must be located in Chicago, IL

Job Profile Summary:

Reporting to the Regional Manager, Strategic Partnerships, the Strategic Partnerships Manager (SPM) expands the impact of the WGU network of academic and employer relationships to support the University’s vision. WGU’s partnership efforts increase market reach and student access, improve affordability, and enhance the student experience. This position will develop and grow partners in a specific region, promoting the value of WGU’s educational programs, and executing a flywheel approach to effectively benefit both the university and its partners.

Essential Functions and Responsibilities:

  • Authentically project and reflect the mission of WGU.
  • Develop deep partnerships to increase WGU’s reach and educational impact.
  • Execute a relevant strategic partnership plan for every partnership owned, ensuring partnership launches, maintenance, project timelines, student impact, and business results are achieved.
  • May deliver partnership presentations to potential partner organizations with the sales acumen that incorporates WGU “flywheel” approach.
  • Research, recommend, and attend and participate in appropriate regional, professional organizations or events to represent WGU and extend reach.
  • Incorporate consistent utilization of marketing and partnership communication that will enhance WGU being top of mind for educational opportunities.
  • Plan and participate in WGU and Open Skills Network hosted events. Participation includes pre-event efforts to secure partner participation and marketing of the event to appropriate audiences, support the day-of activities and complete follow-up tasks.
  • Demonstrate thoughtful and appropriate time management in extending the vision, strategies and tactics required for profitable and sustained partner engagement and implementation across all assigned accounts.
  • Maintain timely, accurate and thorough documentation of all activities, tasks, contacts and account management.
  • Maintain deep understanding and knowledge of the open skills and learning and employment record ecosystem.
  • May develop, orient and support engaged alumni to represent WGU within their places of employment, or, with other opportunities.
  • Mentor and train peers. Functions as a subject matter expert in highly complex situations.
  • Contributes to team success including planning, organizing, developing work processes, identifying and implementing improvements, and leading team/department projects.
  • Effectively handles highly complex work initiatives and resolves highly complex issues
  • Perform other related duties as assigned.

Knowledge, Skill and Abilities:

  • Initiative - Self-directed with a strong bias for action and results; displays keen interest in students and organization.
  • Reliability - Accountable to self and others; does what it takes to get the job done; actions are consistent with words; follows through on commitments; exhibits exceptional integrity
  • Strategic Thinking – is able to develop new ideas that will enhance partnership results, is future-oriented and assesses what will help/hinder achieving goals; focuses on what is important.
  • Earns Trust – is exceptional and persuasive using communication skills, oral and written, delivers on commitments.
  • Negotiation – can negotiate and influence skillfully and professionally while maintaining relationships.
  • Attitude - Displays commitment to the organization and to personal growth; self-motivated and able to motivate and inspire others; asserts self appropriately to champion ideas; tells the truth in a direct and constructive manner.
  • Adaptability – Manages behaviors and communication style to meet the needs of a wide range of situations; tackles obstacles appropriately; is comfortable with ambiguity.
  • Student Focus – the ability to keep the student at the center of what we do, and why we do it. Exhibits passion about improving the educational experiences of our students by creating lasting partnerships with employers, community colleges, school districts, and the community.
  • Problem Solving – Investigates appropriate resources and involves partners when appropriate. Is future-oriented. Assesses what will help or hinder achieving goals. Focuses on what is important.
  • Interpersonal Skills – Deals with others in a considerate, respectful, and unbiased manner. Approaches conflict proactively. Solicits and shares feedback openly. Listens with empathy and maintains composure.
  • Accuracy – Draws on facts collected from a broad knowledge of WGU’s goals and processes.


Organizational Impact:

  • Works to achieve operational targets with significant to major impact on department, Function, or Office results. May be responsible for managing large projects or processes within the department, function, or office.​
  • Performs work as directed with limited oversight.

Problem Solving & Decision Making:

  • Responsible for leveraging a systems-thinking approach, making moderate to significant improvements of processes, systems, and plans within the department, Function, or Office.​
  • Problems and issues faced are numerous and challenging, will require detailed information gathering and analysis. Problems typically affect multiple areas or specialties.

Communication & Influence:

  • Collaborates cross-functionally with employees within and outside of the department. Typically has responsibility for communicating with parties external to the University.​
  • Works to influence parties within and outside the department, Function, or Office regarding policies, procedures, and practices.

Leadership & Talent Management

  • Is responsible for providing guidance, coaching, and training to other employees in the department, Function, or Office. Responsible for managing projects involving delegation of work and review of others’ work products.​
  • Demonstrates the WGU leadership principles in all aspects of service to students, employees, and partners of WGU.

Job Qualifications:

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in business administration, Management, Marketing or related field
  • Two to four years of experience in business development and strategic partnership management with a record of high performance in solution selling across multiple industry verticals.
  • Knowledge and use of Salesforce and Microsoft Office Suite is equally desirable.
  • Located in Chicago, IL

Physical Requirements:

  • Prolonged periods sitting at a desk and working on a computer
  • Must be able to lift up to 15 pounds at times.
  • Some travel required.

Disclaimer: This Job Description has been designed to indicate the general nature, essential duties, and responsibilities of work performed by employees within this classification. It does not contain a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications that are required of the employee to do this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice. This Job Description does not constitute a contract of employment and the University may exercise its employment-at-will rights at any time.



As an equal opportunity employer, WGU recognizes that our strength lies in our people. We are committed to diversity.