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Director of Student Experience

Colorado Outward Bound School
Colorado Outward Bound School
Job Functions:
Administration, Marketing & Communications, Operations, Quality Assurance
Employment Types:
75,000 – 85,000 USD per year
Posted on:

Organizational Overview

The Colorado Outward Bound School (COBS) is a non-profit adventure-based education organization that emphasizes personal growth through challenge and experience. For over 60 years our wilderness courses have focused on inspiring responsibility, teamwork, confidence, compassion, and environmental and community stewardship.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Colorado Outward Bound School celebrates diversity and strives to create an inclusive environment for all employees. We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, nation origin, age, genetic information, disability, veteran status, or any other basis covered by appropriate law. All employment is based on qualifications and business needs.

Working at the Colorado Outward Bound School means joining a growth-minded community where we are actively creating a more inclusive organizational culture. Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion shows up at all levels of the organization – in our trainings, in our meetings, on our courses, and in our daily lives. This work can be challenging at times and we are committed to navigating it together to create a supportive and inclusive environment for our staff and our students. In support of fostering a more welcoming outdoor community for all, we are working to address barriers related to race, culture, socioeconomics, ability, gender identity, sexual orientation, geographic location, and mental health.

Position Summary

The Director of Student Experience is a newly created position that reports to COBS’s Executive Director and merges oversight of the admissions, marketing, and sales functions at COBS, managing three direct reports. The Director of Student Experience supervises the Student Services Manager and supports management of the day-to-day functioning of the Student Services Department, ensuring a high-quality experience for enrolled and potential students and their families. The Director of Student Experience also supervises the Business Development Manager, who is responsible for finding new clients for COBS and fostering relationships with existing external clients, as well as supervisors the Marketing and the Communications Manager, who leads external marketing and internal and external communications. The Director of Student Experience is also responsible for overseeing and driving all aspects of the COBS marketing, communications, and sales strategy, and overseeing all activities and materials designed to create or maintain brand awareness. They work closely with all departments to align brand management, marketing, client experience, and communications across the school. Additionally, they represent the school in all national marketing and communications strategic initiatives and projects.

Key Duties and Responsibilities

Admissions and Sales

· Collaborates as a member of the COBS Senior Leadership Team (SLT) to determine and fulfill school needs, goals, and directional strategy to achieve the COBS mission.

· Informs the COBS SLT and Board of Directors and relevant committees of updates, issues, sales trends, marketplace trends, and changes in enrollment, revenue, and forecasts.

· Leads all sales and admissions strategy and implementation.

· Leads the Marketing department to ensure website and sales materials are up to date with course details.

· Works with the Development department to facilitate COBS’s organizational commitment to scholarship students.

· Oversees scholarship placements, new and existing relationships with school and community partners, and working to enhance and systemize our practices.

· Collaborates with the programs department to maximize organizational capacity at basecamps and with the enrollment management processes such as scheduling, admissions criteria, eligibility requirements, and medical screening issues and practices.

· Works with the Human Resources department to hire, onboard, train, and develop the Sales and Admissions team.

· Collaborates on training, performance management, and compensation structure adjustments.

· Participates in and supports the COBS Emergency Response Plan in training and when initiated.

· Supports organizational diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) efforts across COBS.

· Holds a holistic picture of the COBS course inventory and capacities, managing short and long-term scheduling, enrollment, incentivizing, and pricing courses.

· Responsible for growing and maintaining enrollment at COBS, maximizing open enrollment fill rates and mission-aligned custom clients, developing scholarship programs, analyzing and forecasting trends, developing and implementing strategies to maximize enrollment.

· Ensures there is clear communication of the COBS brand to convert leads into students. Oversees client allocation within the sales team and sets annual sales targets.

· Develops pricing schedules and rates based on annual organizational costs, market demand, and supply.

· Coordinates with Outward Bound Services Group on courses in need, promotions, campaigns, and discounts.

· Represents COBS to all outside constituents.

· Ensures accountability for the student experience in the admission process, oversees admission practices and policies, application materials, medical screening, and delivery of exemplary communication and high quality, informative, accurate information to customers.

  • Annually reviews and updates the student application format, admissions procedures, and enrollment materials to meet OBUSA Safety Department standards and best practices.
  • Ensures customer complaints are handled professionally and thoroughly to closure.


  • Informs the COBS Leadership team and Board of Directors and relevant committees of updates, issues, and trends, in marketing, client experience, and communications systems, initiatives, and outcomes that impact COBS.
  • Leads all marketing and communications strategy, implementation, and evaluation.
  • Helps facilitate and communicate COBS’s culture of safety in all facets of our work.
  • Works with all departments on school marketing and communications strategies and initiatives.
  • Supports organizational DEIJ efforts across COBS and within all marketing materials and communications.
  • Builds and manages the department budget.
  • Oversees all brand management of COBS marketing and communications materials to meet OBUSA and COBS guidelines. Ensures all departments adhere to these guidelines.
  • Leads all brand management for content creation and curation in printed materials, social media channels, websites, and anything that is distributed through COBS or national OB channels.
  • Manages the design and collection of stories for newsletters.
  • Manages press releases and secures interviews with media to promote significant events or issues.
  • Evaluates success and revises marketing initiatives as necessary.
  • Initiates market research studies or analyzes their findings to best leverage COBS in the outdoor and educational industry.
  • Leads all project management for developing end-to-end end audits, recommendations, and adjustments to customer experience.

· Leads all timing and messaging of internal and external communications as it relates to change management, organizational announcements, internal initiatives, and public-facing announcements.

  • Audits all outward-facing communications. Works with all department managers to ensure content is accurate, cadence, and timely.
  • Effectively manages resources to sustain a positive public perception of COBS**.**

Skills and Knowledge

· Personal qualities of integrity, credibility, collaboration, and a commitment to the COBS mission.

· Skilled in leadership, team development, and people management.

· Experience with strategic thinking, planning, and business acumen.

· Proven communicator in oral and written platforms. Ability to speak clearly and persuasively in positive or challenging situations. Comfortable presenting to large groups.

· Proven customer service skills. Ability to manage difficult or emotional customer situations, reply promptly, and solicit customer feedback to improve services.

· Proven ability to solve problems by gathering and analyzing information, identifying alternative options, and collaborating on problem-solving solutions.

· Experience with developing, coordinating, and implement projects on a timely manner and to completion.

· Demonstrated resourcefulness in setting priorities, proposing new ways of creating efficiencies, and guiding investment in people and systems.

· Experience with emergency response systems and managing school-wide incidents.

· A personal commitment to and understanding of the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

· Proficient in Office 365 (Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams), Salesforce, and video conferencing.

Education and Work Experience

· 8+ years of experience in sales management, customer relations, admissions, marketing and communications, or similar fields is required.

· Previous experience working for a nonprofit organization is preferred.

· Knowledge and experience with outdoor recreation and adventure education programs preferred.

· Familiarity with Outward Bound philosophy and the activities and course areas of the Colorado Outward Bound School is preferred.

· Excellent CRM skills, preferably in Salesforce.

· Self-starter, strong initiative, and ability to work with minimal supervision.

· Experience managing teams across functional areas and identifying opportunities for collaboration.

· Must work well in a team environment and excel under pressure.

  • Experience with technology or digital market platforms.
  • Proven customer service skills.
  • Proven ability to solve problems by gathering and analyzes information, identifying alternative solutions, and collaborating on issue solving situations to create design or messaging.
  • Experience with developing, coordinating, and implement projects on time and to completion.
  • Demonstrated resourcefulness in setting priorities, proposing new ways of creating efficiencies, and guiding investment in people and systems.
  • Experience with emergency response systems and managing crisis communications.

Working Conditions and Physical Requirements

  • Denver, CO area with accessibility to COBS’s headquarters office, along with remote work and work from home options.

· The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds.

· While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit.

· Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Compensation and Benefits

· Annual salary range: $75,000-$85,000.

· Benefits eligibility for medical, dental, and vision insurance, where COBS pays a significant amount toward healthcare premiums and provides employee-paid short- and long-term disability coverage and basic life insurance.

· 20 days of Paid Time Off that accrues throughout the first year, with an additional day of PTO added for each consecutive year of service.

· 56 hours of paid Sick Leave.

· 40 hours of paid time for approved volunteer activities and community service.

· 401k eligibility available after one year of service.

· ProDeal eligibility.

Application Process

Please address the cover letter and resume to Lauren Schmidt (she/her), Executive Director of COBS. Applications will be accepted through the end of the day on Friday, April 15, 2022.

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