Educating leaders for a sustainable future.

Position: Special Projects Associate

Location: Hong Kong

Duration: 1-year minimum commitment, full-time

The CEO of the Akilah Group is looking for an extraordinary Special Projects Associate (SPA), based in our Hong Kong office. The Akilah Group is a collection of social enterprises that uses innovative educational models and technology to transform lives and communities in Africa.
Our ventures include a women’s university, executive education, and an online talent marketplace of vetted professionals. The Akilah Institute ( is the only women’s university in Rwanda and Burundi. Akilah Net is a curated talent marketplace that connects employers and top talent in East Africa. (

The SPA must be creative and enjoy working within an entrepreneurial environment that is mission-driven and results-oriented. The ideal individual will thrive on taking initiative and ownership, and should bring a demonstrated ability to multi-task while providing support in coordinating multiple concurrent projects for the CEO.

The ideal candidate:

You have solid writing skills.
You understand that this job will require you to write or edit extensively. Whether it’s a press release, speech, presentation, or just general correspondence, there are plenty of writing projects that may come up along the way— and you are confident in your writing skills and ability to adapt to new assignments.
You collaborate. You learn. You push yourself.
You may not know everything, but you’re passionate about developing your skills. You listen to constructive feedback, aim for improvement, and give yourself room to feel satisfied with what you’ve accomplished.

You master all things administrative.
You skillfully lead all administrative work for the CEO, including but not limited to, interfacing with staff in multiple countries, managing a chaotic schedule, booking & strictly monitoring complex domestic & international travel, organizing and prioritizing emails, creating presentations, organizing & updating contacts, placing calls & taking diligent notes, filing all correspondence & documents in their proper places, and a zillion other tasks. You are the gatekeeper, juggler, and first point of contact for your boss. You are the glue that holds the team together, and you have a command of everything—yes, there is a multitude of moving parts, and you love taking initiative. Disorganization is your worst enemy, and the details are your best friends.

You think out-of-the-box and 10 steps ahead.
You’re a guru of anticipating needs and staying in front of your boss. You can start with a long list of to-do’s, identify the important tasks to complete first, and be nimble as unexpected things change your day—all while executing every essential item on your ever-growing list of actionable duties. You understand that the unexpected is a regular part of your day, and being solutions-oriented is paramount. You can tackle various and sundry digital and tech problems/glitches/setups. You take calls and meetings with potential partners and investors on behalf of the CEO and can speak knowledgeably about Akilah’s mission.

You are excited to be part of a team that is providing opportunities for education and economic empowerment across East Africa.

Primary tasks:

  • Manage CEO’s calendar of weekly meetings
  • General administrative duties including, but not limited to, scheduling meetings, keeping appointments and calendars, corresponding with donors, reconciling expenses, and making travel arrangements for the CEO
  • Coordinate with the preparation, proofreading, production and distribution of reports, agendas, presentations and other documents as needed
  • Support data input into customer relationship management database (Salesforce), and take notes on weekly team calls
  • Manage correspondences for the CEO
  • Compile up-to-date and comprehensive responses that can be utilized for media and press requests; responses should be reflective of both the CEO and the organization’s passion, direction, and mission
  • Various other operational and administrative tasks as requested by the CEO
  • Motivated, proactive, self-directed problem solver; must be comfortable with shifting roles and responsibilities – someone who does what it takes to get the job done
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills with an ability to communicate confidently and with empathy
  • You have an intense sense of discipline and self-management and thrive in a flexible and sometimes ambiguous environment.
  • Highly organized, able to set priorities and manage multiple tasks at once
  • Forward-looking thinker, who actively seeks to understand challenges and opportunities and then proposes solutions and action
  • Experience and thorough understanding of Salesforce a plus
  • Undergraduate degree required
  • 1-3 years relevant work experience

Benefits: Competitive salary

How to apply
Please send your resume and detailed cover letter with why you want to join the Akilah Group and salary expectations to We want to see creative letters that explain why the Akilah mission resonates with you and aligns with your previous experience. We do not consider letters that are cut-and-paste templates without specific reference to these questions.

About this company
The Akilah Institute for Women is the only women’s college in East Africa. At Akilah, we bring together the most promising female leaders from Rwanda and Burundi for an innovative three-year program that prepares them for professional careers and leadership roles.
The future of peace and stability in East Africa lies in the hands of young women who have the leadership skills and wisdom to create jobs and build businesses that will lift their communities out of poverty. In East Africa, 85% of women work in subsistence agriculture, living on less than $2 per day. Furthermore, only 1% of the population enters university, and less than one-third of those students are female. We believe that educating young women is simply the wisest and most effective investment a developing country can make. We also know that women will invest 90% of their income into their families, as opposed to 30-40% for men.
Akilah aims to build future generations of women leaders and professionals in East Africa through the development of a network of campuses. Akilah will graduate 1,000 students by the year 2020. In 2015, Akilah will have a total of 550 students. Our hands-on and project-based curriculum is developed in partnership with the local private sector. Students major in Entrepreneurship, Information Systems (IS), or Hospitality. Students graduate with the market-relevant skills required for meaningful employment in the fastest growing sectors of the economy.
90% of our graduates find employment within 6 months of graduation.