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Work experience

Jan 2012Present

Vice President of Learning Initiatives

MaxKnowledge, Inc.

► Research and analyze market data for new software platform in the educational services sector to assess consumer perceptions, competition, business trends, and product value
► Recommend product features and services to differentiate platform from market competition
► Collaborate with Chief Executive Officer on overall brand strategy affecting product name, logo, pricing, potential partnerships, marketing channels, customer messaging, and user experience
► Oversee content development for newly developed training curricula and collaborate with software development team to implement technical features► Provided consultation to MaxKnowledge prospective clients to assist in the development and implementation of employee development initiatives
► Identified needs and offer customized solutions through enterprise turnkey training platform.
► Worked with national, multi-site organizations and single-site operations

► Provided marketing and general support for 25+ affiliate partners across the U.S. which included responding to customer inquiries, resolving issues, developing marketing collateral and content upon request, and conducting workshops at conferences
► Developed strategic partnerships & consulted technology team on enhancements to firm’s social learning platform.
► Managed email marketing, wrote copy for email marketing automation, investigated Search Engine Optimization (SEO) issues and made recommendations for resolution, partnered with design team to create marketing collateral, wrote web copy, press releases, & magazine columns.
► Represented firm at national conferences & served on boards and committees to stay abreast of sector training needs, regulatory updates, and other relevant information with potential influence on training initiatives

Jan 2008Jan 2012

Director of Career Services | Industry Relations | Alumni Relations

Career Education Corporation


Plan, organize, direct and evaluate career development education strategies and graduate employement reporting. Research and analyze labor market conditions and potential new program offerings to provide guidance on program development that aligns with industry and market trends. Develop, implement and evaluate programs that address student and graduate needs for market readiness. Plan and coordinate events involving community partners, industry, and alumni.

Selected Achievements:

  • Career Services team was recognized in 2008, 2009, and 2010 with the Arizona Private School Association Best Placement Practice Award.
  • As part of senior management team, helped lead the ACICS accreditation process managing graduate satisfaction, employer satisfaction, employment reporting, and community engagement criteria.  ACICS visit resulted in zero findings for the college.  
  • Initiated employer engagement strategy creating and marketing the Phoenix Developer's Conference with 114 employer participants and 5 free workshops for students, prospective students and faculty. Relationships led to new Advisory Board membership and talent acquisition for 5 adjunct instructor positions.  Visit to see marketing of event.
  • Achieved highest employer satisfaction rating in the division of 14 schools from 2011 survey data at 88%
  • Recognized with the "Above and Beyond" award by Career Education Corporation for exceptional Alumni programming in a division of 14 schools in 2009 and asked to be a presenter for annual conference.
Apr 2011Present

Founder | Content Manager | Speaker | Career Coach

Careertipster LLC

► Write, edit, & manage content for career advice blog
► Content featured on Slideshare’s “What’s Trending” section on home page
► Invited as presenter, panelist, & guest speaker at private training workshops & conferences
► Presentation topics have included reputation management, personal branding, social media strategy, career marketing, college alumni relations, and interviewing.
► Author eCourse content used to train career services professionals in postsecondary education across the United States

Sep 2001Present

Managing Partner | Event Management | DJ | Emcee

G&R Entertainment

► Collaborate with clients to plan and coordinate events including private, corporate and city events
► Coordinate talent schedules, assist with logistical planning, negotiate contracts, manage marketing, and all other aspects of small business

Jan 2007Jan 2008

Associate Director of Training & Development

Career Education Corporation


Analyzed performance metrics with Director to identify staff training opportunities to maximize team performance. Trained all new employees and assisted in identifying best practices to implement and standardize for department. Maintained largest caseload of graduates, providing career coaching and job searching assistance. Assisted Director in strategic planning of department goal-setting and performance evaluation.

Selected Achievements:

  • Promoted within one year to Director of Career Services.
  • Assisted THQ, Inc. with recruiting, screening, and staffing of 150 employees for new QA operation in less than one year (See PR release:
Jan 2005Jan 2006

Sr. Career Advisor

Career Education Corporation


Provided career training in job search strategies, targeted resume development, personal branding, letter development, interviewing, etc. and assisted graduates in obtaining employment. Selected Achievements:

  • Promoted to Sr. Career Advisor within one year of employment. Ranked 1st of 10 Advisors in department in performance metrics. Ranked 5th among 64 Advisors across the division of 10 schools in first year hired.
  • Received “2006 Shining Star Award” for outstanding dedication & commitment to department.
  • Recognized as “Employee of the Month” in July of 2006 for contributions to the school’s mission and demonstration of Leadership qualities.


Mar 2009Mar 2011

Master of Science

Colorado Technical University
Sep 1999Dec 2003

Bachelor of Science

Arizona State University
Sep 1999Dec 2003


Arizona State University

Video Portfolio


Staff Management & Development
Coaching and collaborative management style with experience managing support staff and volunteers.  Formally recognized on multiple occasions for managing high performance, diverse teams that produce superior results.
Recruitment, Screening, Hiring
Expert at recruitment and employee screening process to make ideal matches between organizational needs and candidate qualities/skills/achievements to provide staffing solutions that add value to organizations.
Public Speaking/Presenting
Excellent public speaking ability having experience with audiences over 5000+ at public events for municipalities, formal engagements, as well as motivational/persuasive presentations and classroom workshop facilitation. 
Training/Facilitation and Content Development

Learning needs assessment, content curation, and content creation for both face-to-face and online learning modalities. Facilitated face-to-face workshop and lecture-style training as well as online, asynchronous training for adult learners.

Strategic Planning & Management
Practice Action Learning style of management providing flexibility in designing continous interventions to overcome challenges and maximize results, practicing foresight to anticipate and prevent problems from occuring through proactive interventions.  Proficient at strategy implementation and measurement of results. 
Educational Administration
Set department standards and goals and establish the policies and procedures required to achieve them. Supervise and coach support staff and develop programs, train and motivate career advisors, administer recordkeeping, prepare budgets, and perform many other duties. Manage relations with parents, prospective and current students, employers, and the community. 
Internet Marketing/Branding
Understand Search Engine Optimization (SEO) process and practices to increase web traffic, Google Analytics management and data interpretation, and Social Media Optimization (SMO).  experience in writing optimized web content, creating email ad copy, link building, Generating PPC Campaigns, Blogging, managing multiple social media channels, and measuring ROI of social media tactics aligned with overall strategy.    
Social Media
Accustomed to using social media for Marketing, CRM, and personal branding as it relates to career development, event promotion, department branding, and word-of-mouth marketing.
Accreditation Process
Understand College Accreditation process for ACICS and ACCSC with specialized knowledge in Career Services function overseeing graduate and employer satisfaction studies, continued employment assistance, community service involvement, and student learning outcomes.

Robert Starks: Blog

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What People Have Said About Robert

"Innovation, integrity, persistence and achievement are the hallmarks of Robert's unique brand of creative leadership.”  - Tim Dosemagen, Former Provost/VP of Academics, Collins College

"Robert is a perceptive leader who understands people and team dynamics, proficient in persuading others. A creative thinker capable of overpowering today’s most challenging situations." - Joshua Padron, Former President, Collins College

"Robert is an energetic manager who makes things happen" - John J. Stachniak, Senior Director of Alumni Affairs, CEC

Professional Affiliations/Community Involvement

  • Arizona Private School Association (APSA) │ Board Member & Public Relations Chair (Sep 2012 - Jan 2015)
  • Career Education Colleges and Universities  (CECU) State Affairs Committee Member (Jan 2012 – Mar 2014 )
  • Arizona Career Development Association │Director of Media & Technology  (Jan 2010 - Dec 2012)
  • Guest Panelist Speaker for Presentation on Alumni Community Development │ 2011 APSCU Conference
  • National Career Development Association │Member
  • National Association of Colleges and Employers │Member
  • Boys Hope Girls Hope of Arizona (BHGH) │Program Committee Member
  • Table Captain for 2010 Success Starts with Hope fundraiser │BHGH Arizona
  • 2009 Volunteer Career Coach │American Humanics Phoenix Conference
  • Guest Presenter and Table Captain at 2008 Success Starts with Hope Fundraiser │BHGH Arizona


    • 2012 Associate Member of the Year │ Florida Association of Postsecondary Schools and Colleges
    • 2011 Best Placement Practices Award │Arizona Private School Association
    • 2010 Best Placement Practice Award │Arizona Private School Association
    • 2009 Above & Beyond Award for Alumni Programming │Career Education Corporation
    • 2009 Best Placement Practice Award │Arizona Private School Association
    • 2008 Best Placement Practice Award │Arizona Private School Association
    • 2008 School of the Year │Arizona Private School Association │Member of Senior Management
    • 2006 Shining Star Award for Outstanding Dedication & Commitment │Collins College
    • 2006 Employee of the Month │Collins College