If you’re looking for jobs at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, you may be off to a rough start - it takes 7 clicks from the home page to see a list of jobs.

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In case you missed it in the news, Bill Gates stepped down from the helm at Microsoft on Friday. Steve Ballmer has actually been CEO of Microsoft since 2000, but now he’s really taking over as Bill Gates assumes the title of nonexecutive chairman. This means that Bill is going full time at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and maybe you should consider doing the same. With the fortune of Gates and Warren Buffett behind it, the Gates Foundation has the financial power to truly make the world a better place. Since money isn’t a problem, the Gates Foundation needs to focus on finding the right people (maybe you) and putting them on the right projects to initiate global change.

What’s It All About?

The focus of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is on “bringing innovations in health and learning to the global community.” The Gates Foundation works in 3 distinct areas Global Development, Global Health, and the United States. Global Development focuses on Agricultural Development, Financial Services for the Poor, and Global Libraries. Global Health focuses on Priority Diseases and Conditions, Breakthrough Science, and Other Initiatives. Finally, the Gates Foundation focuses on Education, the Pacific Northwest, and Libraries in the United States. In some ways the Gates Foundations’ areas of focus seem a bit discombobulated, but it makes sense when you look at it from the perspective of Bill and Melinda Gates. These are their interests. If they weren’t multi-billionaires, these are the types of charities that they would give to, but they are multi-billionaires so they started a multi-focused organization that aims to solve the challenges that they see as important.

Working at the Gates Foundation

If you’re looking for jobs at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, you may be off to a rough start – it takes 7 clicks from the home page to actually see a list of available jobs. Just think of how many opportunities to get lost or distracted 7 clicks presents. We can’t even link to the list of jobs directly because of the Applicant Tracking System that the Gates Foundation uses, but we can get you within 2 clicks here. Sadly, they have a note on the site saying that this is an upgraded recruiting system. It seems that the Gates Foundation has taken a page out of Microsoft’s book when it comes to usability (ok, I had to dig at them once, I’ve been an Apple user since 1989 when I was 5, and I grew up thinking of Microsoft as the evil empire).

So now that we’ve actually found where the Gates Foundation hides their job listings – all 78 current openings of them, we need to figure out what kind of entry-level opportunities they have. We looked through a good portion of the job listings, and we didn’t see anything that is explicitly entry-level – most jobs require 3 years of experience at the very least. Knowing that Microsoft puts a very high value on young talent, you’d think that the Gates Foundation might take a similar approach. So why are we talking about the Gates Foundation if they don’t have any entry-level job openings? Two reasons. First, we think that many new college grads are probably interested in working at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, so they’d like to know the scoop. Second, there are a few jobs that new grads probably could apply for. Generally these jobs all have assistant in the title (which means searching for the keyword “assistant” is a really easy way to find these jobs on the Gates Foundation jobs site), and they come with significant administrative responsibilities. The descriptions say that they require 2 years of office experience, but we think new grads could make it work. Almost all of the jobs at the Gates Foundation are located in Seattle, WA, and applying appears to be somewhat more straightforward than actually finding the jobs on the site.

The Gates Foundation looks like a fantastic place to work, and we hope that they are willing to allow young talent the opportunity to be part of such a fantastic organization. We just wish their approach to online recruitment was a little more straightforward.

Links to Help You Begin Your Research

If you were one of the richest people in the world, would you give it all away?

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One response to “Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation”

  1. Susan Hyde says:

    I agree that the on line job application process is a little frustrating but hey I am hoping one day to get an email asking me to come in for an interview. Hoping that as a non USA resident they will consider my applications favourably. My sister who is a USA citizen has now become elible to sponsor me so this is an exicting step forward for me. It is my dream to work for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation so I am determined to keep applying for appropriate vacancies until I get that glorious opportunity to present myself and my abilities in person and then all going well start working full time with them.

    I dream a dream!

    Sue Hyde

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