Cathy Keates, Director, Career Services
Cathy Keates loves to see the “aha!” moments, when students discover something new about themselves or a new possibility in the work world. As director of Career Services and a career counsellor for many years, she finds students’ boundless energy and excitement motivating.
“University students are a joy to work with,” says Ms Keates. “They’re curious and skilled and bright and energetic. Often I think they don’t appreciate how much they’re transforming through their university experience. We have the privilege of helping them see that.”
Ms Keates began as Career Services director in May after a year as interim director. Prior to Queen’s, she spent nine years at York University’s career services, in various leadership roles. It’s a field she naturally fell into after volunteering as a counselling assistant in the career services office at Western University during her undergraduate degree. She loved, and still loves, the interaction with students, helping them link their own interests and developing skills to a satisfying job.
Recently, Ms Keates’ dedication to improving career services for students was recognized by the Canadian Association of Career Educators and Employers (CACEE). She and a team of career services directors from five Ontario universities won an outstanding achievement award for creating a customized online resource. Career Centre Evaluation: A Practitioner Guide helps career centres design effective evaluation strategies.
“We’re all doing different things and it was clear we could benefit by getting together and sharing our experiences,” says Ms Keates. “We all want to make sure we’re tracking how well we’re doing and this is a practical tool to do just that. It helps us make sure we’re delivering, giving students what they need.”
This fall, Queen’s Career Services is offering several new initiatives, including drop-in career advising and a workshop called Using LinkedIn to Find Great Work.