Learn what it takes to be an outstanding career leader.
Build Essential Leadership Skills
Whether you’re a new or aspiring leader of co-op, career, or experiential learning, your institution needs you to reach your full potential.
In this program, you’ll learn how to conduct effective evaluations, make strategic decisions about what programs and services are most valuable, inspire and manage through change, maximize productivity (and career satisfaction), build lasting partnerships, and develop a successful DEI strategy.
Fast track your leadership skills and reach your career goals sooner at the Career Leadership Academy.Register Now
Speakers, Panelists & Facilitators
(Additional presenters will be added soon.)
Assistant Vice-President, Experiential Learning & Career Development
Wilfrid Laurier University
Jan Basso is the Assistant Vice-President, Experiential Learning & Career Development at Wilfrid Laurier University and a recognized leader in this field within the post-secondary context. She is responsible for leading the development of strategies, structures, programs and services, partnerships, technology and assessment that contribute to preparing students for their future, respond to employer recruiting needs and add value to the institution. Jan and her team have received numerous awards for comprehensive and innovative program delivery and the Career Centre at Laurier has been recognized with the highest score on a national study of impressive career services in post-secondary education. Jan has been active in both leadership and contributing roles within related professional associations and networks and has been committed to sharing her expertise and learning from others throughout her career.
Brainstorm Strategy Group Inc.
Graham Donald has been involved in the field of recruitment and campus career development for more than 25 years and is a trusted advisor to many leading employers and educational institutions. He has developed numerous training and development programs for campus career professionals as well as many conferences and events for employers of post-secondary students and graduates.
He is also the lead researcher on the Brainstorm Student Career Interests Report that has surveyed more than 200,000 students over the past 15 years.
As part of his practice, he has led strategic planning projects on campuses including McGill University, Wilfrid Laurier University, Simon Fraser University, George Brown College, University of British Columbia, and many others.
Previously, he was the Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Career Educators and Employers (CACEE) from 1994 to 2001. During this time, he created and launched Campus Worklink, Canada’s largest job board for students, which was later sold to Workopolis. He was a founding director of the Career Edge National Internship Program; a founder and past president of the Young Entrepreneurs Association of Canada; and a co-owner and director of a children's canoe tripping camp, Camp Temagami. He received both his BA and MBA from the University of Toronto.
Director, Career and Experiential Learning
University of Alberta Career Centre
As Director of the University of Alberta Career Centre and Experiential Learning Blessie Mathew's portfolio also includes the Undergraduate Research Initiative (URI), and Women in Scholarship, Engineering, Science, and Technology (WISEST). Each unit connects broadly in their goal to support students, postdoctoral fellows, and alumni in engaging in career development and experiential learning activities that help them build the skills, knowledge, experience, and connections they need to progress in their careers resourcefully, and with hope and resilience.
Director, Strategic Initiatives, Student Affairs
Cathy Keates recently finished over a decade as the Director of Career Services and Experiential Learning at Queen’s University. Three of her projects – the Major Maps, the Queen’s Skills Cards, and It All Adds Up, a career health campaign with 43 career centres across Canada participating – were recognized with CACEE Innovation Awards. A 2017 research study ranked Queen’s Career Services as the second most impressive model of postsecondary career services in Canada and labelled the office’s approach the “Efficiency Model.” Cathy is passionate about making the most of resources, including staff time and talent, to have the broadest reach and impact for students.
Director, Co-op, Career & Experiential Education, Brock University
Cara Krezek is currently Director, Co-op, Career and Experiential Education at Brock University where she leads a team of experiential and career professionals. Cara is also on the Board of Directors of Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning (CEWIL) Canada serving as Past-President. Her team at Brock experienced unprecedented disruption due to the pandemic, and her leadership and ability to manage through chaos has proven effective to keep her team engaged and empowered. Her work is informed by her leadership experience within industry and higher education and she is currently doing her Master of Leadership at the Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics. She is passionate about leadership and other people’s passions, which is what drives her work every day.
Director, Career Management Services John Molson School of Business, Concordia University
Director, Global Engagement, Laurier International Wilfrid Laurier University
Ben Yang has been serving as the Director, Global Engagement at Wilfrid Laurier University since 2014. In his current role, he supports and implements Laurier's internationalization strategy including international student support, international partnerships and mobility and internationalization at home initiatives. From 2011 to 2014, he served as the Executive Director of the International Recruitment and Partnerships at Georgian College in Barrie, Ontario. Prior to his leadership role in international education, Ben worked as a career counsellor at the University of Toronto for six years and served one year as the Acting Associate Director at the U of T Career Centre. His experiences in both career and international education allow him to incorporate an intercultural perspective to assess career development issues and view international education from an experiential learning and career development lens. He is a frequent presenter on cross-cultural communication and career development issues. Ben received the 2010 Canadian Bureau of International Education (CBIE) Internationalization Leadership Award.
Director, Career Services and Co-operative Education, Centennial College
Director, Career and Volunteer Services Simon Fraser University
Director, Co-op, Career and Experiential Learning Georgian College
Learning Success Manager,
Career Leadership Academy
Brainstorm Strategy Group Inc.
As the Career Leadership Academy’s dedicated program support person, I’m committed to ensuring that participants and presenters get the most out of their experiences. I am happy to answer questions and provide information and updates to ensure that you are well equipped for this unique learning opportunity.
Your Action Plan
Program & Schedule
(All times based on Eastern time zone)
The Career Leadership Academy features six, 2 ½ hour sessions that include workshops, presentations and panel discussions that will be presented live online over a span of 6 weeks. Weekly sessions will include opportunities for participants to reflect on their learning, take part in small and large group discussions, meet with their peers, and complete self-guided learning and research assignments.
In addition to the 2 ½ hour sessions, it is expected that participants will complete 1-2 hours of homework each week. Homework will consist of literature reviews, posting and commenting on discussion board topics, connecting with co-participants, watching video recordings, and/or completing quizzes.
Participants will be supported via a dedicated web portal to access educational materials, connect with peers, post and comment on coursework, discuss hot topics, and share best practices and information over the course of the program.
All 2 ½ hour sessions will be recorded and made available for review for 6 months after the completion of the program.
Wednesday, June 1, 2022
11:00 am – 1:30 pm
Your work is multifaceted and involves many interests competing for time, funding, and people resources. In this workshop you’ll conduct a brief “audit” of your office and its functions on a wide variety of measures. This evaluation process will help you identify priorities for both your energy and your learning as you consider questions such as:
- How clear is the focus of your work?
- How are student priorities balanced with employer priorities?
- How effective is communication within your office?
- Do you have clearly documented and easily repeated processes?
- Do you have the tools and resources to work effectively?
- How do you balance reaching the most students with having greater impacts on individuals?
- Are you able to “create space” for new initiatives?
- Are you using internal partnerships to increase your reach and get more done?
This “audit” will provide you both a context to work during the program and a helpful perspective as you join in discussions with peers and seek the input of others.
Hear from a panel of experts about the challenges they face as university and college career leaders, and find out:
- What are the main challenges that take up time (and probably shouldn’t)?
- How do they manage change during these constantly evolving times?
- What are the biggest challenges they foresee in the future?
Wednesday, June 8, 2022
11:00 am – 1:30 pm
For diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives to be successful, they require organizational commitment, cultural change and time. Ideally DEI should be more than lip service or a last thought. DEI is a process, not a destination and evidence shows that workplaces that genuinely embrace DEI foster increased productivity and innovation as well as higher levels of meaningful engagement by employees and clients. In this workshop, you will learn how to integrate DEI into your daily work as a leader by exploring:
- How to build a diverse team that contributes to an inclusive work culture
- How you can support an equitable and inclusive work culture
- How to create and review programs and services using a DEI lens
Wednesday, June 15, 2022
11:00 am – 1:30 pm
Leading teams is complex. It is even more complex within complex organizations, such as higher education and during these times of constant change. Your ability to effectively lead, manage, motivate and engage your team will be critical to your success as a leader. There are many strategies to how one can lead a team – but it is important for you to find your leadership style and how you will deal with various situations and stages of team development. Come learn alongside other high potential colleagues about key strategies on leadership and how you can unlock your potential as a leader as you navigate the next steps of your career.You will:
- Learn how discovering your strengths empowers you as a leader.
- Discover why having a mission, vision, values statement and purpose is key to your success as a leader.
- Find out how to empower and engage your team during times of change.
Wednesday, June 22, 2022
11:00 am – 1:30 pm
Whether large or small, growing or not, a career office (and really any office) will always have finite resources. Understanding how to make the most of whatever resources you have will give you greater control over productivity, will free time for strategic projects, and can increase your, and your staff’s, satisfaction and engagement. Learn how to review and improve your processes in order to maximize your productivity and impact.You will:
- Leave with a better understanding of how processes impact productivity.
- Assess challenges and opportunities in your own setting.
- Leave with two actions for process improvements.
Wednesday, June 29, 2022
11:00 am – 1:30 pm
You can’t meet all of your goals on your own. Across your campus, there are potential partners with greater access to students, more influence with administration, bigger budgets, or more people resources than you have. Fortunately, you also have some assets and expertise that are needed by others. This can create great opportunities for mutually beneficial partnerships.
In this workshop, we’ll discuss what sorts of challenges can be met through partnerships; how to evaluate potential partnerships against your priorities; and, what sorts of outcomes you can look forward to.
Through case studies presented by campus leaders at three different institutions, you’ll learn about some effective partnerships, how they were created, and what benefits they deliver.
Through small group discussion, you’ll also have the opportunity to discuss your own partnerships – current or anticipated – with peers to gain some objective perspective and ideas.
Wednesday, July 6, 2022
11:00 am – 1:30 pm
Writing a “to do” list is easy, but finding the time and resources to meet your strategic objectives is impossible without a “stop doing” list. One of every leader’s greatest challenges is knowing when to say “no”. Even more difficult than that is the decision to stop doing something that works well to make room for an even higher priority. How do you put an end to a team member’s favourite program? How do you explain to project partners that you’re pulling out?
In this workshop, the focus will be on developing objective ways to measure your programs and services and evaluate them against your strategic priorities. You’ll discuss ways to engage your team in the process to support change management. Participants will also benefit from discussions with peers who face similar challenges or have managed similar changes.
All details are subject to change.
Is this local, national, global or what?
Professionals in the field from all countries are welcome and will benefit from this program.
The skills learned at the Career Leadership Academy are universal. While the Faculty are all Canada-based, they are also all engaged in partnerships, associations, and activities internationally and particularly with institutions in the USA.
What is the schedule and time commitment?
The core of the program is six, 2 ½ hour sessions held over 6 weeks. In addition to the 2 ½ hour sessions, it is expected that participants will complete 1-2 hours of homework each week consisting of literature reviews, posting and commenting on discussion board topics, connecting with co-participants, watching video recordings, and/or completing quizzes.
All sessions will be recorded so that participants can access any sessions that conflict with their personal schedules.
Will there be recordings available?
Yes, all sessions will be recorded and available exclusively to program participants on the dedicated web portal for 6 months after the completion of the program.
What happens if I miss a session?
There’s a good chance that a session or two may conflict with your other commitments. Recordings of sessions will be posted on the web portal along with educational materials within 24 hours of each workshop, so you’ll have plenty of opportunity to catch up.
Who should participate?
If you are a new or aspiring leader in career services, co-op, and/or experiential learning on campus, then the Career Leadership Academy is designed for you.