Launch Your Career

 OUR STORY

Launch Your Career Founder and Chief Career Officer,Founder Sean O'Keefe
Although Launch Your Career was founded in 2018, the substance and origins of our programs were founded during Sean O'Keefe’s undergraduate years. After attending Diablo Valley Community College, he transferred to University of California, Santa Barbara where, with the advice of a professor, he began using the “Student Card” to proactively earn three highly competitive internships and then a job upon graduation — despite not having connections or the best grades. 
Feeling fortunate and grateful, at the age of 30, Sean began paying it forward by teaching as an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University.  Due to his teachings helping many students land the internships and jobs they wanted — without connections, Sean was asked to design and teach a class for students in the university’s first-generation student program.
"Sean has an innate passion and energy for his work and to impact students at scale. Students respond so strongly to him, his influence and support in a way I've rarely seen on a college campus. He continues to build capacity around his work to inspire students to have agency in creating their future."

- Rose Nakamoto, Director of Career Services 
@ Santa Clara University
Sean O'Keefe pictured with Rose Nakamoto
With the urging of Dr. Erin Kimura-Walsh, Director of the First-Generation Student Program, Sean started developing the framework for this social enterprise. In 2018, Launch Your Career and Empowered Students were born to scale impact nationwide. 

During Spring and Fall of 2019 Sean was invited to speak at conferences and provide keynotes to share about our methods, frameworks, programs, partnerships and success stories. Then, in Summer, we received encouragement and funding from Santa Clara University to accelerate our goal of impacting 1 million students by 2025.  

This goal will be achieved by partnering with higher education and career development programs.  We are excited about the partnerships we've already formed and look forward to more each year.  We are proud to have partnerships with 2-year and 4-year colleges, public and private universities, non-profit organizations, and government agencies.  And we are especially proud to serve students of  all majors & programs of study, and ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, as well as students pursuing all kinds of industries and role types.
Founder Sean O'Keefe

About Our Founder
Sean O'Keefe

  About Our Team

Sean O'Keefe is the Founder and Chief Impact Officer for Launch Your Career and the Director of Impact for Empowered Students. The two organizations operate as a mission-driven social enterprise.  Sean is also an award winning Professor of Business Communication at Santa Clara University. In 2020, Sean teamed up with one of his colleagues, Professor Barry Posner who is a researcher and best-selling author of The Leadership Challenge and The Student Leadership Challenge, to conduct their first annual nationwide research survey called "Networking & Career Readiness of College Students: A Nationwide Survey." 

NACE and the Career Leadership Collective recognized the research as the first of its kind and NACE asked for the results to be published in their quarterly journal.  Due to Sean's impact on students and the research, he received several offers to publish his first book, which is coming in early 2021. 

Sean is an innovative and service-oriented leader and teacher.  He has unique expertise on the confluence of career education, student employment outcomes, how to teach cold & warm networking, frictionless online learning, career development partnership programs, micro-learning, scaffolded teaching, career readiness competencies, and how to embed career education into course curricula.

Sean regularly speaks, trains, writes and consults for colleges, universities, and career education non-profits and government agencies. His specialty involves teaching students how to build professional relationships from scratch, as well as providing advanced training to faculty and career counselors how to effectively teach networking to their students. Sean’s reputation as a speaker is built on his openness to be vulnerable and communicate authentically. He loves to share both researched-back data and evidence-based success stories of his former students. He is a thought-leader with the uncommon ability to both inspire organizations and audiences and provide them with practical takeaway strategies. 

Sean has a BA in Communication from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and a MBA from Santa Clara University.  Sean enjoyed 14 years in business prior to his switch into higher education.  He served in leadership roles for nine years and has hired over 40 employees/interns and interviewed over 300 candidates. His first job out of college was in the business development department for the Oakland A's baseball team. Then, he spent seven years as Vice President for Shamrock Office Solutions. During college, Sean earned internships with the San Francisco 49ers, Oakland A's, and San Francisco Giants — without having any connections or the best grades. Sean lives in northern California with his wife, whom he met in the 3rd grade, and their two children. 

Sean's Speaking, Training, and Advisory Specialties

For Students

For Admins, Counselors and/or Faculty


Networking for Career Success

The Future of Work meets Career Readiness

How to Perfect the Informational Interview​ Career Conversation

Personal Brand & LinkedIn Best Practices
Advanced Interviewing Skills

Professional Development Tips and Must Do's

Effective Business Communication


How to Drive Improved Retention Rates & Employment Outcomes

The Future of Work meets Career Readiness

How to Teach Networking to Students so they Can Access the 80% of jobs in the hidden job market

3 Must Do's to Increase Internships for Students in all Majors/Programs of Study
 
How to Serve More than Just the Highly Motivated Students on Your Campus

You can follow Sean on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/seanokeefe or email at sean@launchyourcareer.academy

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