Ruth Louden

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English, French
Career educator and coach with 20+ years of experience supporting youth in academic, career and employment decisions. Specialize in Canadian Higher Ed; MBTI & Strong Certified.
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Canadian Universities Career Planning Employment Essay Writing
English, French
  • 2012: University of Toronto, Master of Education (Work & Career Focus)
  • 1986: York University, Master of Environmental Studies (Quality of Work Life)
  • 17 years at the University of Toronto (Ontario, Canada) supporting undergraduate students in their academic and career decision-making and employment efforts
  • 2 years at Canada's York University supporting BA, MA and PhD students n the Faculty of Environmental Studies with their career and employment concerns
  • 3+ years in private practice supporting high school students in their university choices
  • 10+ years in human resources consulting specializing in recruitment, compensation and performance management

My coaching philosophy hinges on three important features.

First, I stand beside my clients as a partner, rather than above them as an expert, to look into their future through their eyes.

  • A motivational listener, I don't offer advice until I understand your fundamental concerns or questions, patterns and priorities.
  • I draw out your stories and the strengths they reveal to help you clarify your academic and career goals.
  • I have a quirky sense of humour and like to make my clients laugh.

Second, I believe the choice of an academic program is an important, life-changing decision. It can be both exciting and scary to narrow down the field from a dizzying array of options to an optimal short-list. To help you make a full-bodied, informed decision, I encourage you to rely on multiple sources:

  • A realistic self-assessment. Schools will evaluate your grades, your scores, your skills, your strengths, your life experience and your interests – in other words, your fit for their program and institution. So make sure your starting point is a realistic self-inventory.
  • High quality information resources. Expert bloggers, annual rankings, occupational and program sites help you objectively rate and rank possible options.
  • Hands-on, eyeball-to-eyeball experience. To inform and avoid second-guessing after the fact, test your options by attending fairs, visiting schools, auditing courses, shadowing others, and conducting information interviews with students and profs.
  • Perspectives from loved ones. Yes, their opinion matters! They know you and love you, should not make the decision for you, but are likely in your corner! Spend time asking others for their opinion, and allow these opinions to inform but not force your decision.
  • Your gut. You are the one who has to live day-to-day with the outcome of your decisions! Get good at reflecting on your experiences and emotions to develop your own sense of what is best for you and your circumstances.

Third, I see the application process for university as the first of many important and complex career adventures you will pursue throughout your lifetime. How cool is that? As a result, I work with you to:

  • Lead with your strengths. If you don’t know what they are, find out.
  • Get experience. Get lots of it – good and bad, paid, volunteer, community, travel – to power your goals and compete effectively for academic and employment opportunities.
  • Practice relationship skills. You'll build social connections, navigate options more easily and generate opportunities for your future.
  • Become an excellent communicator. Cultivate the art of self presentation - in writing and in person.
  • Develop resilience. You'll need it - for the ups and downs of a competitive process and the transition from high school to university.

I live east of Toronto, Ontario (Canada) in the middle of a forest, enjoying four seasons of beautiful sunsets, starry nights and wildlife sightings.

My partner Pete and I are avid cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts. We used to do crazy distances like a couple hundred miles in 2 days. Now we stick to more modest distances of 30-40 miles on our road bikes and the occasional 2-hour mountain bike ride.

I love working on my Mac computer - currently teaching myself html and css, InDesign and Photoshop - and trying to get better at using a DSLR camera.

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