First Chapter Careers is a partnership of professional coaches focused on supporting recent university and college graduates as they transition from their education to sustainable careers and lifestyles. We also support their parents and the organzations who hire new graduates and need them to succeed in the first year of employment.
The First Chapter Careers partners have between them many decades of experience working with youth, young adults, and university & college graduates. Having heard from numerous recent graduates and parents about the "gap" between post-secondary education and "real world", and the lack of support for the challenging transition across this gap, the founding partners, Paul Kurucz and Scott Bradford, decided to do something about it. The result? First Chapter Careers: Professional coaching to support new and recent graduates, their parents, and the managers and leaders of organizations who hire bright young adults!
"Over the last 25 years as a university professor, I walked beside dozens of graduates as they transitioned from their studies to the real world. This work was outside of my mandate to teach them in the lecture hall. I did it because they asked for the coaching and support and I really wanted them to succeed after they graduated. In the last few years more and more of my students have sought out my support as they faced an ever more complex and challenging job market.
When a university education ends and a graduate's independent life begins, there comes a time of profound transition, which takes courage, support, and the learning of new skills. And there is little or no formal support offered to university graduates for this transition. Only loving parents have their best interests at heart.
So, I decided to step up and be that support, for those graduates who hear that I care about them and their future. Coaching is a powerful process because every graduate is a unique and special person, with a mix of strengths only they have."
Paul brings his 25 years of business teaching, training, consulting, coaching, technology leadership, and entrepreneurship experience to First Chapter Careers. Educated at the Western University in London, ON, Paul focuses on helping new graduates transition to the workplace and on helping managers and leaders integrate new professional employees into their existing teams to quickly ramp up productivity and minimize the risk of attrition.
"I learned more in one hour of coaching with you than in a whole year of my internship preparation course."
- A recent MBA graduate
"I love how you help me find my own answers rather than telling me!"
- a university graduate
"I always feel better when we meet. You make it so simple and clear. Because it is. But it seems so complicated!"
- A mature university graduate re-entering the workplace.
"You are really good at this. You should be a coach!"
- A university student.
I have been working with young people for 25 years and I still get emotional when I see one of them achieve their dreams. I feel blessed to have a career that changes young lives and I am so proud of the work we do at First Chapter Careers.
For 12 years I ran Ottawa's largest child and youth serving agency, serving over 4,000 young people in 9 locations across the city. My staff team and I designed and implemented award-winning programs that resulted in incredible stories of personal transformation. This work led to the creation of a best practices approach to youth engagement and programs such as Leaders-4-Life that saw so many young adults go on to very promising lives -- young adults I continue to coach and mentor today (who are also coaching and mentoring others in the "give back" philosophy I champion).
I graduated from the University of Western Ontario in Physical Education with a Canadian Coaching Certification. As a varsity athlete and young entrepreneur I learned early on what it takes to be successful - in sport, business, and life. For me, the secret to success is surrounding yourself with positive people, role models and coaches who will help you find your true abilities and work with you to realize your full potential.
Along the journey of my career I have been fortunate to have been recognized in awards such as the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, the United Way of Ottawa's Community Builder Award and several Chamber of Commerce recognitions.I attribute these to being a part of some fantastic teams.
The First Chapter Careers team is no exception. I truly believe that First Chapter Careers is the solution for young people who are looking to fast track their way in the work world and who are open to coaching. The potential is there, we unlock it with our proven methods.
Sheila Sakiyama is a partner and coach at First Chapter Careers. She has been in private practice for the past 15 years helping those who struggle with psychological or emotional issues that hold them back from achieving their goals.
Sheila has worked with at-risk youth in career training programs helping them clear the challenges that get in the way of their success. She has also helped transform the lives of disempowered women assisting them in finding their voice and moving into a safer and brighter future.
Sheila brings a compassion and sensitivity to the deeper issues that play into the challenges that can sabotage one’s success. She works one on one with clients to help them release blocks and clear the path that allows them to unleash their potential to move more confidently toward professional aspirations and success.>
After graduating in psychology from the University of Victoria she went on to do specialized training in emotional acupressure and other therapeutic modalities that accelerate the healing of limiting beliefs and mental constructs that prevent people from reaching their full potential.
"It’s been two days since our session and I’ve noticed I’ve been sleeping better and I haven’t had that sick anxiety feeling in the pit of my stomach – which was a huge part of everything. I’m looking forward to the days, months and years to come."
- A. McKinnon
"I was so anxious I couldn’t even get on a bus. After working with you buses are no longer an obstacle and getting to work is a whole lot easier! Thank you! "
- G. White