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    Fostering career development with a diversity lens

    [Jenny Lee Northey speaks at QUIC]
    In her role as career counsellor Jenny Lee Northey is consulting with students and student groups to get a better understanding of the career-related needs and experiences of students from diverse backgrounds. (University Communications) 

    In order to better understand and support the needs of students with diverse backgrounds, in particular those from equity-seeking groups, Career Services in the Division of Student Affairs has created a new career counsellor position, and hired someone uniquely positioned to lead this initiative.

    Jenny Lee Northey has started consulting with students and student groups to get a better understanding of the career-related needs and experiences of students from diverse backgrounds.

    “Career Services has a strong suite of core services, and a variety of targeted services, such as on-site drop-in career advising in Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre, the Ban Righ Centre, and Queen’s University International Centre,” says Cathy Keates, Director of Career Services and Experiential Learning. “But we wanted to do more and do better in supporting students from a wide range of backgrounds, and in particular students from equity-seeking groups. We are thrilled to have Jenny in this new position.”

    “Students have shared their ideas and concerns including developing vital support networks, identifying and addressing knowledge gaps, and encountering systemic barriers such as stereotypes, discrimination, and micro-aggressions,” says Lee Northey.  “I have also heard how students are seeing positive change take place as a result of the Principal’s Implementation Committee on Racism, Diversity, and Inclusion (PICRDI) report.”

    A graduate from the Queen’s Concurrent Education program, Lee Northey has lived and worked internationally, including in Monterrey, Mexico and as a career counsellor at New York University Shanghai, where she supported the inaugural graduating class comprising students from over 50 countries. She has also volunteered in the Kingston community with international students and their families, with Youth Diversion and with Pathways to Education, and has supported efforts to end human trafficking.

    Lee Northey is using these experiences to inform her approach, noting that these diverse experiences have enriched her perspective and understanding of cultural knowledge and practices.

    “I have the privilege of not only listening to individuals’ personal stories firsthand, but of empowering them as they pursue and access equitable opportunities to contribute their ideas, talents, and perspectives,” she says.  “I am passionate about helping people reframe their narratives and connect with possibilities and pathways they may not have considered before.”

    In 2019-2020, Lee Northey will continue consulting and compiling information regarding the career-related needs and experiences of diverse students. Career Services and the Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC) are partnering to offer a more robust suite of career supports to international students this upcoming academic year. As well, Lee Northey is developing dedicated webpages on the Career Services website tailored to support students of underrepresented and equity-seeking groups.

    If you wish to learn more about Lee Northey’s role or Career Services’ commitment to providing more inclusive and equitable opportunities, please contact her at jenny.lee@queensu.ca.