School of Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies
School of Graduate Studies

From Passion to Practice – Teresa Pires

Teresa Pires

By Adenike Ogunrinde, August 2016

Teresa Pires is the Assistant Director of Recruitment and Admissions at the Queen’s University Smith School of Business which, in short, is a role that involves recruiting globally for the full-time MBA program. Her position has involved traveling to over 40 countries thus far for the recruitment of top-talent, in addition to maintaining expertise on international education systems, applying that expertise towards recruitment, and evaluating marketing tactics for the program. Though Teresa was unsure where her BA in Sociology would take her when she first began post-secondary education, by following her passions and exercising her ambition, it became the first step to a fulfilling a career that she adores.

After receiving a BA in Sociology and BAH in what was Women’s Studies at the time, (both at Queen’s University) Teresa completed graduate diplomas from St. Lawrence College in Business Administration/Human Resources and Early Childhood Education, from which, she went on to work as a teacher for the next four years. It wasn’t until after she finished working as a teacher that she then went back to Queen’s complete a master of public administration (MPA), an impressive addition to an already strong academic career.

Prior to working with the full-time MBA program and completing her MPA, Teresa worked in research for the Southern African Research Centre at Queen’s University- research that relied heavily on government funding. She eventually transitioned into working with the MBA program, but it was the work she did with the Southern African Research Centre that galvanized her to learn more about the government sector, and ultimately lead her to obtain an MPA. Working with the MBA program throughout the course of her MPA lead to a further shift in her focus from the government sector to professional development in the private sector, allowing Teresa to better align her passions with her career.

In addition to skills gained from her previous diplomas and degrees, Teresa has been able to make use of leadership, management, team building, and networking skills developed from the MPA program in her current position. “The way [the MPA program] is designed”, she informed me, “allows you to meet professionals from different verticals in government and to experience or learn from their diversity.” Moreover, having obtained all of her university degrees from Queen’s, she has developed a strong sense of collaboration and comradery, a strength she now employs in working for the university.

Working as the Assistant Director of Recruitment and Admissions for the Smith School of Business, Teresa has the opportunity to change people’s lives and fulfill her passions in the process. Students exiting the full-time MBA program leave the program academically diverse with strong leadership skills, and the 95 percent employment rate serves to demonstrate this fact. Passionate about women in business from a personal standpoint, Teresa loves that she can put this fervour into her work, work that is in fact trendsetting in that regard. Over the past three cycles of the MBA program, 32 up to 42 percent of students have been female, an impressive statistic given that the general average is only 21 percent. Furthermore, the program focuses heavily on partnering with organizations that support professional women such as Women of Influence, and the Forté Foundation, and continues to see more women from the program

obtaining senior level management positions and fulfilling their ambitions across multiple industries within public and private sectors.

When I asked Teresa what her biggest piece of advice to offer undergraduate or graduate students hoping to find success in their careers would be, she advocated strongly for “finding a passion and using the skills coming out of your degree to make those dreams come to fruition – regardless of what degree you hold.” Likewise, Teresa emphasized the importance of networking early on during your academic career, highlighting the fact that networking allowed her to both, find the space in which she could best use her skills to make a discernable impact, and take her career to the next level. Having been a philanthropist, lover of travel, and long-time supporter of women in the work place, Teresa has been able to take her own advice, and in doing so, establish a career that allows her to put her passions to practice.