Sean O'Keefe is the Founder, Partner and Chief Impact Officer for Career Launch and the Co-Founder and 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 his colleague, Professor Barry Posner, 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, Career Launch's partnerships nationwide, and the research, he received several offers to publish his first book, which came out in 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 and co-curricular programming.
Sean regularly speaks, trains, writes and consults for colleges, universities, and career education nonprofits 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 third grade, and their two children.