Caitlin Kealey (BA IDS 2000),
MediaStyle public affairs agency (Ottawa)
A pivotal moment for Caitlin Kealey was through the IDS Cuba Programs when she spent a semester at the University of Havana in Cuba during “The Special Period” - a time of economic hardship in the 1990s.
From 2015 to 2016, MediaStyle helped communicate the commission’s findings through media strategy, speech writing and media relations for events.
“We got to help communicate it to the world,” says Kealey. “The work that they did was of utmost importance and we helped make that happen. We helped make that go as wide as it did.”
Since 2012, Kealey has worked at MediaStyle, a public affairs agency and social enterprise based in Ottawa. Kealey says MediaStyle offers a variety of communication services: media strategy, speech writing, media relations management, social media management and graphic design.
As the managing director and partner, Kealey’s responsibilities include staff management, human resources, client relationship management, sales and communications work.
I use those skills everyday,” says Kealey. “Of course my education has helped me. It’s formed who I am. It’s allowed me to speak knowledgeably and understand the world.
“I think I’m in a pretty special place,” says Kealey. “We can actually see the work that we do on a national level, on a regular basis, helping people.”
In 2017 Kealy received a Top Forty Under 40 award. Presented by the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce and the Ottawa Business Journal, the award recognizes emerging and accomplished business leaders in the city. Caitlin was also selected to attend the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference alongside approximately 250 other leaders.
“I had a really good year,” says Kealey. “It’s definitely reinvigorated my passion for what I do.”
While Kealey currently lives in Ottawa, she was born in Halifax. At the age of two, Kealey’s family moved to Saint John’s, Newfoundland.
I got back from Cuba politicized, engaged and passionate,” says Kealey. “It did all the right things for me.
In 1996, Kealey moved back to Halifax to attend Dalhousie University. Coming from the smaller city of Saint John’s, Kealey says Halifax was “the perfect size.”
“I really liked Halifax,” says Kealey. “It was a good experience.”
Kealey says a pivotal moment in her degree was spending a semester at the University of Havana in Cuba. She studied in Cuba during “the Special Period” – a time of economic insecurity, shortage of resources and serious hardship in the 1990s.
It made me care about school, about the work I was doing, about making change.
“It really opened my eyes,” says Kealey. “Seeing where other people come from and what other people experienced and realizing how privileged I am and we are.”
“That was a very important experience from an international development point of view.”
Kealey says the biggest takeaways from her degree were the ability to communicate, think critically and seeing development in practice in Cuba.
“I got back from Cuba politicized, engaged and passionate,” says Kealey. “It did all the right things for me.”
“It made me care about school, about the work I was doing, about making change.”
In 2000, Kealey graduated from Dalhousie with a Bachelor’s degree in International Development Studies and Spanish. In 2001, she completed a one-year Bachelor of Journalism degree at the University of King’s College. She received a Master’s degree in Communications from the University of Ottawa in 2010.
For Kealey, studying international development provided further understanding and the ability to research, write and reflect.
“I use those skills everyday,” says Kealey. “Of course my education has helped me. It’s formed who I am. It’s allowed me to speak knowledgeably and understand the world.”
Kealey advises international development students to never “stop caring about the world around you.”
“Work hard to make change, work hard to inspire others,” says Kealey. “Commit yourself to life long learning.”
Work hard to make change, work hard to inspire others,” says Kealey. “Commit yourself to life long learning.