Catelijne Coopmans

catelijne coopmans profile updated small

Founder of Catelijne Coopmans Coaching, Independent Scholar

Currently based in: Girona, Spain

MSc Economic and Social History (2000)
DPhil Management Studies (2001)

Talk to me about: Career transitions, Life in academia, Being self-employed, Coaching


Catelijne came to St Cross from the Netherlands in 2000 for a master’s degree. She was fortunate to get to stay on for a DPhil. From there, she embarked on an academic career as a qualitative social scientist investigating how truth, value and expertise are negotiated in encounters with visual evidence such as new medical-imaging solutions. 

She worked as a postdoc at Imperial College London Business School before moving to the National University of Singapore, where she was first an Assistant Professor in the Sociology Department and then a Fellow and Director of Studies at Tembusu College. 

Throughout the dozen years that she worked as a full-time academic, Catelijne developed a growing fascination for the personal side of academic career-building and academic work such as writing for publication and teaching. She experienced for herself, and saw in many others, the challenge and importance of navigating the academic world from one’s own sense of integrity and identity, one’s wholeness as a person.

Her experiences and observations paved the way for a second career in life coaching and personal development facilitation related to the academic life, for which she started training in 2016. 

Since 2018 Catelijne lives in Spain and works as a self-employed coach and workshop facilitator to help academics who want to foster meaningful careers and sustainable and enjoyable writing lives. Her website is

She has continued to be active in academia as well, first through a part-time position at the Department of Thematic Studies at Linköping University in Sweden, and currently as an independent scholar with a guest affiliation at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

Advice to St Cross students: "There’s a beautiful balance between ‘making yourself fit’ – growing into a profession, role, or career – and ‘finding a fit’ – letting who you already are, and your learning from past experience, inform where you go and how you direct your efforts. Look for that balance."


If you would like to be put in touch with Catelijne , please contact Annabelle at