As a student in high school I attended Middle College High School situated on the campus of Los Angeles Southwest College. I remember going to the career center wanting to take some type of assessment that would ‘tell me’ what I should do with my future. I don’t remember ever talking with someone, I just remember two of my friends and I sitting in front of computers, taking an assessment that led to results I can’t even recall today. I wish I had had someone explain to me—a teenager who probably didn’t comprehend what the questions were asking—how to interpret the questions and the results. Fast forward to my current experience as a graduate student and I have been granted that opportunity.
As Workman (2015) points out, career assessments can serve as a useful tool that encourages hands-on learning and provides engagement opportunities for counselor-student relationships. As someone who is working towards becoming a counselor at a community college, I feel that understanding how these assessments can be used to help guide students is essential. I appreciated Dr. Mosqueda’s words of wisdom when she said that we should never ask our students to do something we ourselves haven’t done. It is with this in mind that I reflect on what these assessments conveyed to me and how they can help inform my future work as a counselor.
I begin with the results from my Strengths Quest assessment, which included Harmony, Relator, Developer, Futuristic and Significance as my strengths. Initially, when I spoke to a friend about the results he laughed at the Harmony strength because he said I always looked for a good argument and discussion. Although I initially agreed, I also realized he was wrong. The way I am wit...
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...ularly Anthropology, allowed me to become a more globally aware citizen. I am sensitive to groups and people different from myself both because I read about its importance, but just as importantly, because I empathized with feelings of being different in my experiences abroad. These assessments highlighted my experiences as an undergraduate student and further inform the work that I will do with students.
Although my path led me to where I am supposed to be, I was also a very driven and oriented student. I have students who genuinely have no idea of what they’d like to major in or a career they’d like to pursue because they don’t know what is out there. Tools such as these assessments can help create that dialogue with a student, encouraging them to explore without feeling confined to the limits of these words. We are, after all, complex and ever-changing beings.
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