Centre College is known as a place of high outcomes, a starting point for students who go on to do incredible things after graduation. And many do find success right out of the gate: 98 percent of those reporting from the Class of 2015 were employed or pursuing graduate education within a year of graduation from Centre.
But before graduating and finding that success, students often seek guidance and insight into their strengths and potential future careers. Enter the Center for Career & Professional Development (CCPD).
The CCPD strives constantly to provide new opportunities to students that will prepare them for the future, whether that means helping them craft a strong resumé, publicizing exciting internship opportunities or connecting students with potential employers and recruiters.
Joy Asher, director of the CCPD, says that its driving force is “helping students prepare for and excel at meaningful, rewarding work that fits their abilities and ambitions.” One of the most comprehensive ways students can learn about their abilities is through YouScience.
An aptitude and interest assessment, YouScience is a unique opportunity provided to students by Centre. Those who participate in the assessment, which provides a highly detailed profile and analysis of potential future career fields based on the participant’s responses, learn more about themselves in ways that will be directly applicable after graduating from college.
The CCPD is offering two YouScience assessments to Centre students in upcoming days: on Wednesday, Nov. 2 and Thursday, Nov. 3 from 8-10 p.m. in Olin 107.
After completing the YouScience course, students will receive their assessment results at one of two Career KickStart events, both on Thursday, Nov. 10, at 11:30 a.m. or 7:30 p.m. During those sessions, the CCPD will discuss with students what the YouScience results mean and how to move forward with the analysis.
Centre has offered YouScience to students for the past two years and has received positive feedback indicating that the assessment helped them discern their career paths earlier and with greater clarity.
Of the students who completed the YouScience assessment in its pilot year, 97 percent reported that they would recommend the program to another Centre student. The percentage of students who indicated that they understood how their strengths and abilities relate to their career options rose from 42 percent prior to taking the YouScience assessment to 90 percent after.
Cecilia Vollbrecht ’17 found that YouScience provided personal insight that she was able to apply when considering her future careers.
“The best thing about YouScience was that it forced me to think about what my strengths and weaknesses were,” Vollbrecht says. “The program was also able to help me analyze them and determine how to work with these strengths and weaknesses.”
Similarly, Thomas Becker ’15, who graduated from Centre with a degree in economics and is now pursuing an M.Ed. in leadership and organizational performance at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, also praises YouScience for what it taught him about himself.
“[YouScience] gave me a sense of confidence in my next directions in my life,” Becker said. “To get that type of affirmation was pretty encouraging.
“I don’t think there’s any reason not to take it,” Becker continues. “YouScience gives you such a solid sense of self and enables you to chart a path toward whatever your end goal is.”
Being given the tools to chart such a path was important to Valentine Banor ’17, who encourages his peers to take the assessment.
“The best thing I got out of YouScience was an idea of the careers I would excel in,” Banor says. “If you have multiple interests, like I do, YouScience would be able to narrow down those interests and see what you would be best at. It will also give you information on jobs you’ve never heard about. It is a great start on knowing what type of jobs or internships you want to apply for.”
Becker acknowledged that YouScience is especially beneficial to Centre students because it utilizes resources already available through the CCPD, which offers services that students said they “truly appreciate” in Centre’s entry in the 2017 Princeton Review.
“They’ll look at your YouScience profile and say, ‘These are your aptitudes, these are your skills; let’s look at all of these combined things and let’s get you in touch with this company for an interview or set you up with this internship,’” Becker says. “YouScience by itself is great, but being able to combine it with the CCPD makes it even more useful.”
by Elizabeth Trollinger
November 2, 2016