After five years, the Discovery Program continues to mentor students.
The program helps students make decisions on what majors and potential careers to choose from through self-assessment tests, attending seminars and visiting the career center. The tests include the Myers-Briggs Test, a values card sort exercise and the Strong Interest Test, all of which discuss career interests.
The students then research potential majors and careers to help them decide the next steps.
“We do some psycho-educational pieces about what good decision making is and how you know what a good decision is versus one where you still need to take some time to think about it,” said Kent Akers, academic advisor for accounting and finance and leader of Discovery from Buena Vista, Colorado.
Students take their results and tailor them to find out each student’s decision-making process. They finalize their decisions on majors and career trajectories with Akers’ and Overman’s help before the students go to the Career Center to work on resumes and networking based on their choices.
Formerly, students would be charged to use Discovery, but now the program is provided free-of-charge.
Grant Overman, academic advisor for engineering, physics and psychology from Atlanta, participates in running Discovery sessions. An example is a session with students sorting value cards. Participants sort these cards based on what they value least to what they value most. Examples of values are competition, work-life balance and risk-taking. The students piece the resulting sets to what they have learned about themselves their career choices.
“In each different session, we deal with a different way of looking at it and a different kind of set of information about yourself and trying to piece together this overall picture,” said Overman.
Akers said the program has “a huge influence” on students.
“I’ve seen students have no idea what they’re wanting to do,” Akers said. “Then all of a sudden, they get a job with the Texas Rangers, because they found they like sports marketing, but they had no idea that that was even possible.”