Students, alumni take test to help steer into career paths

Michelle Moriarity
Staff Reporter

As Lisa Dewey Joycechild walked into a conference room in Fraser Hall, three pairs of eyes looked at her expectantly.
She walked to a table and distributed color-coded papers to each individual, all the while explaining the significance to their lives.
Joycechild stakes no claim as a fortune teller. Rather, she is a coordinator for the University’s Office of Special Learning Opportunities. Each colored piece of paper described the results of the Strong Interest Inventory her listeners took.
The inventory is a test available to University students and alumni seeking career direction. Joycechild uses the results of the inventory, which is modeled after the Myers-Briggs personality test, to give participants career counseling.
And even professionals need this help. Two of the attendees were University graduates seeking guidance with their respective careers.
Deb Burke, a wife and mother who works full time at a public relations firm, received a bachelor’s degree from the University in 1990. She said her job’s stress level and work atmosphere leave her unsatisfied.
“I spend way too much time in my office by myself,” Burke said. “It makes me crazy.”
Burke agreed with inventory results that deemed her a “helper,” or an individual who enjoys working with people.
Meanwhile, Alex Gordon received his psychology degree from the University in 1996. He said he’s had a difficult time deciding on a career path.
As a College of Liberal Arts freshman, Anne Muhvic was the only student attending the session. But she shared a common plight with her peers: She is struggling to arrive at a resolute career choice.
Joycechild said the wide age and interest range was unusual for an inventory counseling session.
“Often times we see people two months before they graduate when they begin to panic,” Joycechild said. “Career development is a vague term for them.”
She assured her listeners that questioning their career choice is normal.
However, she emphasized that the inventory won’t answer all of these individuals’ concerns.
“If you want it to give you an answer, it’s not going to,” Joycechild said. “This whole career decision-making thing is inside you.”
OSLO offers the Strong Interest Inventory every two weeks. The inventory, which was revised in 1994, has been available at the University for decades, Joycechild said.
Joycechild said many of the participants find out about it while perusing internship listings. Students can register for the inventory at 220 Johnston Hall.