Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Career Counseling Youth

I spent the weekend interviewing high school seniors for full ride scholarships to a medium sized private university. Interviewing these students was like a flash back in time; a time when you think you know what you want, where you are going, and that you are awesome. I consistently hear students state they wanted to go into a certain field while describing the contents of another field completely. For example, “I want to go pre-med because I shadowed a doctor in my town and truly enjoyed helping them with the personal aspects of their recovery including their moods, emotions and family life.”

It made me think about pre-college career counseling. Could you imagine if you had someone or a group of people sit down and give you honest feedback about the discrepancy between what you thought you wanted to do and what was sparking your interest in possibly a different area? From our example, it was clear throughout the interview that this student was truly interested in clinical psychology and/or social work but was going to work through medicine to achieve those paths.

I have assisted with several career appraisals for college graduates and executives switching fields but it made me think more and more about the younger generations that we aren’t tapping into. Although I believe assessments may help guild this process, I think a more clinical approach may better identify younger individual’s true interests.

What do you think? Would you have appreciated career feedback in high school? In hindsight would you have gone a different path than you did in college?

1 comment:

Dawn said...

I don't think I would have gone a different path but going into college I knew very little about most things. That is why early interviews when you are young are almost laughable. You are just taking a guess at everything, what you want to do, what you are good at, what companies expect from you. That is often why young people sound so ambitious. They are painting the best possible picture of themselves and the environment because they have only a blank canvas! So, what would help? Job shadowing, internships, basically being a fly on the wall at a business. Better than college experience!