The path toward joy, meaning and purpose. This simple statement piqued my interest as I read an email that introduced me to PathwayU. As my senior year approaches, the reality of life after college is increasingly on my mind and is both exciting and scary to think about. So as I read about this new assessment tool, designed to help students explore and increase their self awareness as well as find career matches, my curiosity encouraged me to spend the next 20 minutes or so to give it a try…and I was not disappointed. 

As a student unsure of a career path to pursue once I graduate, I honestly was eager to see what career matches it gave me based on my interests, values, personality, and workplace preferences—the four assessments for self-discovery. I found each assessment to be straightforward and relatively quick, immediately providing results that are broken down into five sub-categories. The sub-categories are ranked based on your responses, giving you primary and secondary interest, values, workplace preferences, and a breakdown of your personality. 

Every aspect of the results are explained well, with career examples and key takeaways for further consideration, as well as worksheets for deeper exploration and understanding. 

All of the assessments did an accurate job of summarizing my interests, values, personality, and workplace preferences. The results made sense for who I am, how I think, and what my tendencies are. What I liked most about each is the step further it took to match the traits, interest, values, and preferences to general jobs and workplaces that would fit best, as well as specific work examples. It immediately got me thinking about jobs and work areas that I would thrive in based on who I am and my tendencies. 

  • The interests and values results helped me nail down what keeps me motivated and energized, and what I find most important. They reminded me that these are important elements for any job because from them my career will be more enjoyable and purposeful. 
  • The personality results even gave me a way to talk about how my traits are strengths in the workplace, giving me a clearer understanding of them and providing me with ways to leverage them when talking to others about myself. 
  • The workplace performance assessment was very different from anything I have taken before—it gives you a list of preferences that you have to filter through by picking the least important first, then the most important, than those in the middle. This made me really think about what matters most to me since all the preferences are good options and things I would want in the workplace. If I want to work for an organization that is a great fit for me, it is crucial to know the values I’d like my ideal employer to emphasize.

I was very surprised by the career matches PathwayU provides because I wasn’t expecting it to be as detailed as it was. It first gives you matches by subject, each with a general description along with a graphic that tells you how many matches it has that are ranked as very strong, strong, good, fair, or weak. 

You then can view the careers individually where you’re provided with a job description, alternative job titles, what you would do on the job, the average salary, programs available at Hope, knowledge, skills, and ability. I was very impressed with how much information it provided in a clear and non overwhelming way, as well as how it easily connected back to the results from the previous assessments. I was given enough information to consider the jobs within the different career paths without needing to do additional research elsewhere. Plus it provided a variety of options instead of the basic jobs that other assessment tools seem to default to. This was encouraging because there are so many different opportunities out there waiting to be found. 

You might be thinking this is just another personality test or career match, which was my first thought when I saw this new tool. However after using it, I have found that this tool is different from others because of how every aspect connects to career options in a genuine and applicable way. It gave me a better understanding of my personality, interests, values, and preferences as well as a way to talk about them and connect them to careers.  

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