Adviser: Choose a major that fits your personality


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Students can take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, a personality inventory, to help them pursue careers that will make them happy.

Jazsmine Hill, Reporter

Students could enjoy college and their future careers more if they choose majors and jobs that suit their personalities, an academic adviser told a virtual audience last week.

Joan Sturtevant, a career counselor and academic adviser, pointed to some age-old advice from the Chinese philosopher Confucius, who said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

When choosing a major or career, “you want to try and focus on the skills you enjoy using,” Sturtevant said. “It’s important to understand what kind of job you love.”

The five steps to deciding on a major or career, she said, are: gathering information about yourself; identifying and researching potential majors or careers; limiting your choices; choosing; and validating.

One tool to help students choose the right major or career, Sturtevant said, is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which is a personality inventory. Students can answer a questionnaire indicating their psychological preferences and how they perceive the world and make decisions.

The inventory is based on the work of psychiatrist Carl Jung, who focused on four areas of behavior.

The inventory looks at whether the person is an extrovert who learns through experiences with others or an introvert who learns by working alone. It also reveals whether someone relies on a sense of the present or on intuition, which focuses on possibilities and potential outcomes. Next, it looks how the person makes decisions: through feeling—managing information based on emotions—or thinking based on reason and logic. Finally, it teases out whether someone operates decisively through judging or impulsively through perceptions.

Sturtevant advised the students to choose majors and careers that reflect their personalities, interests, skills, experiences, values and academic styles.

First-year business student Alex Cabrera took the Myers-Briggs test and said the results were on point.

“This is something that doesn’t get talked about a lot,” Cabrera said. “So I thought [the meeting] was very inclusive and very nice.”