Self Assessment

Early in students' career development processes, they are encouraged to complete a thorough self-assessment to evaluate their skills, values, and interests. Thinking about oneself early on, including likes and dislikes, can result in students making sounder career decisions. In addition, having a good understanding of personal talents and goals will encourage self-directed circumscription and steer one's career toward professional areas that are most gratifying.


Understanding your personal interests can help identify your skills and values, jumpstarting the self-assessment process. Think about those activities and hobbies that have provided you with unique gratification. For example, if you are passionate about volunteering and have sought out every opportunity to do so, you may find great rewards in helping others and making a positive contribution to society. Academic interests should not be overlooked. If you found enjoyment from a particular class project, think about what it was about the project that you enjoyed most, and how this will give you clues about skills and values that interest you.

Think of all of your interests, analyzing those that have been the most rewarding. What is it about those experiences that are so rewarding? In most cases, you will discover that areas in which you are most motivated, you are also the most effective, making the personal-interest assessment a key factor in your career development.


Students may not intuitively consider their strengths inside and outside of the classroom. A thorough skill assessment may reveal abilities that are easily transferable to a work environment. For example, if you excelled in delivering a presentation in a humanities class, you may possess strong public speaking skills. Or, if you led your tennis team to a winning season, you may possess strong leadership skills.

You will be most effective and usually find the most rewards in positions that make the best use of your strengths. Make sound career decisions by embarking upon a thorough skills assessment. Use the broad and specific skill list below to assist in your personal skills assessment.

Broad Skill Areas Communication Research & Planning Human Relations Organization, Mgmt, & Leadership Work Survival
Specific Skill Areas Speaking Creating Ideas Developing Rapport Managing Groups Being Punctual
Writing Solving Problems Motivating Delegating Responsibility Meeting Goals
Listening Setting Goals Counseling Coaching Attending to Detail
Negotiating Analyzing Being Sensitive Selling Ideas Organizing



Analyzing your values can reveal how you would like to contribute to a work setting. You will find more work satisfaction if you feel that your work fulfills what you find most important in life. Note that throughout life, values change. For example, today you may like the structure of a traditional job where you work from 9-5, but in a few years, you may crave a position that gives you the freedom to make your own hours. Peruse the list of values below and consider each value's importance to you at this stage of your life.

Achievement Excitement Security
Adventure Freedom Service/Helping Others
Authority Glamour Social Recognition
Change/Variety Justice Stablility Stability
Comfort Location Wealth
Creativity Peace Work Alone
Environment Power Work on Teams


Downloadable Self-Assessment Worksheet

Download the self-assessment worksheet and fill it out to completion. Then, make an appointment with our office to discuss what your interests, skills and values reveal about your career development path.

Strong Interest Inventory and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

In addition to the informal self-assessment above, the Center for Career Development also offers formal, guided assessments. The Center for Career Development offers free administration and interpretation of the Strong Interest Inventory and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality assessment.

The Strong Interest Inventory measures your level of interest in occupational areas, activities, school subjects, and work environments to help you align possible career choices with your interests.

The MBTI can be useful in understanding how your personality relates to possible career choices through exploring communication, information-gathering, decision-making, and organizational styles.

In order to receive the results of these assessments, you are required to schedule a follow-up appointment with our office through Handshake

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.