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And survey says...!

Posted by Joyce on 14 September 2008

“Congratulations, you are remarkably well-suited for a successful career in... [insert target career you’ve had your sights on since starting your MBA].”

Well… something to that effect.

Most of us come into the MBA with a certain level of self-awareness. That is what got us here in the first place, right? Now what, might you ask, would two hours of online surveying tell you about yourself? Well, I have just completed ticking off responses to a deluge of probing questions about my strengths, weaknesses, values, and interests as part of the Career Leader assessment. True to what we were told during our Career Services Orientation, here were some tools we could use for self-assessment and introspection—a critical factor when it comes to landing that dream job.

The survey results, not so surprisingly, didn’t hold many surprises. But before you discount the practical value of such surveys, let me tell you what I did get out of it. For one, it was an absolute pleasure reading such a glowing review about my strengths. For another, I have never seen my weaknesses so eloquently described that they hardly seem to be the severe flaws we tend to think of them as.

The value, as I see it, is not that these results will reveal some startling insight you never knew about yourself. Most of us already know ourselves very well implicitly (and the quality of the classmates I have met so far confirms this.) Rather, what you might get is a nicely-packaged set of words, clauses, and phrases which perhaps express your capabilities better than you could articulate on your own—especially under interview anxiety. Upon reaching the last page of the survey, it struck me that I was holding a precious document filled with killer interview-prep material.

My advice: Do the surveys. Then rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.

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