Indigo Project Inspiring Students to Determine Career Aspirations

Nov 13 , 2015

Workshops Help Expose Ideal College Majors, Settings

For many teens, the career-planning experience during high school can leave much to be desired.

Knowing the acquirement of more 21st century skills will open up more doors, the Indigo Education Co., is traveling to select high schools nationwide to empower students to learn more about their behavioral makeup — and which skills and talents they can build upon to thrive in the workplace.

Last month, Indigo director Joel Kaplan hosted several 45-minute workshops at Scottsdale Preparatory Academy. During one workshop, roughly 15 students in Greg Swackhamer’s senior physics class received their 26-page assessment report that provides a breakdown of their behavioral and skills makeup.

Through the Indigo assessment, which was developed in partnership with TTI Success Insights, these students have become more keenly aware of their behaviors (DISC), driving forces and skills, allowing them to identify which university majors and settings would be best suited to their career aspirations and interests.

During the workshop, Kaplan explained this is particularly vital as these students navigate a busy and stressful junior and senior year: awaiting college acceptance letters, filling out and meeting scholarship deadlines, and thinking about overall college affordability.

“These stresses are very real,” he said. “Believe me; I was in your shoes just a few years ago. This is just a part of where you are in life.”

To showcase the dichotomy between high and low DISC styles (Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, Compliance), Kaplan presented video testimonials of several high school-aged students explaining why their primary style best captured them.

From there, the students in Swackhamer’s class then explained why, for example, they have a tendency to put in more work and thrive in high-pressure situations (high D) compared to their peers.

Other students said they better understood why they enjoy being social butterflies and collaborating with others (high I), while others said they tend to be more laid back and enjoy a steady pace where things don’t change (high S).

The students shared similar sentiments when uncovering their driving forces, or inherent motivations in life, as well as the soft skills (decision-making, leadership, teamwork, flexibility, empathy, etc.) that best characterize them.

But Kaplan said the assessment debrief is about more than understanding one’s unique talents and strengths; it comes down to knowing how to articulate it in college applications and essays, as well as later on when applying for jobs.

“Be passionate and continue to learn more about yourselves during these very important years of your life,” Kaplan said to the students. “Uncovering this knowledge is going to allow you to dictate your own future, and that’s pretty amazing.”


About the Author

Zach Colick