My Journey Of Self-Awareness

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Throughout my time attending the GST 110 course, I have encountered many facets of myself that I usually tend not to think of. With that, I came to learn about many parts of myself that I had not known about before or had little awareness of. While writing the Taking Stock Reflection Paper, I was able to really think back and reflect about my choice of attendance at SUNY Oswego, how my transition went, personal goals I decided to set towards and rise up to the challenges, and learn about what success meant to me on an individual level within the first part. In the second part of the Taking Stock Paper, I was able to talk about some of the interests I had, career paths available in the interests I had, and the goals/visions I had set in mind to achieve and implement as well the current setbacks I face not knowing of any specific major(s) needed to give me the necessary expertise, skills, abilities, and prowess required to take on the monumental task I had set forth. The task may seem monumental, but being afraid to set forward to a new frontier is a greater setback to life than not trying in the first. Complacency is not what I want to aim for nor will it be the last thing I have in mind. If all else fails, I will use the greatest weapon I have in mind- my imagination. Imagination is a weapon and I will use it to pursue the very limits of possibility and push forward to make that possibility a reality. Upon completion of the MBTI assessment, I received the following results stating that my type was INTP.

The full name of the acronym stands for Introversion, Intuition, Thinking, and Perceiving. Introversion refers to those who tend to prefer to be by themselves and tend to focus on the inner world of ideas and impressions as opposed to extroverted people who tend to focus on the outside world. Those with intuition tend to take in information from patterns and events and focus on future possibilities rather than focusing on the here and now. Thinking refers to those who tend to make decisions primarily logic and objective analysis as opposed to subjective evaluation like feelings or values. Finally, perceiving refers to those who like to have a flexible and spontaneous approach to life and want to keep their options open as opposed to having a fixed and rigid schedule towards life. The descriptions seemed to match my preferences more and less, but also contradicted them as I also had elements of organization, feeling, and focusing on current events along with the outside world of people and activities. The assessment stated my preferred work tasks include analyzing complex problems, working with technology or on technical problems, developing conceptual models of systems, preparing technical reports on white papers, using spreadsheets to analyze quantitative or financial data, and conducting research. Some of the tasks seem to be interesting whereas others seem to be outright boring.

Likewise, the assessment stated my preferred work environment to be an environment that offers private time and space to concentrate for long periods of time without interruption, offers opportunities to work with people who are experts in their field, trust people to work autonomously without close supervision, not be pressured to work on teams or attend lots of meetings, and rewards originality and encourages people to break new ground. Most of the work environments seem to be fitting, but at the same time not so much as it seems to be mundane in some of the stated work environments; an example would include working for extended durations of time without interruption as that sounds like that would get tiring or draining very fast.

Some of the challenges listed included missing opportunities due to a reluctance of performing the necessary networking, putting off a decision in wait of better opportunities, and having no specific action plan in place to reach my long-term goals. These challenges helped me better understand the challenges I may face and the suggestions the assessment listed helped me better understand ways in which I could overcome these boundaries such as gradually networking and expanding my networking list, starting with a goal and working step-by-step to achieve it, and setting a deadline for making a decision. Job families in the report that interested me included computers & mathematics, architecture & engineering, and business & finance. For some reason, they all felt like they resonated with my future goal in one way or another like from the fundamental construction of the interface connecting the mind with Artificial Intelligence as that may involve programming, mathematics, architectural design, and engineering as well as business & finance to help fund the project and keep the project self-sustained. After completing the Locus of Control (LOC) assessment, the number I received is 28. Regarding how this will impact my ability to choose a major/career and my motivation to commit to being successful at SUNY Oswego, it will either force me to work harder or start working smarter and use my time more effectively. Upon completion of the Strong Interest Inventory (SII) assessment, I received the following theme code: IC. IC stands for investigative and conventional. According to the Basic Interest Scales (BIS) from the report, the highest BIS scales came from science, mathematics, finance & investing, programming & information sciences, and entrepreneurship. In the Personal Style Scales, the scales say I prefer working alone, prefer not to lead, somewhat dislike risk, not in favor of working in teams, and I can learn from both practical and academic environments. The SII assessment kind of seemed like a regurgitation of the MBTI assessment as most of what was mentioned sounded the same. The only exception would have to be the assessment of learning, leadership style, and risk-taking that was mentioned in the SII.

The rating of personal style scale in this regard is what made the SII genuine in taking as it gave more insight into my individual preferences (or attempted to). Without taking the SII, I may not have been fully aware of those preferences. The suggestions of majors to explore given a particular theme also made it different from the MBTI as the MBTI did not suggest any majors to explore but only gave out suggestions to career paths that seem fit given your preference type. In this regard, the SII is more fitting as it helps college students in regards to choosing a major along with ways to be involved in campus whereas the MBTI offers a more in-depth insight in regards to an individual’s preferences with correspondence as to how to it may affect career prospects and bring challenges given the person’s preferences. After completing the StrengthsQuest assessment, I received the following signature themes: Futuristic; Learner; Input; Achiever; and Intellection. In my own words, an achiever is someone with a drive dedicated to getting to where one wants to be. For the futuristic theme, that would be someone able to adopt modern conventions and create better visions of possible futures based on the rate of technological innovation and ideas presented to him or her. Input is the theme for someone who just likes to learn in general and collect information for future reference. Intellection is the theme for someone for someone who likes thinking and enjoys having intellectual discussions. Finally, the learner theme is for individuals who likes to learn and tries to improve themselves based on what they have learned. The following themes indicated strengths I possess. It was quite surprising to see the strengths I possessed as I struggled to find strengths for myself. The StrengthsQuest assessment helped me understand a little at where my strengths may lie and helped me feel motivated about my future prospects.

Common Themes:

Some common themes through the self-assessments include working independently, learning, decision making, and breaking down of long-term goals. In regards to common themes that will guide me to certain majors, that would include mathematics, science, computers, and finance. There may be other majors as well but that’s what I could find that seemed to repeat within the different self-assessments. None of the assessments gave out any particular majors or careers that seemed to interest me. The themes presented also showed or represented common work values such as achievement, autonomy, creativity, responsibility, supervision, economic returns, and a bunch of other values that seemed to match into what I regarded as more important values when filling out the “Assessing Your Work Values” worksheet. Furthermore, this relates to the “Intrinsic and Extrinsic Values” worksheet as some of those work values relate to intrinsic and core values that I personally have. At the same time, the work values also relate to extrinsic values I have such as wealth or supervision (or lack of through setting own hours).

Conflict with Assessments:

Problems with the MBTI assessment include putting me into a label and expecting me to personally fit into them as if I’m only supposed to be that way. A person varies a lot throughout his or her life so putting a permanent label (or otherwise) on a person does not personally sit well with me. The assessment does list them more towards an individual’s preferences based on a large amount of data collected over time through assessing others, but that in itself seems to be a problem as the test seems to be more of a generalization of collected responses and a summary of them rather than an individual analysis of the person in question. Again, a person varies so categorizing a person based on his or her preferences seems to make the person in question not humane and the assessment less genuine than what it could be. Problems with the LOC assessment include lack of clarity and description. After completion of the assessment, only the number appeared without an explanation as to how the number should be interpreted so it made understanding it difficult until completing the LOC worksheet that was given out in class.

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The SII assessment provided a good alternative to the MBTI assessment as it presented possible majors available with each given theme, but it suffers from the same trouble the MBTI faced in terms of labeling. In my opinion, just reporting the results without trying to generalize would have done both assessments better than what both assessments did with their summarizations. The summaries reported within each assessment were brief and were in need of detail to show how what was stated fit in line with the report. Each assessment does go into detail, but that was in pages and segmented throughout with charts and tables. Having one fully detailed page that summarized everything would have helped make things easier. The StrengthsQuest assessment was not that bad as opposed to the other assessments taken as it was more detailed and had more options available than did the other assessments. Nonetheless, I do question the validity of the assessment over time because it feels like the strengths I had received seemed to be what I possess right now. For all I know, the assessment may not be indicative of strengths I possess over time or strengths I may have possessed in the past.

Exploration:

Activities that I completed to further explore majors/careers included the use of O*Net in exploring the occupation of a Nanotechnology Engineering Technician, the use of candid career in exploring various majors, “What Can I Do With a Major In…” to explore the possible occupations available with the major in pursuit, and the use of the Focus2 assessment in identifying possible careers based on various factors such as skills, personality, leisure, values, and work interest. I used candid career to check like 5 or 6 different careers and I used the “What Can I Do With a Major In…” to explore various majors from finance to business to international trade to computer science as well a bunch of other careers. I plan on talking to people in academic departments or career fields in a later date to get a better insight into the particular fields. Implementation of Strengths (from StrengthsQuest)

Throughout Career Development Journey:

Throughout my career development journey, I can use my strength as an achiever to look for work environments that provide incentives for quality or productivity. For my futuristic strength, I can use my connections that I establish in during college to network for the career I envision myself after graduation. For my input strength, I can aim to look for a career in which I will always be in the cutting edge of knowledge. For my intellection strength, I can look for a work environment where I can have time and space to think and reflect before responding. For my learner strength, I can choose an environment that encourages constant learning as well as read and study about all possible career paths that interest me as well as researching each career effectively to fully know what it really is like in that career. So far, it seems that researching about all possible career interests would be the strategy to work best for my related strengths.

Next Steps:

The immediate next steps for me in my journey is to research more about various subjects/topics that interest me. From there, I will need to look more deeply into my future goals and try to plan out how to get there in conjunction with my college career and choice of major(s). I may also need to consider future jobs/industries that may form within the next 2-3 years. Furthermore, I should look into industries that seem unemerged yet and see whether any of them look interesting to me. In order to enhance my future success in the major and/or career area I have identified, I will talk to people within the field to get a better insight of what is specifically going on inside the field, how it is changing, and how it is adapting with the progression of technology. In pursuit of my goals, I will have to start outlining specifically what I am aiming for, how long of a time period I need in order to complete the necessary task, develop a better conceptual model as how it will function, research on the necessary fields of knowledge to undertake the task, and figure out explicitly how to implement the tasks needed to accomplish my long-term goal of constructing an interface that connects the human mind with Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help alleviate the massive data out in the modern world and better understand, or connect the mind with an Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) to make more fundamental changes within the interface itself as requested by the individual.

The clubs/organizations I am involved in or plan to get involved in related to a major and/or future career may vary depending on the type of major and/or career I have decided to pursue, so, for now I will just look broadly into the types of clubs/organizations available and link them to majors or career fields and from there build up a framework of what clubs/organizations I have to get involved in or may want to get involved in. Doing an informational interview and major-based research project in class may help me get a better insight into the majors available and may help me find majors worth exploring for myself. I am looking forward to these opportunities as it will help me further deepen my knowledge of the opportunities available to me.

At the same time, I also feel ambivalent as I would not get to explore a variety of majors that interest me. It would be much more fun seeing multiple presentations about various career fields and majors along with their applications, so the experience could be much more immersive and in-depth as I would also get to ask the presenters questions not mentioned in the presentations as well as get a better outlook on the various fields. For now, I need to rise up to the challenges that face me and the challenges that will face me in the coming days, weeks, months, and years as well as figure out how to deal with them, learn from them, and optimize them for definite completion on my part.

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