University of Colorado Boulder
"With Who You Are Matters! we are able to genuinely connect with students"
CU Boulder Career Services assists undergraduate and graduate students, and alumni, with all aspects of their career development, including career exploration and assisting with achieving meaningful internships and jobs in various industries.
While we work with a variety of companies and organizations (both private sector and public sector employers) who are interested in hiring our students, students tend to think we only work with larger, more corporate entities, and they believe we only help Business and Engineering students with their career plans. Therefore, many students believe we’re not relevant for them, given their interest in the non—profit sector, education, government, research, etc., and therefore, don’t engage with our office to discover the variety of ways we can assist them with their career development.
We are trying to reach a wider audience, especially under-represented and first generation students, providing a more informal, casual approach, so that students see us as a valuable resource for them. With Who You Are Matters!, we are able to genuinely connect with students in small group discussions, they more easily connect with each other, and we break down the career development process into smaller, more manageable concepts that are easy for them to understand. And because they see positive results of their participation, that are reflective of who they are, they also see the value WE offer, and see us as real people who are genuinely interested in knowing who they are.
We have facilitated Who You Are Matters! with a variety of under-represented groups and classes on campus, and have received very positive feedback. Students have told us how much more fun and engaging it has been compared to taking a career assessment inventory. The game has built trust within groups, and also trust with us. They see that we have more to offer than information about resumes, interviews, etc. In fact, faculty, staff, and student groups have reached out to us to facilitate the game, saying they heard about us through colleagues. We’ve heard comments like these:
“This game helped me to verbalize what I want to do.”
“We didn’t realize we had so much in common with each other.”
We didn’t expect students to be as open as they were to sharing with each other – especially the gratitude and appreciation aspects of the game. But students loved it. The listening and receiving of feedback has been an important part of the activity, and it builds trust within the group, and allows students to be vulnerable with each other. We’ve been impressed with how powerful and impactful this experience has been for so many students.
When we surveyed freshman, Pre-Business students living in the Pre-Business Residential Academic Program (RAP) who participated in WYAM as a required class activity, 71% indicated that they agree or strongly agree that participating in the game was valuable -- pretty good given this was a required class activity, and that the population was freshmen. 85% indicated that they are moderately or extremely motivated to explore their career path.