Self Assessments

Purposeful Work at Bates is about helping students discover the joy and power that arise from aligning who they are with what they do.

Step One in that alignment is understanding who you are!

Self-assessment gives you a better sense of who YOU are, what you’re good at, and what’s interesting to you.  Taking the time to reflect on what is most important to you, what you do best, and how you want to move in and have an impact on the world, will bring you joy and meaning in your work as a student, and throughout your life.

Understanding your skills, interests, values, and personality will illuminate your unique qualities and how they might direct your next exploratory steps.

The Bates Center for Purposeful Work offers a number of different assessments that can be completed in an online format as well as in a more guided one-on-one counseling session or group format.

Challenge Mindset

Spark Path Challenge Cards introduce the idea of engaging with your “challenge mindset” to explore careers.  This is an innovative approach that helps you discover the many fascinating challenges, problems and opportunities that inspire careers. Instead of feeling like you have to fit into a job title, think about approaching work as a way to solve the world’s challenges.

To uncover your Challenge Mindset visit this resource page in Handshake for the instructions, link and Bates-specific code.


Your choice of major does not define your career options. Though your Bates education prepares you for the future, success in the future depends upon understanding the skills you develop through all parts of your life including internships, classes, hobbies, volunteer experiences, sports, and other extracurricular activities. It is important to reflect upon your experience and articulate your preferred skills. Knowing your strengths will help frame your exploration process, as well as write resumes and cover letters, and even interview with employers.

To identify your skills consider taking the SkillScan Express


 Consider your interests in a variety of contexts – recreational, professional, and academic. What do you like to do? What is your favorite summer job or volunteer activity? What classes do you seek out when creating your schedule? All of these relate to your interests and may be relevant when thinking about potential careers.

To learn more about your interests and how they relate to careers, consider taking the iStartStrong. Email us at and include your Bates email address, your name and class year. You will receive a link to the assessment.

Preview an example here: iStartStrong Sample pdf


 Values are a set of principles that motivate every decision you make. Values originate from a variety of sources, including family, personal experiences, and cultural context. Clarifying your values and understanding how they connect to various work environments will help you identify meaningful work.

To learn more about your values, consider having a conversation with a counselor at the Bates Center for Purposeful Work. Call (207)786-6232 to schedule an appointment. 

Personality Type

 Personality refers to your inherent traits, including the way you like to gather information, make decisions, work with others, and organize your everyday life. Just as most people have a preference for right-handedness or left-handedness, they also have a favorite way of organizing information and making decisions. When you understand your personality, you can make career decisions that suit you.

To learn more about your personality, consider taking the Myers-Briggs Typology Instrument (MBTI). Call the Bates Center for Purposeful Work at 207-786-6232 to schedule an appointment and arrange for the assessment.