Where Values Meet “Fit”
Where Values Meet “Fit”
EACE Blog contribution by Anne Scholl-Fiedler, Vice President Career Services at Stevenson University
Another academic year is quickly drawing to a close as spring is peaking through and thoughts of graduation are forefront in minds of seniors. In the hustle and bustle of finishing up the spring semester, there is no doubt a mixed bag of emotions which may range from excitement, anticipation, relief, and perhaps a little anxiety. I can see it in their faces and hear it in their voices, the unknown of what life after college may bring….working full-time, day in and day out and the possible fear of being bored in a cubicle. The epic movie, Office Space, comes to mind.
Students and their families select their college or university for academic programs, costs, dorms, sports, student life, and increasingly “outcome rates.” At the core of the decision however, there is also the feeling the student gets from the environment. Is it the right fit? Are the core values of the institution in line with what they hope to get out of the experience? For those students who have had a great college experience, this may typically be the case.
Liken this selection process to that of selecting an organization with whom to work. Apparent external values such as compensation and benefits are weighed heavily in the decision making process when there are several options. But what about the culture of the organization and the feeling of fit with the team and within the environment? Enter the process of evaluating internal values and how they play out in the workplace. A feeling of inclusion and being with others who share similar values have a significant impact on meaning, contribution, self-motivation, and satisfaction. This in turn impacts retention and overall well-being. Is it possible that we can help lessen the anxiety of our students by encouraging them to explore their own internal values to create greater locus of control?
Perhaps as coaches and brokers of industry information we can help make these connections. By listening to employers, visiting their organizations, and probing about their culture I learn so much about their environments that is extremely helpful in my conversations with students and staff. Exploring the internal values of the student and knowing about company culture creates an opportunity to make meaningful connections that benefit both sides for an appropriate “fit.” More often than not, this type of connection comes by way of personal narrative for both the student and the organization. The power of story and meaning drives engagement for a lifetime journey with multiple chapters.
Happy Spring and happy connecting for “fit” and engagement.
Anne Scholl-Fiedler has been appointed as the first Vice President for Career Services at Stevenson University. Scholl-Fiedler served as Director of the Career Services Center at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Her professional background includes employer and alumni relations, developing collaborative partnerships between various organizations, and leading strategic development initiatives for university career centers.