Molly Gilbert was a recipient of a PACADA Professional Development Grant for the 2016 year. She used her funds to attend the MBTI Certification Program by the Myers & Briggs Foundation in Indianapolis, Indiana. See below for more information about her experience!
Hi – my name is Molly Gilbert, and I am an ENTJ.
Chances are you have taken the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), or will at some point. It is the world’s most widely used personality assessment with approximately two million people taking it each year. It has been used by over 2,500 colleges and universities and is popular in career counseling offices around the world.
Although I have taken the MBTI more than a few times – high school, college, a few times as an employee of various organizations – it has never made an impact. I am notorious for giving the deer in headlights blank stare when asked my “type.” That all changed in 2015 when I attended the First-Year Experience Annual Conference in Texas. I attended a session that focused on combining the worlds of MBTI and advising and I was hooked! In the past, the workshops I attended were the standard, and rather boring, “this is your type and this is what it means” session. The conference I attended was the first time the MBTI principles were talked about without having to know your type or the type of everyone around you – and I wanted to know more!
I had the opportunity, with the help of the PACADA Professional Development Grant, to attend an intense 4-day MBTI Certification Program in Indianapolis. I was filled with anticipation and excitement as the date approached. That is, until a rather large, heavy box showed up full of my pre-work materials. I very quickly learned why this was called an intense program. Each of the four days consisted of eight hours of interactive learning followed by a couple of hours of homework each night. This was no vacation!
While the MBTI Certification Program is no walk in the park, it was completely worth it. While I value the information I learned about all of the types, I learned more about myself than I ever anticipated. One of the most dramatic results I see is the improvement in my communication style, especially in my work with students. I am able to notice subtle clues from students and quickly tailor my style to fit their needs. While I thought I had always done this, I am more confident in my ability to “read” students and react in a more appropriate way since completing this program.
Though the information I brought back from the MBTI Certification Program is not always as clearly applicable to the world of advising as attending a student services focused conference, I feel like my experience was just as valuable as any conference I have attended in the past. As a newer advisor, I relished the opportunity to slow down and reflect on my role in the most basic aspect of our profession – our relationships with students. Thank you PACADA for helping to make this experience possible!