Learning the skills to lead.

Many of the skills employers most prize are the “soft skills” of business. How do you lead a team? Can you communicate well? Are you able to prioritize? Those skills are key to getting hired, and the College of Business works hard to ensure that our students master them.

In fact, Valpo is recognized internationally as a leader in student assessment, the process of measuring students’ soft skills. We work with Collegiate Assessment Partners to provide two assessment center experiences for each business student  early in your freshman year, with a follow-up late in your senior year.

The Assessment Center experience is built into the first and last classes that business students take: BUS 100: The Business Experience, and the capstone course MGT 475: Business Policy and Strategy.

Through several hours of simulated business situations, you and your classmates demonstrate the skills you’ll need to succeed as business professionals. Trained evaluators review the video of your work and compile an individualized report to highlight your strengths and areas to improve.

Each student is rated on the following soft skills of business management:

  • Decision-making
  • Teamwork
  • Written and oral communication
  • Leadership initiative
  • Planning and organizing
  • Attention to detail
  • Prioritization

For each skill, the report also shows how you stack up against 10,000 of your peers. If you score in the 90th percentile for leadership initiative, you’ll want to include that data on your resume. The Assessment Coordinator, Karen Carlson, can also coach you on ways to include your strengths in your cover letter and how to talk about them in your interviews.

These assessments ensure that you leave Valpo with the skills needed for a lifetime of business leadership.

The Assessment Center

The term “assessment center” can be confusing, because the assessment center is not a place; it’s an experience. It’s an opportunity to test your skills in a simulated business scenario and to get feedback on your performance.

Assessment center is the standard industry term for measuring a candidate’s skills and attributes, usually through a combination of tests and simulated business tasks. Employers often use high-stakes assessment centers in hiring and promotion situations, to determine which candidate is the right fit for the job.

Our Assessment Center tests key skills in a low-stakes environment, providing you the information you need to develop as a professional and to market yourself as a new graduate.

 

The Value of Assessment

“By measuring my results against the results of my peers, the Assessment Center gave me a clear indication of where my strengths lie. I’ve been able to discuss my skills in job interviews to demonstrate my value to the employer. The Assessment Center gave me the tools to do that.”

— Laura Hildebrand ’13