Cornell University

Cornell Football Players Gather for a Career Development Strengths Assessment

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Student-athletes considered assessment results and discussed ways to utilize their strengths for career development.

By Greg Foster

ITHACA – Proving that it’s never too soon, and one is never too busy, for career development, first-year student-athletes from Cornell University’s football team recently joined Heather Fortenberry of Cornell Career Services for an assessment of their strengths.

Thirty-two players, led by Pete Destefano, Cornell football’s Director of Player Personnel, huddled around an array of tables and chairs in the Robert Purcell Community Center, munching on snacks and absorbing assessment results that may help guide their experience at Cornell and beyond.

In the week prior to a scheduled Tuesday night workshop, Fortenberry, a Career Development Specialist, initiated the CliftonStrengths process with members of the football team.

“CliftonStrengths is an online personality assessment that measures the presence of talents in 34 themes that relate to the way we naturally think, feel, and behave as unique individuals,” Fortenberry said. “The results of this assessment can be used in your career exploration and planning.”

Students were emailed a link to an hour-long assessment with 177 paired statements and asked to choose the statements that best describe them. Following the assessments, reports containing the customized order of 34 CliftonStrengths themes and personalized insights were provided to each player.

Fortenberry then convened a live session and facilitated a conversation about the meaning of the themes in each report and how identified talents can be used to accomplish great things. Attendees described assessment results and discussed ways to utilize their strengths during their time at Cornell.

“The students were enthusiastic and it was a fun group to work with—they were eager to share their experiences and ways they could work together as a team,” Fortenberry observed.

Destefano, who assists Cornell football players with career development, also completed an assessment and offered that “It was a great session for our freshmen to conduct a first step evaluation as they begin their journey towards assessing their career goals.”

Students can participate in a CliftonStrengths assessment, individually, by scheduling an appointment with Cornell Career Services or with various career services offices across campus. Fortenberry notes that “CliftonStrengths is one of many assessment tools and a full listing of assessments offered at Cornell can be found at”  Interested students are encouraged to contact their college career service office or Cornell Career Services to learn more.



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