I took the Abilitiy Potentials testing when I was a junior in high school. At that time, I was considering a college major in music performance in order to take advantage of clarinet scholarships. However, while I enjoyed playing, I was unsure whether I had what it would take to spend four years specializing in clarinet, much less what it would take to become a career musician. I was dedicated to practicing, but I enjoyed doing so many other things.

The testing indicated that I did indeed have strong music aptitudes. On the other hand, I also tested as a strong generalist with middle range problem solving aptitudes. I learned that my generalist nature would make it difficult for me to specialize in instrumental performance like so many successful professional musicians do. My feedback coach suggested that I consider careers where I could both participate in music making, but work in an environment where I would be able to try different things and consider the bigger picture. That led me to research the field of arts administration — the fundraising and ticket sales side of a non-profit performing arts organization.

The aptitude testing showed that I would be able to succeed in getting a college degree in music performance because I did have strong musical aptitudes. So, in order to take advantage of a full-tuition scholarship, I completed a Bachelor’s in clarinet performance and then went on to get a Masters in Arts Administration and a Masters in Business Administration. Those degrees have allowed me to pursue a fulfilling career in non-profit administration.

For me, the aptitude testing was instrumental in shaping my career goals. While it steered me away from solely pursuing an education to become a professional musician, it clarified my abilities so that I could pursue a broader master’s level education that prepared me for doing work that I love.

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