University of Vermont

Snowy Day


by Richard P. Smith III '13, CEF Summer Intern

While finishing up the Comprehensive Campus Renewable Energy Feasibility Study with CHA, I had time to take the Myers-Briggs personality test as a career portfolio building opportunity. The Myers-Briggs personality test indicates the differences in people based on the following:

  • How they focus their attention or get their energy; Extroversion or Introversion

  • How they perceive or take in information; Sensing or Intuition

  • How they prefer to make decisions; Thinking or Feeling

  • How they orient themselves to the external world; Judgment or Perception

The test is made up of a series of Yes or No questions that, based on ones answer, teeter the balance of each duality. At the end of the test, the answers provided, show which side one is stronger in thus creating a psychological type. This personality pattern results from the interaction of their four preferences, but is also subject to environmental influences and individual tendencies. People are likely to develop behaviors, skills, and attitudes based on their particular type. Each personality type has its own potential strengths as well as areas that offer opportunities for growth. As a result of my testing I discovered my psychological type to be INTP.

I – Introversion preferred to extroversion: INTPs tend to be quiet and reserved. They generally prefer interacting with a few close friends rather than a wide circle of acquaintances, and they expend energy in social situations (whereas extraverts gain energy).

N – Intuition preferred to sensing: INTPs tend to be more abstract than concrete. They focus their attention on the big picture rather than the details, and on future possibilities rather than immediate realities.

T – Thinking preferred to feeling: INTPs tend to value objective criteria above personal preference. When making decisions, they generally give more weight to logic than to social considerations.

P – Perception preferred to judgment: INTPs tend to withhold judgment and delay important decisions, preferring to "keep their options open" should circumstances change.

The INTP are pensive, analytical folks that are not clannish. They may venture so deeply into thought as to seem detached, and often actually are oblivious to the world around them. In moments of single-minded concentration the INTP may be aloof and detached from the moment at hand.

They are relatively easy-going and adaptable to almost anything until their principles are violated, about which they may become outspoken and inflexible. They prefer to return, however, to a reserved ambiance, not wishing to make waves with others or a spectacle of themselves.

Mathematics is an area where the INTP loves to play. Understanding, exploring, mastering, and manipulating systems can overtake the INTP's conscious thought. This fascination for logic is often expressed in a detachment from the environment, a concentration where time is forgotten and external stimuli are held at bay.

Careers that are best suited for the INTP include Computer Programming, Natural Science, and Engineering. I found this test to be surprisingly accurate and insightful. It is interesting to analyze your own psychology and being from an outside perspective. I feel in taking this test I can now focus more on who I am and work with those traits to find a future career. As an Electrical Engineer major with a minor in Plant Biology it seems as if I am on the right path.