Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

How Does Your DISC Relate to Your First Year Job Performance?

Post training camp the interns returned to Venture for Americas New York office for two weeks to wrap up loose ends, and work on capstone projects. My capstone project revolves around the test Babson students know and love from FME: the DISC assessment. Turns out the DISC assessment is not just a Babson thing- it’s an incredibly useful personality test that a lot of companies, particularly startups use to gain greater insight on their employees work styles. We talked about the DISC assessment at training camp, but I still felt like there was more exploration I wanted to undertake to understand how different DISC profiles adjust to the working world post college.

Some of the general trends I found were:

  1. The majority of post grads interested in start-ups were primarily I’s
  2. More tech focused positions attracted more C’s
  3. S’s and C’s were more likely to work in smaller startups than D’s and I’s

The idea for the bulk of my analysis, however, came from six questions we ask fellows to rate on a scale of 1-5 within their first year of working: job performance, job happiness, job challenge, extracurricular involvement, support, social life, and overall satisfaction. I felt these general metrics were a good way to get a holistic sense of someones experience. Here’s what I found:


  • An increase in perceived job performance does not result is a strong increase in job happiness, but a decrease in job performance does negatively impact job happiness
    • Takeaway:
      • D’s are very hard on themselves
      • They view success as normal and failure as unacceptable
    • Highest perceived job performance correlates with highest job challenge
      • Takeaway:
        • D’s don’t shy away from a challenge
        • They thrive in fast paces environments
      • Perceived support and extracurricular involvement decreases over time
      • Social life and overall satisfaction increases over time
        • Takeaway:
          • Extracurricular involvement doesn’t seem as necessary when their social life is strong
          • They can find happiness in social success, not just professional success


  • I’s performance was lowest when their challenge was highest in survey 1
    • Takeaway:
      • Focus heavily on interpersonal relationship when they first start
      • Can negatively impact their initial job performance
    • Performance and challenged leveled out in survey 2 and 3
      • Takeaway:
        • I’s need some time to adjust, learn the details, and gain a routine
      • Overall satisfaction is consistently high throughout even though there’s variety in social life, job performance, and job challenge
        • Takeaway:
          • I’s are good at adjusting to new environments (in the long run)
          • Enter jobs with appropriate expectations and tools to handle adversity


  • Perceived job performance and happiness were lowest in survey 3
    • Takeaway:
      • S’s self-confidence/ mood is affected by their performance at work
    • Job challenge was pretty consistent
      • Takeaway:
        • Has strong time management skills
      • Extracurricular involvement decreased over time, and social life increased but by very little compared to others
      • Combination of decreased extracurricular involvement, job performance, and job happiness correlated with a decreased sense of overall satisfaction over time
        • Takeaway:
          • S’s hit a sophomore slump about 6 months in, which is very normal considering many work at very small high risk companies


  • Happy when they were challenged
    • Takeaway:
      • C’s like to be challenged (within reason)
      • Need outside validations/ completion of projects to increase their confidence
    • Extracurricular involvement increases over time
    • Social life gets much better in between survey 1 and 2
      • Takeaway:
        • C’s need time to adjust to new environments. Like to observe before jumping straight into social scenes

The most common trend I found, however, was that post grads within their first year at start-ups generally struggle with the same challenges. For example managing up, defining your role in a very unstructured environment, dealing with layoffs and shifting of team structure, struggling to maintain a work life balance, lack of stability, conflicts with your boss/ someone on the team etc. The best way to get through it is to stay positive, stay confident in yourself, and use your support system in times of need.