Leo — Gaining
Professional Agency

Every year, graduating high school students take a first step towards their professional futures. There are tools available to help them decide what to do next, but they are often too prescriptive and fail to consider a students nuanced identity. These tools perpetuate the myth that the path to professional success is linear and predictable, when in fact the journey of a modern professional is fluid and dynamic.

We designed Leo, a service to address this disconnect. To give students a stronger sense of themselves, enable them to explore the professional landscape, and empower them to find a career that they can become passionate about.

Visual design, UX and strategy in collaboration with Garvey Smith, Kevin Kan and Nigel Alcorn.


Leo is a tool that helps students learn more about their own values and explore the professional landscape. A student first encounters Leo in the lobby of their guidance counselor's office their Junior year. They are prompted to take a values questionnaire: asked to compare themselves to a person who has certain qualities, and state how similar they feel this person is to themselves. Each value is assigned a graphic shape to symbolize the value and create a visual vocabulary for the system. When a student has completed the survey, their results are displayed in a spider graph they can dissect, seeing which of their responses shaped their graph. Leo then takes their top three values and creates a custom graphic shape illustrating the students' personality and making every student's Leo unique to them.


After completing the values questionnaire, the student will be led into the Leo website, an environment for open exploration. Here they can explore careers within a field and discover paths they may have never heard of.

In order to give students a realistic view of what a professional journey really looks like, story pages provide insight into real working professionals and their paths. Culling data from LinkedIn, professionals map the ups and downs of their path on a timeline, and students can ask questions pertaining to specific careers or decisions like a Reddit AMA. Story pages are also tagged with relevant keywords, allowing students to search for stories that align with their values or address their concerns.


To reminding students of what they need to do to achieve their goals, LeoPrints acts as a bridge between a student's private digital experience and their everyday lives. Although most of the students interaction with Leo is digital, we found it was important to have their online exploration and research manifest itself somehow in the physical world. In this case: hanging on the wall outside of their guidance counselor's office.

The service allows students to subscribe to different types of short-form content such as personal anecdotes, word-of-the-days, and news relevant to the career areas the student has been looking at and jobs they have bookmarked. Once a student has completed the quiz and has spoken to their counselor, they are given a custom RFID Leo card that allows them to use the LeoPrints service and acts as a physical reminder to check out the website.