The Highlands Company Blog

Dori Stiles Empowers Veterinary Students to Choose the Right Specialty

dori stiles phd

dori stiles phdMany of The Highlands Company Certified Consultants wear more than one hat. Dr. Dori Stiles is no exception.

Not only is Dori the Director of Training for The Highlands Company, she is also the Owner of Turning Points Coaching and Consulting in Georgia where she coaches students, professionals, and executives toward awareness, clarity, action, and accountability.

Meet Dori Stiles, Ph.D.

Dori Stiles Since 1985, Dori has applied her expertise in personal development to coaching individuals and team development. She has partnered with various consulting and educational organizations such as The Highlands Company, the Georgia State Superintendent’s Association (GSSA), UGA’s veterinary medicine and the Terry College of Business’s Institute for Leadership Advancement. She has worked with leadership development endeavors in corporations such as JP Morgan Chase, Charles Schwab, IBM, Cisco, Coca Cola Bottling and Kaiser Permanente. And, she has coached transitioning high-level individuals including university department heads, superintendents, entrepreneurs, mid-sized insurance agency owners, and professionals such as lawyers, dentists, and psychologists.

Dori’s Beginnings with The Highlands Company

Dori learned of The Highlands Company through happenstance. Her mother (a former professor at the University of Miami) got a call from Don Hutchenson (the then Highland’s Company CEO) asking for a recommendation of one of her students. After speaking with Don, she suggested he and Dori connect.

At that time, in 1995, Dori was working in industrial organizational psychology. The Highlands Ability Battery (HAB) had mostly been applied in career counseling and school settings and had not yet been applied to the corporate setting. But after speaking with Don, she was up for that challenge.

“After I went through my 15 days of Highlands training–yes, back then it was 15 days!–I gathered a group of professionals from different organization to practice on and see how they would react to the assessment and feedback process. This pilot exercise not only allowed me to refine my skills, but it also allowed me to create relationships with people and organizations that I still work with today.”

One Way Dori Uses The Highlands Ability Battery Today

One of those relationships Dori developed and maintained is with Corrie Brown DVM, Ph.D., DACVP of the University of Georgia Veterinary School.

“Corrie was so enthralled by Highlands during my pilot program that she developed a one-credit careers course for the veterinary students that starts with the HAB,” Dori explained. “Since 2000, I have worked with the UGA Vet School at the start of every academic year to administer the assessment to 60 or so students and then complete a group debrief and provide support for students as needed throughout their time at school.”

Dori explained that the HAB shows each student where their strengths are and helps them to focus their study and eventually their veterinary medical practice. For example, students learn if they are better suited for surgery or epidemiology based on their time frame preferences and visual, design, and spatial skills revealed by the HAB.

The students also learn what type of work environment they thrive in. For instance, an introvert may not want to be a vet on Main Street where they have to see people all day long.

“In addition to guiding students toward their area of strength, taking the HAB also gives many of these students some relief,” she said. “So many of them are high-achievers and stressed out when they don’t make straight A’s. When they see how they are hardwired, some of the pressure is off to achieve in every area.”

Dori enjoys working with the graduate student population and has plans to expand this portion of her practice beyond Georgia in 2015. To learn more visit