by J.T. Buchheit
Some students enter college knowing exactly what they want to do as a career and what skills they possess to get there. However, there are many people who have no idea what they want to do or don’t know what sort of job would fit them well. The new Strengths Week, which will take place from Oct. 5 through 9 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., aims to help those students learn more about the skills they have.
“This is the very first time we’ve ever done Strengths Week,” said Career Information Specialist Crystal Stokes. “We’ve been offering the Strengths Assessment since 2010. The purpose of the week is to bring awareness to the Strengths Assessment, and then also for people to learn about why it’s important to do self-exploration when you’re choosing a major. When you’re trying to choose the right career, it’s really good to know what your strengths are.”
Although many people have already completed the Strengths Assessment and learned more about what they excel in, Stokes encourages everybody to participate in Strengths Week.
“We’ll have fun activities every day,” said Stokes. “… We’re asking for students to participate, even the students that have taken the Strengths Assessment and already know their top five [strengths]. So we want both those who haven’t taken it and those who have to participate in all the activities. It’s going to be a really fun week.”
Each day will have a unique event that everybody is free to partake in. The week kicks off with a scavenger hunt on Monday.
“In the scavenger hunt, you’re supposed to find different things on campus about strengths,” said Stokes. “For example, one can come into the Career Development Center, and we’ve got a Strengths Wall that lists all 34 strengths that are a part of the Strengths Finder assessment.”
On Tuesday, the “High 5 to Your Top 5” event will take place, which ties into the previous day’s scavenger hunt.
“It’s a little card that’s a part of the scavenger hunt,” said Stokes. “On the front of the card is a hand, where students have a chance to list what their top five [strengths] are … That’s why we want students to sign up for assessment workshop next week, on either Wednesday, Oct. 7 or Thursday, Oct. 8. On the back, they check off all the different little scavenger hunt areas that they’ve been to.”
The Strengths Panel discussion is on Wednesday, which will involve students and faculty members, as well as other people in the area.
“That will involve an employer in the community that has used strengths with their employees. It will have students on there that have taken [the Strengths Assessment], as well as instructors who are doing strengths in their classroom. Those people will be talking about how strengths have affected their lives, how they utilize their strengths every day and why it’s really a benefit for students to take the assessment.”
Thursday will have the “Strengths Selfie Day.” Stokes encourages students to use the hashtag “JCCCSTRONG” on Twitter to display their strong traits.
“[The students] are just going to be taking pictures and exemplifying a fun way to say ‘I’m positivity’ or whatever your strengths are,” said Stokes.
The week will wrap up with “Strengths Celebration Day” on Friday, which will serve as a day of fun and celebration of what students have learned about themselves.
“We’re going to have free pizza for all students,” said Stokes. “And then we’ll display those ‘High 5 to Your Top 5’ cards around the room, and they’re going to get a chance to talk about what their strengths are and how they utilize those strengths every day.”
Stokes expects the week to be extremely beneficial to students, and the Strengths Assessment has been a huge success for past students to learn about themselves and take advantage of that new information.
“A lot of our students that have taken the Strengths Assessment have found it very helpful in the job search process,” said Stokes. “So when they go on an interview and the recruiter will ask them about their strengths, they now have a newfound language, a new terminology, where they can say ‘I have positivity, I’m a good communicator.’ … So if they can articulate their strengths well, it helps them get the position. And we have students that come back and say ‘Thank you so much for telling me about strengths, because I got the job!’ And that’s one of our favorite things—to hear students say the Strengths Assessment was very beneficial and it helped them in landing the position they wanted.”