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Did you take the StrengthsFinder?
As of November 2016, over 15 million people have taken the Gallup StrengthsFinder assessment. StrengthsFinder identifies one’s themes of talent, which, when supplemented with relevant knowledge and skills, can be developed into strengths. Research demonstrates that using strengths in one's personal, academic and professional life can have a myriad of positive outcomes. Gallup’s impact in Higher Education has shown students who have a strong awareness of strengths are more engaged in and connected to school, hopeful for the future, and thrive in wellbeing (1). As reported in the article "Building a Strengths-Based Campus to Support Student Retention" in the Journal of College Student Development, a large, public research-intensive university found:
"First-year students who took the StrengthsFinder assessment had significantly higher retention rates compared to their peers who did not take the assessment: 91.5% (n = 4,653) of first-year students who took the assessment were retained compared to 80.8% (n = 227) of students who did not take the assessment". Further findings demonstrate when students focus on their strengths, they learn more effectively, which increases student engagement and, thus, retention (2).
Increasing FSPH students awareness of strengths has potential to positively impact the public health workforce as employees who are satisfied in their jobs and use their strengths are more productive and more engaged, suggesting higher levels of overall career satisfaction which reduces turnover and increases workplace retention (3).
In 2018, all incoming FSPH students took the StrengthsFinder assessment, based on the concept of intentionally developing your strengths rather than your weaknesses. They participated in a school wide strengths analysis session at orientation, aiming to empower them with awareness of their top five strengths from a list of 34 talents. Year 1 and Year 2 cohorts of the Executive MPH and Year 1 of CHS-HP program also received the training as part of their curriculum.
To increase “touchpoints” for strengths based discussions and integrate into curriculum, FSPH Career Services Director and Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, Kristy Sherrer, trained the Student Affairs Office, Alumni Affairs and Development, PH 495 Teaching Assistant Training Seminar, FSPH Student Ambassadors and select faculty and associate deans on strengths awareness and strength based leadership and teamwork. Models of training integrated best practices with graduate students and postdoctoral scholars at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), UC Davis, and Princeton University, shared from the Graduate Career Consortium.
These are all the Fall 2018 Unleash Your Strengths professional development offerings:
Please email Kristy Sherrer, Director of Career Services, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health