CEHD Strengths Spotlight | Kayla DeVries, CEHD Student

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At the University of Minnesota and in CEHD we feel every student has what they need to be successful. We believe in taking a strengths based approach and work with students to learn to use their talents so they can be developed into strengths.
What are your top 5 talent themes?
My top 5 themes are harmony, responsibility, includer, futuristic, and consistency.
In what ways do you use your talents each day?
I have noticed that I do use each of my strengths every day. I always get my homework done on time and go to class or work which demonstrates responsibility. I always like to include people because I don’t like it when others feel left out, and I like to treat everyone the same. This demonstrates includer and consistency. On a day to day basis I am always planning out something new whether it be future plans or what classes to take and when. This represents futuristic. And last but not least, I hate conflict. I can’t stand it. This is where my harmony strength comes into play. I try to avoid conflict at all costs.
I do each and every one of these things every day. I think taking the strengths assessment has made me realize these strengths but they were definitely prevalent beforehand. I just didn’t necessarily consider them to be strengths.
What surprises you about your talent themes?
I was overall surprised by how accurate the strengths finder was for me. I found it very interesting that just by answering the questions in the assessment, it could know so much about me. I think that all of my strengths fit me really well, so I was happy with my results. It was very intriguing to read what the test thought about me, and then try to relate what the test was saying to my life. More times than not, the test was accurate.
Which of your talent themes fit you best and why?
I would say that futuristic is the best fit of my top five strengths. This is because I am always planning things out for the future and thinking about what could be. I find this to be a very useful strength because I always have a goal and an idea planned out about how to reach that goal. This is especially useful as a student because I have a clear plan on how I want to reach my goal of graduation. This helps to prevent surprises in the future.
How have your talent themes helped you as a student in CEHD?
My talent themes have certainly helped me by allowing me to better discover things I’m good at. I think this is important because I now focus more on the strengths than I do on my weaknesses. This helps in class because when working on group projects I now know ways to include strengths in deciding which group members do which tasks. This makes for the most efficient group work.
I have also found strengths useful in my work as a receptionist at the dance department here on campus. My supervisor had each of the student employees take the strengths finder. We then divided up tasks to complete based on our strengths. I think this is important because it gives me a chance to develop some of my strengths in a work environment. Talking about strengths is also a good way for me to get to know my coworkers better.
If you are a CEHD student, staff or faculty interested in being featured in the CEHD Strengths Spotlight e-mail Jeannie Stumne at stumn001@umn.edu..
Visit Strengths at the U to learn more!