(This article was written by Gladys, our intern at Kingmaker! Her StrengthsFinder® talent themes makes her a Hands-on, People-Centric Bicultural Practitioner who values challenges and provocative thinking. She is passionate about learning the diversity of cultures.)
Everyone wonders, are there certain talent themes that make-up a good student? If there are, what are they?
For those strong in the Gallup StrengthsFinder Language (if you are new to this, fret not! We got you covered: click HERE to read thoroughly the descriptions of all 34 StrengthsFinder Talent Themes), you might know that modern day education might favor some talent themes over the others. For example, based on a first look, you would probably think that a student with Achiever | Focus | Competition | Input | Strategic talent themes would perform much better academically than a student with Relator | Woo | Positivity | Activator | Harmony, wouldn’t you? Well, at least I would.
Here, I’m going to share about my own experience, as a student, and how my supposed “straight-A-student talent themes” helped me in my school life.
Below are my dominant StrengthsFinder talent themes:
For those of you who are really “busy” and therefore unable to analyse/read through one by one, here’s a quick breakdown for you!
StrengthsFinder Themes & Campus Excellence
First, I have what many people would think of as the typical research cluster in my top 5, (Learner, Intellection, and Input). This means that I’m good at internalizing and digesting content-heavy subjects, such as General Paper, History, Geography, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Economics etc. (basically almost all the academic subjects.)
Secondly, I am talented in Achiever, Responsibility, Connectedness and Arranger, which means that I’m not only a fast, reliable and efficient worker; I can manage many things, complete a lot in one day, and just more productive in general.
Looking at my talent themes, I’m a smart student. OR AM I REALLY?
Here’s the answer – Not really. Add many big red crosses to that as well.
“But why is it so? Don’t you have many talent themes that help you study effectively?”
Look, the reality is that it plays out differently in everyone’s life, and my priorities towards campus excellence is more than just academic.
As an Achiever and a Learner, I was constantly involved in a variety of commitments. In just my college years alone, I had 3 Co-Curricular Activities: International Strategic Affairs Council, touch rugby, and Mass Communications Society. Additional to that, I also participated in many competitions, including Chinese Debate (I am bicultural!) Video Competitions, Economic Innovation Competitions, Youth-For-Causes and had piano lessons too. Oh yeah, I am also actively involved in church activities too. Additionally, I even tried to run for my CCA’s president role despite my many commitments. Basically, I wanted to be as engaged in my campus life as possible – trying to learn many things and trying to keep myself busy.
Certainly, many of my teachers were concerned with my grades and many told me to cut down on my commitments, but I felt that I was able to manage them, and with good reason. My Arranger talent theme meant that juggling several things at the same time was natural to me, I was handling things well and my life wasn’t falling apart. I was passing most of my subjects, and I was able to produce quality contributions to all of my commitments.
Eventually though, I did manage to settle down and study nearing A levels. Still, studying was not as effective as I wanted it to be. Why?
Well, my Intellection talent theme was the root cause. Imagine this: you’re studying Biology faithfully and stressing about A levels when suddenly you think:
“What’s the reason why I’m studying this?”
“How does knowing this affect me in my life?”
“How does this relate to other insights that I’ve gained in this subject?”
BAM! Welcome to the intellection zone. It didn’t matter even if you adjust your environment, or change the subject you were studying, because you were pulled away by your own deep thoughts.
The StrengthsFinder Formula to Campus Success
Basically, I’m saying that having a certain combination of StrengthsFinder Talent Themes does not determine your destiny in academic excellence, it is how you actively invest and utilize your strengths that makes you a better student.
As this is the month of examinations, for all you students, don’t get discouraged or disheartened, thinking that without certain talent themes, you can’t get your As or be effective in school. Similarly, for the students who have talent themes that might effectively aid your studying process , don’t be complacent (WORKING HARD STILL PAYS OFF). Study smarter and harder!
Parents, if you’re reading this, just know that there is no one formula for straight As. Be involved in your child’s academic journey, and encourage them to constantly invest in their what they are naturally good at!