StrengthsQuest and Me

One of the things I highly enjoy about meeting other Student Affairs professionals is finding out a.) Have you taken StrengthsQuest? AND b.) What’s in your top 5? Ever since I took the assessment, it has been a great tool for me in figuring out how to work and interact with other people. During my job search process, it was also a great way for me to talk about my professionals skills because I always had a difficult time talking about myself in that manner. For my friends who have taken StrengthsQuest: What is your favorite strength?

My top 5 are: Communication, Learner, Includer, Responsibility, and Woo. While I love all of my strengths for different reasons (and I think all are very fitting of my personality), my favorite is Woo. When I was in graduate school, my head supervisor used to say “Every office should have a Woo”. In the beginning, it was described to me as “shaking hands, and kissing babies” kind of a thing. “Woo’s” LOVE getting to know new people! When it comes to working in Student Affairs, engaging new students to visit your department or utilize your services is what a “Woo” does best. It’s like having your own Marketing representative.

As a new professional, I believe that those who hold a “Woo” trait are “connectors”. I really enjoy connecting students to resources. It’s probably no surprise that I’m an extrovert and I feed off the energy of meeting new people. Hence, the first day of class has always been my favorite day of the year (sometimes more so than Christmas) because of all the new students who are joining us. This past year, I also enjoyed introducing new professionals to each other on campus, as well as helping my fellow “first years” get acquainted with the Cedar Valley area and connecting them to community resources. Maybe that ties in a lot with the fact that I’m an “Includer” and I want people to feel welcomed in our community. Regardless, understanding how each of my strengths interacts with each other has helped me to be a better professional.

One of my colleagues, Ashley, is a trained StrengthsQuest facilitator. She mentioned that your top 5 will change whenever you have a major life change, and so my results from graduate school may not be the same as now. However, I feel like mine wouldn’t change much because “they are so me”. Anybody who knows me will tell you that I talk a lot and I’m great at taking notes (Communication). I also tend to get fixated on new things I want to learn more about even though they are random (recently, I’ve been interested in the hoopla of the Mayan Calendar – “this is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius”). Plus, anybody who has worked with me knows I have a hard time taking time off (when Responsibility goes awry). I love what StrengthsQuest tells me about myself and how I can use my skills to help my students. 

Tabatha Cruz

Student Affairs - the First Years

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