StrengthQuest series helps students utilize personal strengths

GVL / Emily Frye  
Strength Quest on Tuesday Sept. 20, 2016.

Emily Frye

GVL / Emily Frye Strength Quest on Tuesday Sept. 20, 2016.

Shae Slaughter

As a student, being able to own and utilize personal strengths and weaknesses is a huge asset while traveling through academia and the workforce. For this reason, Grand Valley State University brings events like the StrengthsQuest series to campus.

The StrengthsQuest series, originally created by the Gallup organization, has been used by over 600 schools and universities across the country and has become an annual event over the past few years at GVSU. GVSU’s first StrengthsQuest series event of 2016 was held Tuesday, Sept. 20 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Kirkhof Center Room 2263. Though this was not the series’ first year, the format has changed over the last couple years. StrengthsQuest was set up as a retreat style, but students believed the event was presenting too much information in one session and was too long, so the Office of Student Life addressed the problems.

The new and improved format involves the separation of the event into three different stages, called discover, work and lead. The first stage of the program involved students learning about their talents and how to turn those talents into strengths.

“(The event) helps them implement these strengths in their daily lives, in their leadership on and off campus, and their professional and career search,” said Amber Gerrits, leadership staff assistant in the Office of Student Life.

People who use their strengths every day are three times more likely to be happier with their lives in general and are six times more likely to be engaged in their jobs, according to Gallup’s website.

About 25 students registered for the event, which is right in the target zone of 20-30 students the program coordinators were hoping to have for each segment.

“This event is beneficial because it provides an opportunity for students to engage in discussions about leadership from a new context,” said Chase Dolan, graduate assistant for leadership programs. “By helping students start to become more self-aware as leaders, we hope that they will gain the confidence to make an impact here on campus and beyond.”

Three more discover events will be held before the next step of the program begins. Saturday, Oct. 8 is the next opportunity to participate in this first section of the StrengthsQuest series. Though students don’t have to attend all of the sections, it is recommended.