There is a plethora of opportunities at UofT to connect with your peers, and to learn more about conducting yourself in professional and academic environments. I attended an event at Hart House called The Work Study and Student Staff Summit, where we got to hear from alumni who worked on campus when they were students speak about their experiences. Many of them said that the transferable skills they learned at UofT carried over to their careers post-graduation and made the transition to the “real world” easier. It was interesting to hear how many of these alumni said that their work-study positions caused a shift in their interests, which led them to pursue careers that they never really considered before. It caused me to reflect on how much my own work-study position (CCP blogger!) has influenced me in just a few short months. It has not only strengthened my passion for writing, but I am also becoming a person who wants to facilitate connections between students and witness community-building happen in front of my eyes. I cannot wait to see how much I grow over the course of the school year, considering that I already have gotten so much exposure from working at CCP and Life@UofT.
I wanted to briefly discuss a component of the Summit, which was the CliftonStrengths test that all students that registered for the event got a chance to take – free of charge (you usually have to pay for it). As someone who absolutely loves personality/cognition/placement tests of any kind, I was very excited about this. The test gives you your Top 5 Signature Themes of Talent. My signature themes were: Input, Intellection, Relator, Learner, and Achiever. What intrigued me about my result was that the CCP Blogger last year, Iris Deng (who is now the Communications and Promotions Assistant at CCP) shares four out of the five traits as me! I thought that would be a fun thing to share. We both jokingly suggested that maybe those are some typical “blogger” traits to have. 🙂
The CliftonStrengths test not only highlights your talents, but also gives you valuable information about how to leverage your strengths in a professional, academic, and even social settings. I found that requiring us to take this test beforehand and then discuss it in further detail at the Summit was particularly effective because it solidified the idea that it’s not always enough to just know about your strengths. What will really push you further along the path you want will be applying your talents in all sectors of your life so that you can work with the best version of yourself.
I encourage all of you, work-study/student staff or not, to keep your eyes open to events and opportunities at UofT that will help you grow and learn more about what you can do with what you already possess inside. You will always end up discovering something new and that knowledge will make the rest of your university experience (and beyond!) a lot more enriching.