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EPICS Shows MSLCE Students How To Discover Their Strengths in Exclusive Workshop

By Brenna C. Cronin

Woo. Achiever. Communication. Activator. Maximizer.

“You have a 1 in 275,000 chance of sharing the same top 5 strengths as another person”, shared Jonah Zeiger, Associate Director of EPICS (External Programs, Internships, & Career Services) at Northwestern University. The Career Development focus in the MSLCE program is in full swing as the Fall quarter wraps up. Spending an afternoon focusing on the results of our StrengthsFinder Assessment was enlightening, affirming, and for some of the cohort, shocking!

“At first, I was surprised and did not agree with my results,” said Tom Wall. “But, after exploring the definition of each strength and working on my personal story, I discovered that the assessment was spot on!”

Mattie Voorheis shared, “Some of my results really resonated, others didn’t really sound like me at all. However, now that I’m more aware of my “strengths” as defined by the assessment, I look forward to seeing how they might materialize over the course of the MSLCE program.”

Personally, I’ve taken the assessment three different times: once with the lens of professional business, once with a ministry focus, and now for graduate school. My top 5 have rotated in and out over the years, but one specific strength has showed up every time: Achiever. For better or for worse, the ability to cultivate a strong drive, take things from good to great, and ignite passion in others are strengths that have always been tangible for me. Turning those strengths into tools is part of the MSLCE high-level implementation we have come to know and love.

A fellow Achiever, Graham Hawley shared his thoughts on the seminar. “I felt that the results were very accurate to how I see myself. As I read through them, I kept thinking of examples of where they’ve appeared in my life.” Those examples helped us prepare for the second half of the seminar focusing on our I.M.P.A.C.T. stories.

I = Interesting & Impactful

M = Meaningful & Measurable

P = Personal & Persuasive

A = Active & Affective

C = Concise & Compelling

T = Tailored & Targeted

“An I.M.P.A.C.T. Story is a story from your professional or semi-professional (student) history that demonstrated one or more of your top five strengths and shows how you have utilized strengths to positively impact others in an organizational setting”, said Jonah. I focused my story on leading a company merger and the need for skills like Woo (Winning Others Over), Achiever, Communication, Activator (igniting fires), and Maximizer (from good to great). Knowing when to deliver the 30 second, 90 second, and 5 minute versions of these stories and delivering them to the appropriate audience is crucial.

What are you good at doing?

What do you enjoy doing the most?

What have you been most proud of doing?

If you’re curious, you can visit the StrengthsFinder website to take the assessment, focus on these reflection questions, and pretty soon you will be writing your own I.M.P.A.C.T. stories

Interested in how our curriculum prepares students for the Creative Industries? Learn more here!