I had the great pleasure of taking the CliftonStrengths Assessment. And I was pleasantly surprised by the results. I was surprised that my top strengths were Individualization, Consistency, Learner, Focus, and Analytical. At first, I was disappointment in myself because I didn’t get Analytical as my number one strength. Then I met with Elyse Yarnell, a certified Strengths coach in the Career Services office, who explained to me what each strength meant. She explained that just because I didn’t have in my top 5 a certain quality, like Empathy, this does not mean I am not empathetic.

Then we did a further discussion on my 5 strengths. I learned how I can balance my strengths so well. I found out that Individualization and Consistency might conflict with each other sometimes, as well as Learner and Focus. Elyse explained to me how I am able to work in a team and make an assessment on individuals’ strengths and encourage them to use their strengths, while at the same time I keep mind the teams’ objectives. What was interesting about these two strengths paired together and being in the top two is that these sound like qualities of a natural leader, which is something I aspire to be.  

My third and fourth strengths at first glance also seem to be very different from each other, but the more Elyse explained, the more sense it made. As I understand a Learner is exactly what the name implies; someone who loves to learn things. While this can be an awesome attribute, it does open up the opportunity to lose track of time and not get much done. But since I have my fourth strength, Focus, I can be a life learner and still managed to stay on track to achieve an objective. For my fifth strength, Analytical, I feel I use it more than any other quality I have. I was able to understand with Elyse, that I try to see patterns and connections in my everyday life, which I feel it is true.

From my session with Elyse, I was able to understand better my strengths. Now that I understand them, I can properly articulate them. From what Elyse explained to me, I can use my understanding of my strengths to be better prepared in my search of a career. For example, recruiters typically ask what my strengths and weaknesses are, which I now can answer something substantial and less cliché. Since I know my strengths, I can narrow my search for a career that best suits my ambitions and strengths. As a college student I find the CliftonStrengths Assessment a valuable tool that every Illinois Tech Student should take. As the future leaders, we should take of every tool, resource, and support we can get.

-Rodrigo Lopez
Senior Year Mechanical Engineering Student
Involved with SHPE, LIFE & HACE

To take the StrengthsFinder assessment for students, please contact strengths@iit.edu

My CliftonStrengths by Rodrigo Lopez