Hey, Furman family!
There are many incredible ways on campus to take advantage of professional development. The Shucker Center for Leadership Development is all about helping students grow as leaders. A key aspect of the Shucker Center is its CliftonStrengths initiative. Through their strengths development strategies, the Shucker Center employs the Gallup CliftonStrengths online assessment to the Shucker Leadership Institute (SLI), various student organizations, and even athletic teams across campus. Any student can take the assessment for free and attend a 1:1 coaching session with a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach to further explore how to maximize your potential through your strengths.
This brief, 30-minute assessment measures your natural talents — the way you think, behave, and feel every day — and categorizes them into 34 strengths. Once you complete the survey, it spits out your top five strengths. The 34 strengths are divided even further into four themes: executing, influencing, relationship building, and strategic thinking. My top five strengths are Achiever, Discipline, Focus, Maximizer, and Intellection.
Taking a Look at my Report
Learning about my strengths as a Student Fellow in SLI has helped me discover who I am to my core and why I do the things that I do. My top three strengths are executing strengths. This means that I am a high-performer and I put in a lot of effort and time to make things happen. I work tirelessly to accomplish the tasks on my to-do list and make sure that I do a good job while doing so. None of my top five strengths lie in the relationship building theme. And that’s okay! The relationship building strengths lie lower on my list of 34.
Through my time in SLI, I now understand how I can use utilize my top five strengths across different facets of campus I am involved in (Greek Life, religious organizations, and even my social media internship with the Admissions Office) to make a positive impact and be a student leader. Since I do not naturally lean toward building relationships with others, in team settings I know the roles I need to take on and why I gravitate toward the responsibilities that I do.
Shucker Leadership Institute (SLI)
As an incoming freshman, you have the opportunity to apply for a prestigious two-year leadership program entitled the Shucker Leadership Institute. Being a Student Fellow in SLI truly has been my favorite involvement on Furman’s campus. The Shucker community is welcoming, inclusive, and full of diverse perspectives. The upperclassmen mentors I have met through SLI are my greatest blessings at Furman. And, of course, through Shucker I had the incredible opportunity to take the Gallup CliftonStrengths assessment and learn not only about my strengths, but my peers’ strengths as well!
SLI Classes 14 (class of ’23) and 15 (class of ’24) with Dr. Harry Shucker, the program’s namesake who served as Furman’s Vice President for Student Services for nearly 23 years! He loves to grab lunches with students and chat with them about their lives.
SLI Classes 15 (class of ’24) and 16 (class of ’25) celebrating at the New Fellows Brunch last September.
Strengths Ambassadors and Strength Week
If you’ve completed the CliftonStrengths assessment, you have the opportunity to become a Strengths Ambassador on campus. The Strengths Ambassadors work to host workshops and help students explore their natural talents. Last semester, the Strengths Ambassadors in coordination with the Shucker Center organized Strengths Week in November. Each day, there were different activities on campus to encourage students to take the assessment, celebrate their strengths, and learn practical ways how to wield their strengths for good. Participating in Strengths Week was a lot of fun. It gave me an excuse to endlessly hound all my friends to take the assessment if they had not yet! I am looking forward to the next Strengths Week so I can spend another week talking about my strengths.
If you want to learn more about the CliftonStrengths initiative or Shucker Leadership Institute, follow @furmanstrengths and @shuckeratfurman on Instagram. Or stop by the Shucker Center office on the upper level of the Trone Student Center.