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Applying your strengths

This video case study explores how you can develop your strengths at university.
Jay completed the strengths questionnaire and found that one of their invisible strengths was courage. Before taking the questionnaire, they suspected they tended to avoid things that they were nervous about rather than challenging themselves. Seeing the invisible strength courage on their strengths profile made them want to try something that they had been afraid to do in the past.
Jay had always been nervous about giving presentations and tended to avoid doing it, letting their classmates take the lead. The next time there was an opportunity to give a presentation in class, Jay volunteered. They were very nervous beforehand but was so proud when they got through the presentation. Jay could see that avoiding situations they were nervous of, limited the opportunity to grow. But using courage helped them to develop new skills and overcome their nerves.

In the previous step we started to think about ways that the strengths you have identified could be developed at university. In this video, Jay has discovered through completing the strengths questionnaire that one of their strengths is ‘courage.’ The video shows just one way they chose to use and develop this strength. They could also use this strength outside their studies, for example volunteering for a role in a student society. Note that Jay is a fictional character, but they are based on the experiences of real students.

The video shows one small example, and at this stage, we are not expecting you to know which of your strengths you want to develop. We hope the example will help you to start thinking of how you can use opportunities to build on your strengths.

You have been spending time in this part of the course reflecting on your strengths. You’ve thought about what you enjoy, what gives you energy and what else you would like to try. The tasks you’ve completed have given you an opportunity for you to reflect on your identity and how this might change over time – what a ‘future you’ might look like.

Now take the time to record that in your portfolio, along with your visible and invisible strengths.


  • Revisit your posts from Steps 1.8 and 1.9 on your visible and invisible strengths and paste them into the relevant sections of your portfolio, or write a summary.
  • Which of these strengths you might develop at university? Highlight ones that you might consider.
  • Now jot down some initial ideas for the ‘future you’ in the portfolio section for this step – Step 1.11 – to start imagining a possible future you.
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University and Your Future: Career Planning and Making the Most of Your Degree

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