Intellection: A Strength in Depth

By: Ashley  Achiever|Learner|Intellection|Relator|Empathy

As part of our office’s mission to help UMD students develop, evaluate, and implement their career plans we are going to, like Abby said in her post, cover all the strengths that StrengthsQuest offers. The CliftonStrengths for Students assessment is a career inventory assessment that figures out your top five strengths and relates them to your career plans. My signature themes include achiever, learner, intellection, relator, and empathy. I am going to focus on the intellection strength this time around.

List of strengths, intellection in green

When I took this assessment last year I was not surprised to see what my strengths were but I was surprised at how accurate I felt the assessment was. The definition of the intellection strength from the CliftonStrengths for Students website is: People especially talented in the Intellection theme are characterized by their intellectual activity. They are introspective and appreciate intellectual discussions. 

I think this definition, though true, doesn’t quite explain what it means to be a person with intellection as one of their strengths, not to me anyways. In my mind, it means a person with this strength likes to have deeper conversations with people, in hopes of making a connection on an emotional level, which relates to my relator and empathy strengths. I often find myself talking to people about their beliefs in religion, science debates, or even which flavor ice cream they prefer. I think talking about things other than just what you did last weekend helps you get to know someone better.

If you have Intellection as one of your top 5 strengths, here are a few things you should think about when looking into careers that appeal to you:

  • Select work in which you can share ideas and pose questions. Avoid environments where you cannot challenge the status quo or where operating procedures are completely rigid.
  • Work in environments in which you can interact with colleagues and have philosophical debates
  • Think about the times in your life when you have felt best about your accomplishments. In your journal, write about what you did that contributed to those accomplishments and how you used your talents in each instance. Later, look for patterns in what you wrote.
  • Choose work that will challenge you intellectually. Talk to edi­tors, theologians, or philosophy professors on campus. Ask what their work is like.

I feel like this strength has helped me quite a bit in my life, by taking the time to get to know a person and making them think about their ideas and thoughts on a topic and then having them hear out your opinions really makes an impression on them. I attribute this strength to my connection with my high school counselor who helped me out a lot in figuring out what college I would be most happy with, as well as helping me get a study hall every trimester my senior year, which helped in getting a college essay or two finished. I also attribute this to even getting my job at Career & Internship Services, in relation to my achiever strength; I do feel that I left an impression on them after my interview. Which I think leaving an impression is always a good thing, especially when the time comes to find a job in the future, going to job fairs and having interviews, very often those who are remembered, get the position!

Like most positive things though I think that everything has its downside and the intellection strength definitely has one. I very often find it hard to carry on a “chit chat” conversation, which I do think is a necessary part of making new friends. So I do find it hard to make new friends but I hold on tight to the ones I have. So if you take the CliftonStrengths for Students assessment and are unsure how to use your results go on their website and explore, you would be surprised at how much information is on there!

Learn about the 33 other Strengths

Read Ashley’s other posts

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