Clifton Strengths Institute at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business selected 74 students to serve as student strengths coaches for the 2017-18 school year. The coaches will mentor more than 750 first-year business students in Professional Enhancement I Investing in Strengths (BSAD 111).

Student strengths coach Shivang Vaidya leads a one-on-one coaching session.

Required for all first-year business students, BSAD 111 aims to help students develop and apply strengths to achieve academic, personal and professional success using the CliftonStrengths Assessment. During the course, coaches lead team meetings of up to 10 students once a week and two 30-minute one-on-one strengths coaching sessions for each team member. They also help facilitate discussions during class.

“Starting their college career by identifying their natural talents and strengths prepares our students to be successful. The individualized coaching helps them apply their strengths toward their goals to help reach their potential,” said Mark Pogue, assistant professor of practice in management and executive director of the Clifton Strengths Institute.

Open to students from any college at Nebraska, prospective coaches complete an application and interview process. Once selected, they participate in a five-hour strengths coach training focused on learning the 34 themes of the CliftonStrengths assessment and coaching students to maximize potential using their top strengths.

“We select students who have the passion and energy to positively impact the lives of others and the innate talent to easily connect and communicate with people to help guide their development,” said Samantha Kennelly, Clifton Strengths Institute coordinator. “First-year students thrive when our coaches recognize their unique potential and guide them to succeed by leading with their strengths.”

This year’s group of coaches boasts high experience with 21 returning coaches, 11 seniors and three graduate students. Coaches stem from five different colleges at Nebraska, including 52 business students.

Student strengths coaches also gain professional development benefits throughout the process. During the eight-week course, they gain skills leading and managing teams, and expertise in student development and positive psychology. Applications for the 2018-19 school year will be available in August and are due by October 1.

To learn more about student strengths coaches and the Clifton Strengths Institute, visit: