University students improve their self-esteem, which leads to greater initiative, confidence, and well-being

Transforming the low self-esteem and uncertain future prospects of college graduates into an optimistic sense of self-worth, looking forward to the start of a new phase in their lives.

The challenge: a culture clash after merger

Fourth-year Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) - International Business (IB) students faced a number of challenges on their way to graduation. The main areas in which they felt uncomfortable were low self-esteem and a lack of confidence, coupled with a lack of clarity about how to position themselves with potential employers and how to prepare for work or make the transition from college to work.

Our solution: 3-month "Get Work Ready" program

We launched the first "Get Work Ready" program for 30 students and two faculty members. It consisted of group work paired with individual assignments. In the beginning all 30 students completed the Clifton Strengths Top 5 and participated in the e2grow "Get Work Ready" program. Prior to the group session, we completed 121 coaching sessions with the team leader (faculty member).

The team session, which lasted for six hours, focused on developing students' self-awareness and the impact they have on others. It helped cultivate a growth mindset and explore the "Get Work Ready Toolkit" to prepare students for their next career steps. After the group session, each student was given customized daily/weekly assignments to help them with their individual self-development and next career steps.

The results: better prospects for the future and the challenges that come with it

Students and faculty reported improved self-esteem in relation to their strengths and how to use them purposefully in their studies, leading to greater initiative, confidence, and well-being. Through a common (strengths) language and "CoffeeSyncs," they achieved better communication and collaboration between classes and project teams. Students are optimistic about the future and know how best to apply to employers and complete their studies.


Danielle O Brien, final year student:

Delighted to have participated in this program on the behalf of C.I.T. A great day for anyone interested in unleashing their underlying strengths and ways to prepare for post-graduation.