York Strengths Programme

York Strengths image

What is the York Strengths Programme?

This sector-leading professional development programme, designed specifically for York Students, aims to help you gain further clarity on your personal strengths and where you can apply those strengths in future careers. York Strengths will help you take charge of your own career journey. It will give you:

  • insight into where you are now
  • help in building your confidence
  • a vision of where you might want to go
  • ideas of how best to use your time as a student to help you get there.

If you don’t really know where you want to go York Strengths will be an excellent foundation for developing the curiosity and skills to investigate your future. It will also help you take positive steps toward a graduate career that is right for you.

If you do know where you want to go, or have some idea, York Strengths will help you to understand more about yourself, your strengths, how to demonstrate them and how to develop your professional offering further.

What does the York Strengths Programme involve?

The York Strengths Programme has three main components through which you are able to explore a framework of nine qualities valued by employers. These include:

Stage 1: York Strengths Discovery

An online exercise that allows you to respond naturally to familiar situations and scenarios, resulting in a feedback report outlining your top 3 strengths and an area for development. Unique and personal to you, it will provide a foundation to build on throughout your time at York. This exercise is not timed - it can be completed in 30 minutes, however you can take as much time as you need.  

When: An email will be sent to you with the link to the York Strengths Discovery Exercise in the Spring Term. You should aim to complete this by the end of the Easter vacation.

Stage 2: York Strengths Development Day

You will be invited to attend a York Strengths Development Day.  The development day will consist of a number of fun and insightful activities that will help reveal your working preferences. They will:

  • help you assess your personal strengths and your own readiness for the labour market
  • build your confidence in exploring possible career directions that align with your strengths
  • highlight potential development opportunities, so that you can take control of your own career preparedness.

You will be in groups of no more than 6 students throughout the day.

You will develop a personalised action plan with clear objectives to support the next stages of your personal journey towards attaining a successful and rewarding graduate career.

When: Your York Strengths Development Day date will be emailed to you in the Spring term and will also be added to your personal timetable.  If you unable to attend on the date allocated you must let Careers and Placements know on award@york.ac.uk

Stage 3: York Award

The York Award is a certificate of the University that demonstrates to employers that you have taken a proactive approach to life at university that goes beyond your academic studies to enhance your own personal development. It is a great addition to your CV, helping you to pull together and reflect on your experiences from your first year and present them in a way that will appeal to employers.

The York Award provides an opportunity to reflect on:

  • Work experience: including internships, part-time or summer vacation work and work shadowing
  • Volunteering: getting involved in giving something back to the community
  • Personal interests: the extra-curricular clubs and societies that you have participated in
  • Your progress through the York Strengths Programme

When: Applications for the first stage of the York Award open in Autumn Term of your second year. For more information on the York Award and how you can apply, please visit the York Award web page.

At the end of the York Strengths programme you will have...

  • A clearer understanding of yourself, your natural strengths and areas to develop, outlined in a personalised feedback report
  • Greater confidence in planning the next steps towards finding and securing your preferred career destination
  • An action plan of objectives to work on
  • An appreciation of the work experience and personal and professional development opportunities available to you at York, to make the most of your remaining time at university

By engaging with York Strengths you will agree to your data being used as outlined here

The University has engaged the services of an industry leader to provide a professional development service for our students. On registration, your name and York email address will be shared with the service provider who will manage the online York Strengths Discovery exercise.

As part of that exercise, a feedback report will be generated for you by the provider and will be shared with the University for purposes of supporting your personal and professional development. This report will also be used to produce aggregate statistics to allow the University to better understand student needs and to create and tailor University service provision accordingly.

Data gathered during the York Strengths Development Day will be collated by a coach who will be observing you throughout and will be analysed by the same industry leader. Again, a copy of this report will be given to you and shared with the University for the purposes outlined in the paragraph above.  

All information will be managed in accordance with the University’s Data Protection Policy. For further information, see, www.york.ac.uk/records-management/dp/policy/


All first year undergraduates are automatically enrolled to participate in the York Strengths Programme.

If you have any questions about the programme please email award@york.ac.uk. If there are strong reasons why you believe this initiative is inappropriate for you, please let us know by emailing the same address and we can explore these with you.