My name is Thomas Germain and I am the Residence Life Coordinator for Graduate and Family Housing here on campus. I graduated with a master degree in educational leadership from UF. Very early in my career, I got introduced to the Strengths Philosophy during my first year as a student affairs professional. I was skeptical at first since my main focus had always s been to focus on my weaknesses but as I learned more about strengths and actually applied what I learned in training, I started to be a strong advocate for it. I really give the credit to my department for giving me the opportunity to professionally develop with this great tool. My top strengths are Arranger, Context, Responsibility, Harmony and Learner. I think focusing on my strengths made me a much stronger professional in the field and allowed me to work smarter in a more meaningful and productive way. I spent the majority of my time helping International Students on campus and my arranger, context and learner strengths have helped me tremendously. While being surrounded with such diversity, being able to acknowledge the context, learn from each other and reach a common ground is critical. I strongly believe the Strengths Philosophy provided me with the right focus and intentions when it comes to my day to day job.
I love the fact that the Strengths Philosophy is very applicable professionally. You can really break it down to your job description. It truly raised my self-awareness and enhance my interactions with students on many levels. It also brings more positivity to my approach since I started focusing on things that I am good at professionally. I am excited because I am about to use Strengths with my student staff over the Fall Semester. I really think it is going to help us become a more cohesive and productive team. It will also allow us to value each other on a deeper level personally and professionally.