Why Every Student Should Complete a SWOT Analysis


A What? A SWOT, more typically known as:

S: Strengths

W: Weaknesses

O: Opportunities

T: Threats

Yes, although it might resemble the typical primary school Mother’s day card framework (M is for Mother, O is for … etc.) it is very different! A SWOT analysis might be the answer you’ve been looking for during your ups and downs during the ever-changing and often stressful school year. As students and employees, we all require tools in order to do our jobs efficiently. A SWOT Analysis is a great tool…and the best part is, all you need is a little of your time to invest. Not only is it a great tool, but it is also an extremely useful technique and method for students and workers to understand our strengths and weaknesses on a more profound level, to properly target the opportunities that may open up to us and to combat the threats that may be obstructing our path to success.

As I mentioned in my September blog, there is competition at all levels of jobs, whether it is a minimum-wage job getting us through university, our dream career or simply harmless competition in the classroom…we are all working for that A (literally and figuratively). The problem is since we live in a very fast-paced society, where we want to climb that ladder and quickly. However, more often than not, if we try to rush to the top, without actually sitting back and assessing ourselves and reflecting on our action plan…we may miss a step on our way up and come plummeting down to the bottom.

Although a SWOT is often used in a business context, I definitely see a use for it in students’ and workers’ lives, especially those who are experiencing difficulty with time management, organization, motivation, career choice, goals, etc. It is ultimately a way for us to evaluate our needs and comprehend what needs to be done or what is getting in our way.

In my opinion, what makes a SWOT so powerful and useful is that with a basic chart and a few bullet points, it can help you uncover: mistakes you’ve been making for ages, outstanding opportunities you may have overlooked, strengths that you once forgot you had and allow you to assess external and internal factors that may need to be dealt with immediately. During this session, I completed a SWOT for myself in one of my grad classes and I see a real difference in my work and attitude. I am more focused, more aware of prospects (whether it be in terms of networking, opportunities, etc.) and I feel confident that I am going to be getting a high mark in the course!

Check out the example to guide you and go ahead and try it out. It takes minutes and there is no harm in self-reflection, planning and setting yourself up for success!

“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” –Arthur Ashe

Good Luck,

Lisa Trotto

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