At Torrens University we offer our students a dedicated Success Coach.
These Coaches work alongside our students to increase their motivation, employability and provide an in-depth understanding of how best to use their natural talents.
Our coaches come from a variety of different industries and backgrounds relevant to the faculty and program you are in. Our Coaches are there to support you, to encourage you and to help you thrive.
Meet Andrew Sloan, one of the Success Coaches for Business. Andrew works with students to discover their natural strengths and explore how self-awareness, presence and connection can create sustainable change. He also holds a graduate and post-graduate degree in Business Administration and Counselling & Psychotherapy.
What do you love most about your job and why?
I love surprising our students with a different conversation. A conversation that matters, a conversation that is focused in on the student’s natural capabilities. I love co-creating spaces for our students that shine a light on their power to make choices and influence the direction of their lives.
I love being able to bring our students and the Success Coaching team at Torrens University industry level tools and experiences that prepare them for a fast moving world which is only set to get more exciting into the next two decades.
“I love being able to prepare our students for a fast moving world.”
Why did you decide to become a success coach?
I became a Success Coach at Torrens University because I caught a glimpse of the power of engaging with students who are open, curious and explorative.
Most of my work out in the industry is focused on resolving challenges created by a lack of self-awareness and disconnection. I believe that self-awareness is the key to improving the future of work in Australia (and the world) and therefore entire communities of people.
Coaching by its very nature opens up new self-awareness by asking questions and promotes a sense of connection to previously unseen choices. Opening up spaces for students who are ready to learn, experience and grow seems to be a great place to start to impact the future of work here in Australia – one student at a time.
Can you give an example of a student you watched grow and succeed?
A student came to me after failing a few subjects. They commented that it was because they simply lack focus and motivation to dedicate the time they know they need to successfully pass their units. In the past this student has been given a lot of pressure from the people around them to perform and felt the burden of disappointing others.
We changed the conversation through coaching towards what is important to the student by starting to reduce the outside voices of what is important to other people in their life. We started with looking at their natural talents through the CliftonStrengths for Students toolkit.In front of my eyes, they started to see themselves as capable, resourceful and enough.
“After three coaching sessions this student was prepared to reinvest in themselves and reconnect with their lecturers which gave them a real sense of achievement and success. They had new awareness of their own resources and what intrinsically motivated them from within.”
To really integrate this new picture of themselves we explored what they hold as precious and explored their values and linked these to their natural talents found in their CliftonStrengths survey. Here they were able to connect their thoughts, feelings and behaviours to the values they hold incredibly closely.
Values in this way are our motivation or our energy to change, move forward and connect to the choices we have in front of us to create a life we love. We move from focusing on what others think about our success towards what we personally think about success.
After three coaching sessions, this student was prepared to reinvest in themselves and reconnect with their lecturers to go onto achieve results in their assessments that gave them a real sense of achievement and success. They had a new awareness of their own resources and what intrinsically motivates them from within.
What other jobs have you had/have that help you be a great success coach?
I have been fortunate enough to have worked in a range of industries that support me to work with a variety of students. I have had many years of experience in leadership roles in not-for-profit organisations, hospitality and large multinationals.
Within the last three years, have been working in Sydney’s startup community supporting Founders, CEOs and their teams achieve their ambitions through strengths-based coaching, organisational psychotherapy and strategy.
I currently own my own business supporting individuals and teams with therapy, strengths coaching and strategist support. I have supported hundreds of individuals and businesses to connect to purpose.
What does “success” mean to you?
Success is connections. Connections to self-awareness and a new understanding of oneself together with connections in the world with other humans, ideas, concepts, experiences and choices.
Success is literally arriving in a space where you have infinite choices ahead of you instead of just one or two. Arriving here in this space takes work and continual evolution but it’s achievable when you have the right support.
“Study and work experiences alone are important and valuable but your relationships are worth even more.”
What advice do you have for a student starting University?
Get out and meet people. Study and work experiences alone are important and valuable but your relationships are worth even more. Attend industry events, volunteer for positions within your University, join associations, volunteer in not-for-profits and attend networking events.
The people who will be successful between now and 2045 will be people who have the human skills to support multiple connections and translate their education, knowledge and skills through their human relationships.
Why do you think learning about our strengths can help a student?
Strengths discovery and development is a hack for self-awareness. We open up a new understanding that we have a collection of capabilities we didn’t have to pay for!
This new insight unlocks old ways of looking at ourselves as weak, broken or not enough and replaces it with an understanding that our greatest strengths can from time to time become our greatest challenges or weaknesses.
We then have a new model of self-development one where we use our natural talents to do more of what we are good at in a balanced way and less of what we are not exceptionally talented at.
We get out of our own way and balance ourselves so we can set off towards our greatest ambitions. Most students want to great through the next Trimester with great marks some are ready to think about how next Trimesters results contribute to a life well lived into the next few years and beyond.
“Learning about our strengths unlocks old ways of looking at ourselves as weak, broken or not enough and replaces it with an understanding that our greatest strengths can from time to time become our greatest challenges or weaknesses.”
What are your top 5 Strengths? How did learning your strengths help you?
My Top 5 are:
- Woo (Winning others over)
I am a person who reduces complexity down to its essential parts. I am someone who strategically communicates to activate spaces for change that explore, challenge and motivate. I am a person who quickly builds connections with people whilst building trust and rapport so we can focus on work together that truly matters.
What’s a quote that inspires you?
“Only that which can change can continue.” – James P. Carse