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The MBTI® ESTJ and College

The ESTJ personality type (Extraverted-Thinking-Sensing-Judging) is often the type of individual who ensures that circumstances are settled, and decisions are complete. They commonly prefer conventional leadership styles and often tend to step into directive roles. When put in a position where they are leading cooperative individuals, it is common for them to gain monumental achievements. ESTJs often prefer to concentrate outward, with their attentiveness to individuals and circumstances in their external environment. This is due to their Extraverted function, generally being energized by and directing their energy toward the outer world. ESTJs are often leaders of on-campus organizations, and participants or spectators at athletic events. Most roommates of ESTJs have been known to report individuals with this personality type to be friendly, but also authoritative. Most ESTJs enjoy competition and have been known to exercise their love of debate.

Learning Styles and Being Studious

ESTJs are known to enjoy setting their study schedules and have been found to strictly follow them. This personality type may prefer to study with others, as long as they are able to control the organization of their study group. This personality type has been known to also want to know exactly what is going to be required in order to become proficient in the studied subject. Although often very focused, an ESTJ may sometimes struggle with theory and instead may considerably prefer step-by-step learning. When studying idea-based information, an ESTJ innately may want to see the ideas to be put into practice. This type of personality most often will prefer information which is backed by logic-based facts. Most ESTJs learn predominantly by the execution of ideas.

ESTJ Personality Type

Learn about ESTJ Personality Types and how they function in College settings. Including an ESTJs major choice, how they handle stress and learning tactics.

They may value learning which includes physical activity, with hands-on involvement. ESTJs have been found to search for evidential information which will assist with the creation of a step-by-step series leading to an outcome. It is common for an individual with the ESTJ Personality Type to have no trouble when memorizing facts. Many ESTJs plan their educational goals substantially before attending college and proceed consistently toward set aspirations. These individuals have been known to have a strong drive toward closure and find peace when a task has been accomplished. This may be due to their preferred Judging function, which is known for effective time management skills. However, an ESTJ may find it helpful to learn to skim material and construct outlines which demonstrate the correlation among the facts, in order to find the symbolism of the material as a whole. When taking tests, Sensing types are known to perform more exemplary on exams that allow them to constitute proof of their proficiency of the learned facts. ESTJs also excel on exams which allow for the demonstration of their comprehension of how conceptualizations can be pertained to real life circumstances. It typically does not come naturally for this personality type to rely on their initial hunches, so multiple-choice tests can be challenging for ESTJs who may find themselves reading the questions over multiple times or second guessing themselves. In timed tests, it may be helpful for ESTJs to enter their first instinctive answer, and then read over the submissions to make modifications to possible errors once they have completely finished the exam.

Most ESTJs appreciate practical instruction and have been known to follow detailed instructions with ease. However, this personality type has reported to prefer faculty members who present clear direction for their assignments.  It is common for ESTJs to place confidence in the subject matter as it is presented to them and prefer instructors who present logical driven lectures. They have also reported to prefer professors who encourage class discussion. Many individuals who share the ESTJ personality function, will strive in an environment which has disciplined instructions and organized faculty members. Additionally, most ESTJs favor professors who inspire passion and motivate students with real-life experiences. Because many individuals with this personality type enjoy critiquing new ideas, it is common for them to learn best by competition and debated discussion. Most have reported to easily see imperfections in an argument. However, ESTJs usually are not convinced by anything but logic supported by proven facts. These individuals often find the study of theory to be difficult and prefer factual information to study.

Reading and Writing

ESTJs do tend to read, but it’s typically minimal with the motive being to launch an assignment. Most people who report as the ESTJ Personality Type prefer to depend on their noteworthy public speaking skills and write best by reading their first drafts aloud. When writing, it may be helpful for ESTJs to amend their final drafts by excerpting speculations to both facts and opinions. Students who prefer Sensing often write of realities using their five senses and their writing is often very descriptive. They often will also concentrate on conceivable subjects in the present tense. “When handling an essay question, Sensing Personality Types often try a “mind dump” regurgitating everything they know.” (Ditiberio and Hammer, 1993, CPP Inc.). ESTJs may count on an impression to be made on their professor simply by the extensiveness in their quantity of information given. In doing so, it is common for this personality type to forget to summarize their information, due to the belief of the facts expressing enough evidence.

The typical writing approach which ESTJs have reported to assist with combating writer’s block are to:

Write from experience                                                      Strive for objectivity

Talk about the theme before writing                             Provide reader with logical organization

Leap into writing; outline later                                      Critically analyze an argument

Take breaks for outer Stimulation                                 Writing guided by “competent” product

Report factual information                                             Narrow options, decide topic quickly

Follow a format that worked before                              Follow a set schedule to completion

Attend to instructions and mechanics                          Work on one project at a time

Say it clearly, simply, and directly                                 Work from present materials

*Abstracted from Introduction to Type in College (Ditiberio and Hammer, 1993, CPP Inc. P.8)


Choosing a Major

Due to their Extraverted Judging (EJ) function, many ESTJs embrace the decision-making portion of college major selection. They may be more likely to choose their major early on and then tend to not change it.  An ESTJ innately may have a utilitarian method to choosing their college major and most often will prefer to concentrate on subjects that lead to occupations where instant, concrete results are prominent.  Most ESTJs want to be in a work environment where they can set goals, offer recommendations, provide direction, and evaluate ramifications.

By taking a college major assessment, an ESTJ can take an efficient and practical path to finding the right college major. Students who prefer their Thinking function, may prefer to make decisions open-mindedly yet also within reason, with a basis on consequences of all alternative options. Individuals who share the ESTJ functions have reported to put choosing a major on their “to do” list and are known to seek career counseling early. This often will set off a series of orderly steps leading them to graduation.

It has been shown that ESTJs favor majors in:

  • Management/Business
  • Accounting/banking
  • Law Enforcement
  • Engineering
  • Skilled Trades

Other majors which allow ESTJs to set goals, make decisions, give orders, and evaluate outcomes are production, construction, and administration.

Stress Management

ESTJs have been known to have the need to carefully manage their stress. They may get irritated by inefficiency or uncertainty in the workplace and classrooms. This has been found to be especially true in group settings. This stress can lead an ESTJ to criticize others with little awareness of its impact on them. An ESTJ should take time to learn how to know when to lower expectations of others and to not expect everyone to be as organized and focused as they are. Knowing how different personality types function will be very beneficial to an ESTJs stress management strategy. “This personality type should also take the time to balance criticisms by expressing appreciation for their peers in order to keep interpersonal relationships healthy.” (Quenk, N. 2000. CPP) If an ESTJ is collaborating in a group setting and members of the group begin to become disorganized or start to lose focus, an individual with this personality type can make the best use of their innate leadership strengths and organizational abilities in order retain the group’s effectiveness.  An ESTJ can also manage their stress by simply learning to delay their decisions to weigh options thoroughly.  Commonly, individuals who prefer their Judging function are known for their effective time management skills and find it to be less stressful when they feel they are making consistent progress, and this is no different for ESTJs.

For stress management, ESTJs have been known to use several outlets including: constructive thinking, an encouraging viewpoint, living by a moral code, physical exercise, community focused resources, and communicating their emotions. “It is common for ESTJs to report to be quite satisfied with their work lives and report a fairly low level of stress associated with it. This may be due to their typical behavior of excelling in the world of organizational work.” (Quenk, N. 2000. CPP) Some stressors which this personality type has reported are, the absence of authority, excessive fluctuation in policies and procedures, having a disorganized environment, incurring continual interruptions, and incompetence. The continuance of these stressors can be particularly impairing for ESTJs, often resulting in an individual to become progressively insecure, unproductive, and unhappy. Often others will not see that an ESTJ is under this debilitating stress, as this personality type often has a fear of showing these emotions. When an ESTJ chooses to restrain these emotions, it is common for them to have an eruption of emotion. Some resources and remedies which ESTJs have said assist with these stress induced outbursts are; finding someone to talk to, spending some time alone to recover composure, and participating in physical activities.


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Learn More About the MBTI ESTJ Personality Type

Explore additional information that delves deeper into the ESTJ Personality Type by examining various personality and career based subjects:

Click on a link below to read more about different MBTI Personality Types


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All College-based information was taken from the following publication: (Ditiberio and Hammer, 1993, CPP Inc.)

In the Grip. Understanding Type, Stress, and The Inferior Function (Quenk, N. 2000. CPP)