The MBTI® ESFJ and College

The ESFJ (Extraverted-Sensing-Feeling-Judging) Personality Type often excels at positioning others for composure and serenity. They are typically favored by others, conversational, and wholeheartedly undoubting that an individual can overcome rough times by working together as a team. They are known to be masterful at channeling their energy in order to make this a reality. This strength lies in their often innate, uncanny ability to observe small details in order to make people feel appreciated and comfortable. Additionally, many ESFJs embrace what is sensible and circumspect. Individuals who report as an ESFJ are often natural hosts and hostesses who enjoy the supervision of functions. ESFJs are usually passionate about their involvement in campus groups, often acting as a leader, and enjoy attending activities with classmates. Additionally, with roommates, ESFJs commonly will work diligently to ease complications because this personality type most often prefers harmonious environments. ESFJs may even find it hard to relax until everything is settled and their tasks have been completed. Additionally, it is common for them to enjoy working in the best interests of others.

Learning Styles and Being Studious

Most ESFJs learn best by being encouraged and acknowledged. This personality type often favors studying in organized groups where students support each other and collaborate toward a shared objective. Camaraderie is very important to ESFJs, especially when working in group or team settings, whereas they prefer to personalize their assignments with their fellow team members. Through planning and follow-through, they often achieve beyond expectations. They prefer harmony in their environment in order to concentrate, but they think best by verbalizing their thought processes out loud. Therefore, a harmonious and talkative environment where constructive conversations occur is optimal for ESFJs.

ESFJ Personality Types

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

Because of this, it is not surprising that many individuals with the ESFJ Personality Type have expressed that an environment with noise accompaniment will enhance their studies. Students who assess as having a Judging preference most often have the inclination to build a framework for and systematically organize humanity. ESFJs have been known to map out their assignment schedule well in advance and work progressively in the direction of their aspirations. This personality type has been reported to absorb the most information when physical activity is integrated into their lesson. A hands-on experience, for instance, a nursing student volunteering at a hospital, will be beneficial for ESFJs. Typically studying for Sensing types is a technique for processing information. “They methodically work their way through the material, trying to memorize or incorporate as much as possible.” (Ditiberio and Hammer, 1993, CPP Inc.) The conceivable downside of this learning style is that an ESFJ may not see how the information connects or leads to a commonality. Having the ability to run through required material in order to prepare an outline will benefit ESFJs’ potential to find the relationship among the facts. Students with the Judging preference are known to be effective time managers who organize their tasks upon recipience and are often less stressed when they feel they are making continuous progress on their assignments. Most ESFJs express interest in the application of their learning to correspond with providing service to others.

Commonly, individuals who report as an ESFJ will prefer professors who incentivize class discussion. They have been known to be compelled to have a personal connection with their studies. For example, an ESFJ may relate past personal experiences to their current coursework.  Often, this personality type will want to meet the needs and wants of their instructors and maybe someone who “goes above and beyond” or is known as the “teacher’s pet.” Generally, ESFJs will want instructors who develop a personal rapport with students. This personality type has been known to instill a great deal of trust in their instructors and in the material as presented. As such, it is no surprise that an ESFJ will also prefer an instructor who executes clarity in their lectures and assigned coursework.  Individuals reporting as an ESFJ have stated to prefer traditional guidance for interpreting questions and have an effortless experience complying with instruction. However, this personality type will typically prefer organized instructors who illustrate their speculations and ideas with real-life examples. ESFJs have said they admire dependable professors who provide the possibility of independent achievement.

Reading and Writing

ESFJs have been known to exceed expectations, possibly due to their often-inherent planning and follow-through behavior. They often write first drafts with personalization, inscribing their values and using their five senses to add detail. “Students who prefer Sensing become aware of what is real—how things look, sound, feel, taste, or smell. Their senses tell them what is actually happening—the reality of a situation.” (Ditiberio and Hammer, 1993, CPP Inc. ) This personality type has been known to place their concentration on utilitarian issues based on the present. In order to create a well-rounded final draft, ESFJs can revise it by summarizing a general thesis, placing it in the beginning paragraph, and deleting references to personal beliefs and opinions. When reading, ESFJs have been known to memorize facts with ease and can easily find information to appreciate within the text. Additionally, it is common for ESFJs to be avid readers of self-help books when feeling stressed.

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

Write from experience                                                           Communicate personal viewpoint

Talk about the theme before writing                                   Enliven content with human examples

Leap into writing; outline later                                            Anticipate reader’s reaction

Take breaks for outer Stimulation                                      Writing guided by sense of flow and overall tone

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)

College Direction and Major Choice

ESFJs typically decide on their college major early on during their career planning stage. Most ESFJs have the inclination to find an occupation in people-orientated fields where they can serve others. Students who report the Feeling preference generally prefer to make decisions by considering what is most important to them or to other people. Additionally, ESFJs tend to make decisions and then advance to the next assignment or task due to their Judging preference. It is not abnormal for this personality type to seek out career counseling early in their occupational exploration. Once a decision has been made, it is common for them to progress through preorganized steps leading them to graduation systematically. Typically, this method of selection provides the individual with a well-defined perception of aspiration, yet may also include the drawback of limiting their possibility of alternative options. It is a common belief for many students to think they have to decide on their final career while still in college, but they do not. It is important for ESFJs to know that most people change not only their job but also their entire career several times during their life, and each position is a step in building the foundation of their possible dream careers.

Taking a college major assessment can greatly help an ESFJ figure out which people-orientated fields work best for them specifically.

ESFJs are frequently found focusing on:

  • Health Care
  • Teaching
  • Religious Service
  • Office Work
  • Community Service

Stress Management

Students who report with Extraverted Personality Types tend to focus on the outer world, so they pay attention to people and events in the external environment, not only being energized by them but also directing their own energy toward the outer world. In stressful environments, an ESFJ may be prone to absorb external tension and release it back into their outer world. “The most prominent stressor for an ESFJ is based on interpersonal conflict and lack of cooperation among co-workers and peers.” (Quenk, N. 2000. CPP) ESFJs can become noticeably stressed when they have insufficient time or resources to exceed expectations. Having last-minute additions to their assignment calendar, having an excessive course load, or a lack of control over their itinerary can be quite stressful for this personality type. ESFJs sometimes can have a tendency to have unrealistic expectations for others and have been known to be sensitive to indifference from individuals who do not keep up with their pace. It will be beneficial for ESFJs to avoid having expectations for individuals at the same high standards they may have for themselves.  In order to manage these stressors, ESFJs naturally rely on their family and friends for support. It can help an ESFJ to ask others what they may need before trying to help them instead of acting on what they believe to be needed. However, ESFJ Personality Types are known to use several outlets to manage their stress. “Some resources they have been known to use are positive thoughts, optimistic outlook. Philosophical or spiritual value systems, exercise, social supports, and expressed feelings.” (Quenk, N. 2000. CPP) Other stressors which this personality type has reported are confrontation, unexpected change, and criticism of their work. Many individuals who report as an ESFJ have said that when under a great deal of stress, it is helpful for them to withdraw from their studies or priorities and spend some time alone to collect themselves. Others have found attending a support group to discuss their issues externally has helped them to reconstruct the stressful situation into a rewarding experience.

Learn More About the MBTI ESFJ Personality Type

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

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


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)