Posts Tagged ‘leadership roles’

How to Get a Leadership Role as a College Student

Categories: College Life

Just like in high school, having a leadership role that demonstrates your ability to manage others, take initiative, and hold numerous responsibilities is a great thing to have on your resume. If those leadership roles also have something to do with the job you want someday, that’s even better! But unlike high school, where your competition probably wasn’t too stiff and most people had an idea of who you were, in college, you might be up against many, many people, all with talents equal to or better than yours. Check out these tips on how to score a leadership role at your university.

Don’t Be Shy

While you might have gotten away with getting a leadership role in high school as the quiet type, that probably won’t work for you now. Here’s your chance to speak up. Introduce yourself to others. Provide your input often. Come up with ideas. Make yourself present. Networking is key, and if people recognize who you are, you have a far better chance at being elected into a leadership role.

Look for Roles that Make Sense

When deciding what leadership roles are available, look for ones that make sense. What is going to matter to your future employer? If you’re going to school to become a doctor, it will make much more sense for you to become the president of the biology club, or even a resident assistant, than the secretary of ski club. In addition, keep in mind that what makes sense may not always be what’s straight forward. As an accounting major, it would still make sense for you to be the treasurer of your river dance club because regardless of the subject, you’re still gaining experience managing money. Remember to ask yourself, what does this role say about me? If you can’t defend your reasoning, and it’s not simply a passion of yours (which is okay, too), move on.

Look for Roles in Many Places

When thinking about taking on a leadership role, you might immediately think of extra-curricular groups and organizations, but there are other places you could demonstrate leadership as well. Your residence hall likely has a student council. Your major likely has several influential positions linked to it. The organizations and groups in your college community probably have something to offer as well. There may even be something relating to your future career at a part time job off campus. Keep an open mind when looking for leadership roles as sometimes the best ones are a little harder to find!

Make Your Own

If you find you’re not elected into the positions you want, or nothing on campus is as beneficial as what your own mind can come up with, don’t be afraid to take on the ultimate leadership role and start something new! What better way to demonstrate leadership than to create your own club, organization, or event that interests you from the ground up?

3 Things Leadership Experience Can Demonstrate to a College Admissions Board

You know that having leadership roles on your resume looks good to potential colleges, but have you ever thought about why? After all, not everyone wants to be a leader. Not everyone wants to own their own business, supervise a team, or have authority over anyone else. So why is indicating leadership important on a college application? Here’s some of the reasons why your job as secretary of the photography club, or editor of the school newspaper can indicate you’re ready for college!

You Have Interests

If you’re acting in a leadership role for a club or organization, you probably have an interest in that area. You care about something enough that you’re taking time out of your life to fulfill that passion. As the secretary of the photography club, you want your voice to be heard when it comes to deciding on issues relating to your group. As the editor of the school newspaper, you care about the finished product.

College students are expected to have a passion for their field. They are expected to care about issues related to their future career. Sometimes they’re expected to have to sacrifice an afternoon game of football or a Saturday night dinner with friends for the sake of finishing up a major project. If you’re the leader of a club, you’ve got what it takes to pick a major that interests you and run with it.

You Can Handle An Intense Schedule

As a leader in high school, you know how to manage your time and balance your schedule. In addition to the hours spent at school, doing homework, and hanging out with friends, you have the responsibility of managing an after-school activity. You’ve taken on more work than the typical high school student.

In college, your classes will be at all different times. You’ll have more homework than you have now. In addition, nobody is going to make you go to class or do your homework. Your professors won’t tell you when to start studying for a test. Your parents won’t tell you when it’s time to eat. Your schedule and your workload are in your own hands. It’s up to you to make it work. If you’re managing a complicated schedule in high school, you’ll be more likely able to handle yourself well in college.

You Go Above and Beyond

By taking on a leadership role in high school, you’re doing more than you have to do as a high school student, because you want to. For one reason or another, you chose to take on more responsibilities and more work.

In college, it’s all about self-motivation. You don’t have to go to college. Your grades will be what you make them, and your career will be what you make it. If you’re willing to go above and beyond in high school, you show a lot of promise in college!

With that being said, leadership roles are not the only ways to get into college, nor are they a guarantee.


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How to Write About Your Leadership Roles on a Job Application or College Essay

“Describe any leadership roles you’ve held and the duties you’ve performed in your high school career. (200 words or less)”

Your fingers, which had been dancing across your key board at record pace as you cruise through your application, are suddenly motionless. 200 words? Are you kidding me? You couldn’t list all of the leadership roles you’ve held in that amount of space, let alone describe all of your responsibilities in complete sentences!

Being able to demonstrate the value of your experiences and duties is a very important skill you’ll need for the rest of your life. You may study abroad and be expected to give a fifteen minute presentation for your class when you return. Someday, you’ll be sitting at a job interview and will have to describe what you did at your last job.  While you could probably spend hours talking about your trip to England, and use your entire interview session to detail everything you accomplished at your previous job, there’s always a cap on how much you can write and how much time you can take. Check out these tips on how you can effectively depict your leadership roles and responsibilities to a college admissions board or future employer.

Determine What’s Relevant 

When you have a lot to talk about, start with what’s going to be the most impressive to the person reading your application. Which of your leadership roles will make the most sense to point out? If you’re an accounting major, it’s more important that you mention your position as treasurer of the economics club, than your role of head photographer for the yearbook club. While you’ll be inclined to write down everything you’ve ever done, sometimes less is more.

Determine What’s Recent

While winning your school’s writing award in 6th grade was awesome, it probably doesn’t have a place in your college/job application, even if it’s relevant to your major. The person reading your application is most concerned with your recent achievements. If you’re in high school, try to limit your application to your high school career. If you’re in college, limit your application to college.

Be Concise 

Practice writing and talking about your leadership roles. How can you explain the responsibilities of that role within a few sentences? You probably won’t be able to discuss all of your duties, so stick to what you did most often, and what was most impressive. You don’t need to write down everything you have ever done in that position.

Focus on the Facts

When you discuss your responsibilities, try to incorporate hard facts. Instead of saying you planned a walk to raise money for cancer, you can say you planned a walk for cancer in which 1,300 people attended, and $5,000 was raised. Instead of saying you started an improv comedy group, say you started an improv comedy group that now has 42 members, and has put on fifteen shows. Including the numbers when you describe your leadership duties allows for the reader to understand the magnitude of your accomplishments.


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