How do Colleges View “Leadership” in Your Activities?
Updated: Nov 23, 2020
Colleges look for evidence that you’ve been involved in the world outside of the classroom- whether it’s sports, volunteering, clubs, or jobs, what they want to see is that you’re engaged in the world around you and demonstrate some leadership qualities.
But, is there such a thing as too much leadership? Consider the points below:
Quality Is More Important Than Quantity
It’s better to have just a few extracurricular activities that you’ve been committed to than a long list with only short term involvement.
Holding Elected Positions
Holding elected positions is certainly looked upon favorably, but holding numerous offices in a long list of activities can sometimes lead to questions:
Are you being honest?
Did you allow for other people to share in leadership roles?
Are you motivated more by the title than the activity itself?
It’s better to highlight those roles that have meant the most to you than to list each and every title held.
Have your grades suffered while holding leadership positions?
Putting extracurricular activities ahead of your academics will generally not work to your advantage.
Other Ways of Providing Leadership
“Leadership” isn’t always defined by an elected role. Spearheading a project independently, picking up where others have left off in order to complete a job, active involvement in an activity – these are all signs of leadership as well.
If you have been holding paid jobs, leadership can also be defined by the responsibility you have been trusted with. Working with customers, running a cash register, taking inventory – these are all important roles.
Not A Leader?
Finally, not everyone is cut out to be a “leader”. If you prefer to be involved in the background in supportive roles, there is nothing wrong with that.
Once again, showing commitment to a few activities even as a regular member is preferable to no involvement at all.