In cultivating a class, many top colleges and universities look for students with diverse skillsets. Whether they’re football players, tennis stars or violinists, each brings talents and skillsets that will fill the void made by departing students. Among the many qualities that students will bring with them to college, the ability to lead individuals, groups or organizations is also critical to contributing to a dynamic living and learning environment.
The ways in which colleges and universities look for leaders are implicitly and explicitly stated in the application where they ask for you to list your extracurricular activities, your role in them and how much time you have devoted to them. As you list your scholastic involvement, don’t list everything you’ve been involved in. Seek only to list 4-5 quality experiences that mean the most to you. The simplest way to determine this is to look at what occupies a lot of your time. Usually, what you spend a lot of time doing over the course of two to three years represents a level of care, commitment, and dedication, which are essential building blocks to leadership positions. Thus, the capacity in which you lead must be demonstrated over time and articulated accordingly as President, Vice Present, Treasurer, etc. However, leadership goes beyond titles. What matters most is the way you have led because how you have inspired others to act is what differentiates and defines your leadership qualities.
Another way in which colleges and universities look to identify students with demonstrated leadership skills is through honors and awards you may have received, both in school and outside of school. This recognizes that you are a leader in the classroom as well as in your extra-curricular activities. It corroborates and demonstrates with great consistency that you’re an all-around leader no matter the venue.
Your demonstrated leadership experience matters to colleges and universities. They specifically look to admit and enroll students who are passionate about what they do and are willing to offer him/her a seat in the class for their continued commitment to effectively lead on their campus and beyond. To some extent, some colleges or universities select and recognize students who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership skills with a scholarship. So, stay the course.