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Question about "leadership activities" in school.

Uniquee1Uniquee1 11 replies9 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
I often see, in my school and online, people with like 4, 5, or even 6 different leadership position in school clubs and plenty are presidents/VP.

I know the traditional way of showing leadership skills is becoming all these presidents and VP and whatnot in school clubs, but I was wondering if T10 schools will understand if my demonstration of leadership qualities are mostly outside of school. In school, I am only the president of 1 club (not a major club either) + the director of an honor society. But outside of school, I founded my own nonprofit and coordinated events that have had a huge impact in my state and got featured on the news. I also started my own LLC that involves plenty of what the Ivies call "leadership qualities". I spend upwards of 40 hours/week on my nonprofit + LLC so I don't have the time to get become presidents/VP of other school clubs. Any insight into this situation?
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Replies to: Question about "leadership activities" in school.

  • mikemacmikemac 10333 replies150 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 18
    I was wondering if T10 schools will understand if my demonstration of leadership qualities are mostly outside of school.
    Yes.

    There is no requirement for ECs to be sponsored or related to your HS. Adcoms know that a lot of HS clubs are fluff and the "leadership" positions don't really mean much. At T10 schools they are looking past titles; they want to see actual leadership. As Stanford says
    Students often assume our primary concern is the number of activities in which a student participates. In fact, an exceptional depth of experience in one or two activities may demonstrate your passion more than minimal participation in five or six clubs.
    Your outside activity sounds a lot more impressive than someone who lists officer positions at a laundry list of HS clubs.
    edited September 18
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  • 4gsmom4gsmom 735 replies26 threadsRegistered User Member
    I was at a Tufts event last night with my daughter and the AO said they aren't always looking for leaders - what would a campus be like with only kids who want to be in charge? Someone has to be the "worker bee." (my words there, not hers.) They want to see dedication and heavy involvement as much as leadership.
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  • socaldad2002socaldad2002 1433 replies29 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    According to one Dean of Admissions at a Top 10 college we talked with recently, they are looking for leadership + IMPACT. Looks like you have it:

    "I founded my own nonprofit and coordinated events that have had a huge impact in my state and got featured on the news."
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34123 replies377 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Just be aware they aren't looking for another non profit or LLC, either

    And I don't see where OP describes these entities or *what* they do.

    What impact are you assuming? Based on a media report? Adcoms don't assume.
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  • bopperbopper 14067 replies100 threadsForum Champion CWRU Forum Champion
    Leadership
    When I was a senior in HS, I was a 4 yr Varsity soccer goalie. The coach picked captains, and it wasn't me. I was mildly disappointed. In College, they started a Women's varsity soccer team (this was way back). I helped recruit players, I showed players kicking techniques. Not because I was trying to get anything out of it for myself, but because I wanted our team to succeed. I was named Captain. Then I was ready...I was showing leadership.

    Leadership can be President of a club or Captain of the Team or Section Leader in Band. But it can also be:
    -Student involved in ethnic community center for years and then is asked to teach little kids
    -Actual officer in a club
    -Watched his little brother after school and encouraged parents to sign up brother for sports team and took him to practice
    -Within a club, organized an activity for that club
    -Led a community service activity
    -Lead singer of a band - sings, chooses set list, organizes transportation for other members
    -Summer Camp counselor
    -Boy Scout Eagle Award/Girl Scout Gold Award
    -EMT Cadet
    -Boys State/Girls State
    -Tutors others
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34123 replies377 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 19
    Leadership is about one's thinking, not some list of "titles." Need to remeber the Ivies and their sisters are holistic- not hierarchical.

    It can be shown with NO titles, at all. Impact matters, in ways relevant to adcoms, not so much whom else it impresses. It's how one chooses to stretch, how they balance. That starts with peers, with the needy around you. It's not president of the pie club.

    Working with little kids is nice, shelving books is free effort, but not generally stretch, often not improving anything. Similarly, we have CC kids whose Eagle or Gold awards are easy projects, not reaching out of their own boxes, at all. And don't mix true leadership with the idea that your actions need to be based on "passions." If anything, kids who can do good without a title or honor often show more perspective.

    You want to sit back and think about the more you could do. Not be limited about titles or awards.
    edited September 19
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  • Uniquee1Uniquee1 11 replies9 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited September 19
    Hi. Sorry, I didn't specify enough for my nonprofit.
    We work to provide underfunded schools with the funds to buy things they can't afford like textbooks etc. We also hold seminars/workshops with other nonprofits to promote/generation interest in STEM among children.
    When I say impact, I mean: We raised thousands of dollars (all of which were donated). We donated a lot of textbooks, partnered with many organizations and helped over 10,000 students in both my state and two surrounding states. I will put this in the description of my activity so AOs will understand.

    As for my LLC, I am a freelance writer and I specialize in science/tech topics. I also earned thousands of dollars (exact amount I have to calculate) in profit. I have been published/featured on huge international platforms and my articles have hundreds of thousands of views/reads. My work was also translated to German by a foreign editor who thought my piece was very good. Finally, I published my own book just recently as a personal endeavor and not really for college.
    edited September 19
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