Appointment without Leadership?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Finnbarr, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. Finnbarr

    Finnbarr Member

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    I have my file open, and was told I am a competitive applicant.

    The thing is I really don't have any leadership positions/experience.
    I have a few extracurriculars, maybe a club or two, but no big leader positions. I may be fencing team captain next year (3yr varsity/letter), but that would only be decided in late December/Jan. I did attend Boys State, for whatever that matters.
    Sat: 2210, GPA ~3.7

    So am I really out of the running for admission? 60% of one's file is bases off academics, and only 30% leadership. Do I honestly have a good shot, or no?
     
  2. tiki

    tiki USMA 2015 Appointee

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    Well, I may not be the BEST person to ask, but after talking to my MALO and other people of the like, I can try to give you a little bit of input.

    I wouldn't count you out of the running, but I would definitely try to get a few leadership points in your senior year and update your candidate profile if/when that happens. You said you may be fencing team captain next year? Go for it! Being a team captain is a great point for leadership, and an area where I am lacking (my school doesn't have captains, for whatever reason).

    As you know, leadership is HUGE for WP. I have been Class Treasurer for all four years of high school and president of my school's German club for two years and my MALO STILL stressed that I run for any sort of leadership position when elections for my school's NHS come around.

    And although you may not think so, I think that Boys State counts towards leadership. I told my MALO and one other person I talked to about my attendence at Girls State and that seemed to help a bit.

    Don't count yourself out. Just try and get those leadership positions this upcoming year and update your profile once that happens.
    Hope I was a help.
     
  3. Ken2012

    Ken2012 Prospective

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    Boys State is an excellent program. I've heard it being compared to the Eagle Scout achievement with Scouts.
     
  4. Doctor D

    Doctor D Member

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    Finnbarr, you are not out of the running and if they said you are competitive you are in the running. The only thing you did not mention is, have you taken the SAT or ACT and what kind of score did you receive.

    Let me give you my son's stats and maybe you will see that you definitely can be in the running for an appointment.

    3.64 GPA
    SAT 2000
    Did not take ACt
    Did not belong to any clubs in school
    No school offices held
    One outside Charity
    Varsity Starter 4 years
    Captain two years
    Took a total of 7 AP classes, Got all 4 and one 5 on national AP exam. Rest honors courses.

    Advice , write good essays, get good recomendations from your Math, Chemstry, and English teachers. Get good recomendations from three outside sources, get everything in promptly and complete, and Pass you CFA.

    I hope this helps you and makes you feel better about your chances. My son is at West Point finishing up beast this week. Good luck.
     
  5. Iwheel

    Iwheel Parent of

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    They admit leaders,
    they also admit scholars.
    It is nice to have both, but sometimes they must compromise?
    Because in a modern warfare, knowledge is important.
    With 2210 SAT, you're running strong as a scholar.
    :thumb:
     
  6. BigNick

    BigNick Member

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    You have a very good academic and a week leadership record. Most strong candidates are varsity team captains of major sports and student council presidents etc Your Boy's State helps. You also do not have a strong athletic record. West Point is looking for an all-around person. You need to work hard on these areas. Run for offices in your school. Also play other varsity sports if possible.
    Do not be discouraged but realize where your record is weak and work hard in those areas.
     
  7. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    Phew!!!
    Took me about an hour to find this but I think it is worth it for Finnbarr to read.
    This was posted by USNA1985 several months ago about leadership.
    Pay special attention to the last paragraph.
    http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/showthread.php?t=11383

    As you have already noted, leadership potential is 30% of your Whole Candidate Evaluation and is the most difficult to measure and therefore the most subjective. USMA measures leadership potential is 3 ways: EC's, athletics, and faculty appraisal.

    EC'S: Boy's State is good - don't downplay that. You also mentioned that you are in a couple of clubs. Try to find a project that you would be passionate about that you could start within one or more of the clubs. You don't even have to do that within a club. You could do it on your own. Ex. If you love animals - volunteer at the local shelter. Start a fund raising project for the animals there. The people there will tell you what they need and could guide you in your project.
    Again, look at what USNA1985 wrote and especially the last paragraph.

    Athletics: If you do end up being captain of your fencing team then just update your file with an email to the admissions officer.

    Faculty Appraisal: In your SOE, the teacher is given the opportunity to rate and provide a subjective evaluation of you in an 11 question form. A teacher can note leadership potential here.

    We all know that sometimes (a lot of times) class leadership roles are popularity contests. Doesn't mean the winner is necessarily a great leader.
    In some schools, the captains of the sports teams are voted on by the players - again could just turn into a popularity contest.
    These situations can be frustrating.
    Create your own opportunities to showcase leadership potential by taking the initiative to do something on your own - something that you start.

    Note the I have emphasized the word 'potential' in this post.
    West Point looks for leadership potential.
    It is the world's premier leadership institution and once you are there you will learn, experience and practice leadership.
    If you think you have that potential, then forge ahead with your application and look for ways to showcase that potential.

    And congratulations on being deemed a Competitive Candidate! You have cleared the first hurdle on the road to an appointment!!!
     
  8. Finnbarr

    Finnbarr Member

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    Thank you for your replies. It is what you said, a popularity contest among elections, that usually puts me out of 'official leadership titles'.
    But that was an interesting article, and you gave me some helpful information that I will remember as I go through the next few months.

    *On another note: If my academics are up to par, and I am not given an appointment, would attending a college ROTC program for a year have any effect? I remember my regional commander saying that non-hs grads have their own applicant pool, which could help or hinder their application. I know a lot of those who attend college for a year and re apply are doing it because their grades/scores were not high enough.
     
  9. Iwheel

    Iwheel Parent of

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    You have to be liked by others. That is part of leadership, actually a pre-requisite for leadership.
    May want to find out why you're a "non-popular leader" and improve it.
     

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