Is leadership something I should work on?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Sutter93, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. Sutter93

    Sutter93 Member

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    I've seen people with impressive lists of extracurricular activities and leadership positions, and it made me wonder if I have to join more organizations in which I could demonstrate leadership.

    First of all, there is a club that I have been involved with since Freshman year, it's just an on campus school club. But I took an "officer" position Sophomore year as the club historian, and that may not sound like much, but I carried a lot of weight in handling club responsibilities, and I became president of that club this year. Our club adviser has seen how much work I've put in since Freshman year, and I am confident that he will write me a good recommendation, talking about my leadership abilities and potential, if I asked him to. The club was nearly dead my freshman year, but my friends and I put a lot of work into it build up a dedicated membership base, and we have accomplished a lot through community service and fundraisers ^_^.

    Also, my coach is making me captain of the girl's varsity soccer team.

    Various other clubs around campus, like NHS and CSF (California scholarship federation) the officer positions are traditionally given to seniors. I plan to take an officer position in both these clubs as well as becoming captain of the decathlon team my Senior year (next year).

    I guess it's somewhat of a quantity or quality thing and I was wondering if the admissions officer would care more about the quality of my leadership or the amount of leadership positions I've taken.

    From what I understand, something that goes into determining my leadership potential and abilities are the extra recommendation letters, which I plan to get from my coach and the club adviser, plus a lady who's organization I do a whole load of independent community service for.

    Should I stick with what I'm doing and planning to do, (take a leadership position in NHS, CSF, become captain of decathlon, captain of soccer team, and possibly stay an officer of the club) or should I join extra organizations outside of school and seek for leadership positions there?

    I also want to make it clear that I am very much not interested in "padding" up my resume, but I am just worried that my lack of leadership positions in sophomore and junior year would affect me negatively.
     
  2. Sutter93

    Sutter93 Member

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    Also, I was able to get in touch with one of my cousins or something from my father's side, and he was a USAFA graduate. He told me something about Civil Air Patrol a couple weeks ago. I believe there is a squadron near my area, though I'm not sure if they're still active, I would have to get my father to contact them. Does anyone have any idea how much it costs to be in such a program? My cousin told me, it costs "a lot" but I can't find anything that would give me an idea. Help?
     
  3. nick0094

    nick0094 Member

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    Um......you'll probably want to get a second opinion from someone more experienced on the site, but I think I know the answer so I'll try:

    The leadership you have looks good in my opinion, but if you can do more, I suppose it couldn't hurt. On the other hand, the Civil Air Patrol part I know the answer to because I'm a member (just found out I passed my promotion test!). The cost varies on the wing. I had to pay around $25 (yearly). But you'll have to check for your state. Here's a link with a list of all the dues: http://www.capmembers.com/cap_national_hq/member_services/membership_dues/index.cfm
     
  4. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    The best advice I can give you on clubs, extra curricular, etc... is: "Is it something you want to do?" In other words, don't join CAP because you think you are filling a square. Same with any other activity. CAP is no more important than the other activities. It's better if you are involved with an activity that you have a passion for. Ask yourself a very simple question. "If I wasn't applying to the Air Force Academy, would I be involved with this particular club, sport, activity?" If the answer is no, then don't join it.

    Just like you should be applying to the academy because it's something you're passionate about and not because someone else wants you to do it; because of the free education; because your parent(s) were in the military, etc.... Same with the activities. That's why there's an endless number of activities out there. Do what you want to do. If the air force academy really wanted everyone to be in CAP, JrROTC, Scouting, or anything else; they would have mentioned it on the application. The only thing they pretty much require, is athletics. And that's to demonstrate your ability to be physically fit. Other than that, none of the activities are more important than another. None give you a "Better Chance" of getting an appointment than another. Within these activities are the opportunities to excel and become a leader. You are demonstrating that. That is good. Just be true to yourself and be involved in the things you are passionate about. mike.....
     
  5. Sutter93

    Sutter93 Member

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    Thanks a lot, your replies were very reassuring to me!! By the way, CAP is something I want to do. My parents are telling me, "Oh you're a little too old now, what's the point". Well, I still want to do it, it sounds like a whole bunch of fun.

    And wow the rates don't seem bad at all. When my cousin told me it would be "a lot" I expected.. thousands or hundreds of dollars to join.


    Oh no, the website said dues were due in October, and I only learned about the program just a couple weeks ago. Is it too late to join it now?
     
  6. nick0094

    nick0094 Member

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    No, I doubt it's too late. You can join anytime. Just do the following:

    1. Find you local squadron with meeting times that are conveinent for you
    2. Sit in on a meeting to see if it's really something you want to do
    3. After you've sat in for three meetings, request an application
    4. Fill it out and get the squadron or wing commander to sign it
    5. Send it in with the appropriate membership dues; you'll receive a CAP binder with the materials you'll need to succeed in it.
    6. After that you'll be an official member of CAP
    7. Now just go to meetings and try to work your way up.

    Good luck.
     
  7. KveTina

    KveTina Member

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    Hi Sutter! I'm also a USAFA '15 hopeful. This is direcly from one of my USAFA pamphlets, under a section titled leadership preparation

    "Earn leadership positions in a few selected activities rather than being a member of many. Your athletic and nonathletic activities indicate your leadership potential, but quality of involvement means more than quantity of activities."

    So there you go, I hope that also helped. Good luck!
     

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