Do I Need To Find More Ways to Show Leadership?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by querencia, Apr 30, 2019.

  1. querencia

    querencia New Member

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    I'm trying to apply for Class of 2024 right now. Academically, I know I'm completely fine. Athletically, I play football and wrestle. I was a member of class council this last year (though I'm not signed up for this coming year) and am a member of National Honor Society.

    I'm confident in all areas of my application except for the leadership portion. I'm just not familiar enough with what is wanted or looked for and how different things are weighted. I've done a few volunteer things where I've had a leadership role, but not really an official position which one of my congressional applications asks for.

    My football team doesn't have captains, so I think I'd just need to talk to my coach and see if he'd be okay with me putting myself as a captain/team leader. With wrestling, I was not a captain this last year but I believe my coach would agree that I was a team leader and odds are that I will be a captain this coming year. I was also elected as National Honor Society president.

    I've done various things like mentoring a freshman and being a coach for a youth football camp. Both are leadership roles, but I don't have an officer title or anything to put down.

    Is this a solid leadership resume or should I try to find more?
     
  2. Falcon A

    Falcon A Member

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    Check with your guidance counselor about being selected to attend Boys State (google it for your state)
    Leadership points comes from being an officer in a club and/or a team Captain. Not just a participant.
    Elected NHS President is very good.
    Volunteer is good ... You will have to explain it in the remarks section.
    Also good if you organize a charity event (5K run), create Some community service event, etc.
     
    bopper likes this.
  3. Skipper07

    Skipper07 Member

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    The most important part of leadership is being able to articulate what you have done, not what positions you hold. I was asked in three interviews (NROTC, BGO, nominations) to explain a situation where I was required to be a leader. Sure, I had a bunch of positions on my resume, but I really don’t think any of my interviewers cared.
     
  4. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    +1 to Skipper. It's what you do with the leadership positions you hold that matters. How did you improve the organization. What changes did you make to help it function better. What major organizational goals were accomplished and how did your leadership contribute.
     
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  5. Skipper07

    Skipper07 Member

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    Who did you mentor? Even if they weren’t accomplished, how were your goals laid out and communicated? How did you develop yourself while in a leadership role?

    Potential interview questions and things to think about as you pursue real readership opportunities:
    How would your peers describe you? What are your shortcomings as a leader? What is the most important trait of a leader?

    Like you alluded to, you don’t always need a title to be a leader. Perhaps you organized a pick up league, coached, or taught siblings/neighbors something.
     
  6. OldRetSWO

    OldRetSWO USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs 5-Year Member

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    When I'm interviewing candidates and they report being a team captain, I will ALWAYS ask that they did as team captain. If you want to impress/make a positive impact on me then
    have something beyond "I lead warmup exercises and I counsel young members of the team. I've had candidates who got their High School soccer team members into a local mens/women's/AAU league so they were practicing as a group throughout the summer. Lots of Cross Country captains pull together group runs/training that start before school lets out for the summer. Football captains who organize running and lifting through the summer, etc.
    If your team does not have official captains, nothing stops you from organizing the things I just described which you can then explain to interviewers.
     
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  7. 5centsmom

    5centsmom Member

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    Agree with OldRetSWO. DS ran practices without coaches and every day had to begin the warm-up practice because his two XC coaches had jobs and couldn’t make it there or in time. I didn’t see this come out in interviews of course, so no idea if DS got to toot his own horn about it. But being a leader isn’t the title, it’s the thought process and action. Talk to coaches and teammates to see what needs problem solving and see what you can do. Talk to your college advisor about what you’re doing. And good luck!
     
  8. survive

    survive Member

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    I would suggest to really think about who you ask to write your letters of recommendation. Since my DS practically did the entire application process himself (my only involvement was taking him to the MD appts) I don't know what are the requirements. But if the person writes about your leadership skills and activities (not necessarily a title) then I would expect that to give your leadership aspect an even a higher boost. Good luck to you.
     
  9. querencia

    querencia New Member

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    Thanks for all of the feedback. The insight to the interviews was very helpful. I definitely have a clearer idea of what I can explain and what I can do in the future.
     
  10. dol-amroth

    dol-amroth USAFA '22

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    Probably beating a dead horse, since most of the above posters hit on it, but action always trumps titles. Having one or two serious leadership positions and being able to tell of specific ways or instances in which you lead will be much more impressive than having a laundry list of titles, positions and roles that functioned mostly on autopilot.
     
  11. bizzy1013

    bizzy1013 Member

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    In my school, we have alot of leadership positions that are popularity contests. Those positions are title only and looks good on a transcript.

    In my case, I did something in my community and it caused me to stand out in my district. Consider starting a charity that you can work with a non-profit. There are hundreds of worthy causes that need leadership and it would show that you can lead, as well as other great attributes.

    My point is that look beyond your school and church. YOU can impact your community by leading in something unique.