numbersloth

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Clubs at my college are honestly not taken seriously and I worry that my leadership position may be sucking time out of other activities I could be doing such as volunteering, shadowing, and/or research. How much do club leadership positions really matter to adcoms?

Some detail: I'm president of a health-related organization that holds alumni panels and brings in lecturers. I feel like the work doesn't justify the amount of students who show up to events and I feel like I would rather put time into something else.
 
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LizzyM

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That is not the only type of leadership and it isn't highly valued. I have seen leadership exhibited by leaders of campus performing arts groups (handling performance scheduling and travel arrangements), athletic captains, and students organizing and training fellow students for alumni events on campus and similar activities (freshman orientation & move-in day, etc).
 

ChymeofPassion

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I've always felt college clubs are very similar to hs clubs; 9/10 times a huge waste of time, mostly just a source of free pizza every Tuesday.
 
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Pagan FutureDoc

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It's going to matter far more what you did and how you can talk about it than what offices you've held. Adcoms are aware a lot of college clubs are pretty much jokes and the president just assigns who brings the snacks next week
 
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Spr1ngrolls

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Save your time, build your own organization, do something meaningful to you personally. College clubs, as mentioned previously, are basically like highschool clubs
 

freedoctor17

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I wouldn't totally agree with these other posts, yes some are useless and people use them to build up resumes but there are many that do a lot of good. I'm part of a service oriented club on my campus and I feel like it's doing a lot of good (food related). If you feel like it's a waste of time though then you shouldn't waste your time. Find something that you enjoy.

Also even being an RA or a TA (if you're not just grading papers) can be considered leadership depending on your responsibilities and how you talk about it.
 
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LizzyM

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I wouldn't totally agree with these other posts, yes some are useless and people use them to build up resumes but there are many that do a lot of good. I'm part of a service oriented club on my campus and I feel like it's doing a lot of good (food related). If you feel like it's a waste of time though then you shouldn't waste your time. Find something that you enjoy.
A club that serves as an interest group for pre-meds, chem majors, a specific ethnic group, etc is different than a club with a service mission in the larger community (gleaning food for the needy, mentoring young kids, etc).
Also even being an RA or a TA (if you're not just grading papers) can be considered leadership depending on your responsibilities and how you talk about it.
Being a TA or RA is not leadership unless you are directing other TAs or RAs. Think of leadership as service within a peer group that is working toward a goal set by the group. Being a peer health educator would be a leadership role.
 

Turkishking

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A club that serves as an interest group for pre-meds, chem majors, a specific ethnic group, etc is different than a club with a service mission in the larger community (gleaning food for the needy, mentoring young kids, etc).

Being a TA or RA is not leadership unless you are directing other TAs or RAs. Think of leadership as service within a peer group that is working toward a goal set by the group. Being a peer health educator would be a leadership role.
What about a leadership position as a hospital volunteer
 

Dr. Meliodas

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A club that serves as an interest group for pre-meds, chem majors, a specific ethnic group, etc is different than a club with a service mission in the larger community (gleaning food for the needy, mentoring young kids, etc).

Being a TA or RA is not leadership unless you are directing other TAs or RAs. Think of leadership as service within a peer group that is working toward a goal set by the group. Being a peer health educator would be a leadership role.
As an RA you do serve leadership role and are responsible for the residents in which you
A club that serves as an interest group for pre-meds, chem majors, a specific ethnic group, etc is different than a club with a service mission in the larger community (gleaning food for the needy, mentoring young kids, etc).

Being a TA or RA is not leadership unless you are directing other TAs or RAs. Think of leadership as service within a peer group that is working toward a goal set by the group. Being a peer health educator would be a leadership role.
Many TA's hold office hours, and teach one or two sessions a week in a classroom setting. So does teaching not count as leadership experience?
 

LizzyM

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As an RA you do serve leadership role and are responsible for the residents in which you
RA = Resident Assistant , okay, you could call that leadership.
RA = Research Assistant, not so much.
Many TA's hold office hours, and teach one or two sessions a week in a classroom setting. So does teaching not count as leadership experience?
Teaching is not leadership. In fact, AMCAS has a separate tag in the experience section for "teaching/tutoring". Would teaching 3rd grade or 10th grade be leadership?? No, but being the assistant principal or chair of the science department in a HS might be leadership of the teaching staff. Get it?
What about a leadership position as a hospital volunteer
If you are supervising or training other volunteers, then you might call that leadership. That's a different ballgame than being president of the college chemistry club and organizing speakers to talk about careers and advances in chemistry.
 

Goro

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What the wise LizzyM is trying to say is that when it comes to leadership, get off campus and out of your comfort zones, and do something directed for helping people in need.
 
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If you are supervising or training other volunteers, then you might call that leadership. That's a different ballgame than being president of the college chemistry club and organizing speakers to talk about careers and advances in chemistry.
Would that be true of employment as well, if you are are supervising or coordinating a team? Would adcoms frown on "double dipping" if you discuss an aspect of your volunteering or job as leadership to the effect of:

"I am a graduate research assistant/hospice volunteer/EMT... also I manage undergrads in our lab/train newer volunteers/supervise other EMTs" etc.?
 
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CloverBale

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Why don't you make your own club and see how far you can take it? I started a club and it was awesome! Created our own campus newspaper, held charities, organized trips, and even made t-shirts! I was only there for less than a year since I transferred, but it was an amazing time and I made great friends.
 

LizzyM

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Would that be true of employment as well, if you are are supervising or coordinating a team? Would adcoms frown on "double dipping" if you discuss an aspect of your volunteering or job as leadership to the effect of:

"I am a graduate research assistant/hospice volunteer/EMT... also I manage undergrads in our lab/train newer volunteers/supervise other EMTs" etc.?
You can always describe leadership in an activity that is labeled "research" or "employment" or "volunteer" and that will be taken into account. Some people will tag "leadership" for a separate, distinct activity that was separate hours and descriptions from other listings.
 

lancecorpsman

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RA = Resident Assistant , okay, you could call that leadership.
RA = Research Assistant, not so much.

Teaching is not leadership. In fact, AMCAS has a separate tag in the experience section for "teaching/tutoring". Would teaching 3rd grade or 10th grade be leadership?? No, but being the assistant principal or chair of the science department in a HS might be leadership of the teaching staff. Get it?

If you are supervising or training other volunteers, then you might call that leadership. That's a different ballgame than being president of the college chemistry club and organizing speakers to talk about careers and advances in chemistry.
Does being a youth football coach count as a leadership position?
 

Goro

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LizzyM

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Non clinical volunteering, and no, it's not leadership in my book.
I concur. It is not leadership unless the players are your age (e.g. you are captain of the college football team). It would be non-clinical volunteering or maybe employment if you do it as part of a work assignment in a parks department or school.
 

Dr. Stalker

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Clubs at my college are honestly not taken seriously and I worry that my leadership position may be sucking time out of other activities I could be doing such as volunteering, shadowing, and/or research. How much do club leadership positions really matter to adcoms?

Some detail: I'm president of a health-related organization that holds alumni panels and brings in lecturers. I feel like the work doesn't justify the amount of students who show up to events and I feel like I would rather put time into something else.
They serve as discussion points during medical school interviews. "I see you're president of this club and a founder. What made you want to form it? How do you think it helped contribute to campus life?"

They don't win interviews or dramatically impact the interview invitation process.

Disclaimer: Just a pre-med applying (or rather, re-re-applying lol)
 
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freedoctor17

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A club that serves as an interest group for pre-meds, chem majors, a specific ethnic group, etc is different than a club with a service mission in the larger community (gleaning food for the needy, mentoring young kids, etc).

Being a TA or RA is not leadership unless you are directing other TAs or RAs. Think of leadership as service within a peer group that is working toward a goal set by the group. Being a peer health educator would be a leadership role.
Really? So as a TA I lead sessions of around 20 students twice a week where I make worksheets for them reviewing the material and review specific concepts from lecture so I always thought of it as leadership.

So would med schools not look at that as leadership since I'm not leading my own peers?
 

freedoctor17

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Oh my bad didn't see all the other responses, that makes sense thanks for the clarification! And I meant resident assistant lol. Also I said TA because it's more known but the position I have is actually SI Leader (supplemental instruction leader) so I guess I assumed since leader was in the title it was a leadership position lol.

And yes club I was referring to involves collecting food around campus and neighboring areas and getting it to food kitchens/serving to homeless. Didn't mean random premed clubs or anything. Me and another person share the responsibility of leading this club so I guess we'd be copresidents? I have no idea how the application looks so thought that would be more of a service though it sounds like I could use that as a leadership position.
 
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ciestar

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Really? So as a TA I lead sessions of around 20 students twice a week where I make worksheets for them reviewing the material and review specific concepts from lecture so I always thought of it as leadership.

So would med schools not look at that as leadership since I'm not leading my own peers?
It more properly is counted as teaching, so no. They separate it on AMCAS for a reason.
 
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freedoctor17

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It more properly is counted as teaching, so no. They separate it on AMCAS for a reason.
Yeah my bad didn't see the previous responses until after I posted. Definitely good to know all this though as I'll be applying this upcoming cycle and wasn't aware of all this. Thanks!
 
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ciestar

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Yeah my bad didn't see the previous responses until after I posted. Definitely good to know all this though as I'll be applying this upcoming cycle and wasn't aware of all this. Thanks!
You can definitely spin leadership into it depending on what your specific role is, though! Thats where your activities descriptions come into play.
 

Meticulouslykiwi

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A club that serves as an interest group for pre-meds, chem majors, a specific ethnic group, etc is different than a club with a service mission in the larger community (gleaning food for the needy, mentoring young kids, etc).

Being a TA or RA is not leadership unless you are directing other TAs or RAs. Think of leadership as service within a peer group that is working toward a goal set by the group. Being a peer health educator would be a leadership role.
Would you say that founding a club that's aimed to mentor high school students is a leadership experience?
 

Meticulouslykiwi

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I think so. Even more important if you continued to lead it after founding.
I came up with the idea junior year because of some personal struggles throughout high school and because of the community needs around my uni. However, this club hasn't been a thing until this past month (long story). I'm now a senior and will be graduating in a couple months, so I'll only be able to lead it for a semester :(. But the rest of the group members are underclassmen (because I want this club to have a lasting impact on the community, so I specifically chose underclassmen for the executive board).
 

LizzyM

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If you are leading your peers, it is a leadership experience.
 
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