• The site has been updated!

    If you see any bugs, please report them in this thread.

How much do club leadership positions matter?

numbersloth

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 26, 2015
461
171
166
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.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
15+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
25,504
43,369
326
Status (Visible)
  1. Academic Administration
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).
 
  • Like
Reactions: 3 users

ChymeofPassion

Full Member
5+ Year Member
May 26, 2016
1,342
3,377
176
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student (Accepted)
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.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 5 users
About the Ads

Pagan FutureDoc

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Oct 28, 2015
1,063
1,529
176
Status (Visible)
  1. MD/PhD Student
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
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

freedoctor17

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Sep 7, 2016
2,279
2,340
91
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
  2. Medical Student (Accepted)
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.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
15+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
25,504
43,369
326
Status (Visible)
  1. Academic Administration
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.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

Turkishking

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Jul 15, 2015
2,446
1,215
141
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
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

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Aug 24, 2017
831
830
91
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student (Accepted)
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

the evil queen of numbers
15+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
25,504
43,369
326
Status (Visible)
  1. Academic Administration
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.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 4 users

ReapPremed

Full Member
Jul 23, 2017
220
219
41
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
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.?
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
About the Ads

CloverBale

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Apr 7, 2016
678
2,267
91
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
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

the evil queen of numbers
15+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
25,504
43,369
326
Status (Visible)
  1. Academic Administration
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

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Jul 11, 2016
60
55
81
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
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?
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
15+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
25,504
43,369
326
Status (Visible)
  1. Academic Administration
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.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

Dr. Stalker

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Sep 11, 2014
1,609
1,743
176
Itchy and Scratchy Land
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
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)
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

freedoctor17

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Sep 7, 2016
2,279
2,340
91
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
  2. Medical Student (Accepted)
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

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Sep 7, 2016
2,279
2,340
91
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
  2. Medical Student (Accepted)
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.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

ciestar

All grown up!
7+ Year Member
Sep 18, 2013
8,052
11,343
226
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
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.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

freedoctor17

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Sep 7, 2016
2,279
2,340
91
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
  2. Medical Student (Accepted)
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!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

ciestar

All grown up!
7+ Year Member
Sep 18, 2013
8,052
11,343
226
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
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

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Jul 13, 2016
81
10
136
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
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

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Jul 13, 2016
81
10
136
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
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).
 
About the Ads
This thread is more than 1 year old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.