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Lack of Leadership Experience = Very Bad Application?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by fuzzywuz, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. fuzzywuz

    fuzzywuz 5+ Year Member

    Jan 6, 2006
    Hey all,

    I'm currently a junior and plan on applying next year. My plan is to take a year off before starting med school.

    Anyway to make this post short, my main concern is my lack of leadership positions and experience. I've done mentoring, I have a job, and I volunteer. I am confident that I can show my commitment and passion for helping people in the things I do.

    However, when you ask me to list past leadership positions that I've held, I really can't come up with any. I'm worried about this because every time I speak with my premed advisor, she would ask me what leadership position I have taken. So far, I could name only one. She told me its not good and that it may be a little too late to try (because I'm a junior). She told me, just keep doing what I'm doing (get good grades, continue extracurricular, nail the MCATs and get good LORs). But I know that already...

    So now I'm just wondering iif people in my position have gotten acceptances into med school.

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  3. ordeliacay

    ordeliacay Member 2+ Year Member

    Aug 1, 2006
    i don't think you have to be president of some club or anything to demonstrate your ability to lead. have you taken initiative in any long term projects? have you made suggestions to that have led to improvements in your job/volunteer position? i think that schools want to see that you can think outside the box and assert yourself when necessary, and also that you work well with others, but i don't think it matters much if you've had an "official" leadership position. just take a creative look at the things you've accomplished, and i bet there's something that would qualify.
  4. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator 10+ Year Member

    Jul 23, 2004
    I wouldn't sweat it too much, fuzzywuz. I'd say about 80-90% of applicants' leadership experience consists of things like vice president of the chemistry club, or assistant to el jefe for their volunteer gig. This will not blow away anyone in admissions.

    Like ordeliacay says, look for things you've done that exhibit leadership qualities. It is never to late to start things like this. You may find a few with a bit of navel gazing.

    The lack of leadership thing is more of an issue for those who've had lots of real opportunity but never expressed an interest (older folks, folks in the military, etc.). For someone in your position, just make sure you have an answer to the question; don't worry if the answer isn't particularly compelling.
  5. somemaybedoc

    somemaybedoc ms0 7+ Year Member

    Jul 4, 2006
    I wouldn't worry about it too much it seems to be more o(f a plus than a prerequisite. Of course if you have some awesome leaderability thing like running MSF's Africa operations you'll get in no matter what, but don't worry about not being president of some random club just for the sake of applying.
  6. lilnoelle

    lilnoelle Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    I agree with the above. I felt this way during my application year, last year, during interviews I realized what they want to know is if you have displayed leadership qualities in your life, not that you were in charge of a club. For me, that was that I worked in fast food management for two years. I was asked about leadership positions, etc, and my response seemed satisfactory to the interviewers. Rather than emphasize positions held, I tried to emphasize who I am (of course tailoring to the leadership aspect) and what experiences do I have to prove that I'm not all talk. I talked about what was required at my job as far as leadership was concerned, and what I learned about leadership while I worked there.
    The best advice I can give is not to go join some groups, but rather search your soul and know yourself. If you are a leader, you have probably been displaying those qualities all along, they just need to be pinpointed.
  7. O Face

    O Face Ohh Ohh Ohh 2+ Year Member

    Mar 19, 2007
    I just flat out admitted I was a follower.
  8. fuzzywuz

    fuzzywuz 5+ Year Member

    Jan 6, 2006
    Hey great points you made there! The same goes for others! Thanks!
  9. samiam37

    samiam37 2+ Year Member

    Feb 2, 2007
    i was in a lot of organizations in college in which i had numerous leadership postions.
    during one of my interviewer brought up that i tend to spread myself too thin and want to involve myself in too many things, which may be a problem in med school.

    it was as if he made it out to be a bad thing..and he seemed worried about it !!

    i wouldn't worry too much about finding a way to get leadership experience. rather, it should come naturally and be in a club or job that you actually have a passion for.

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