Mar 5, 2010
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So I'm in my second semester Junior year, applying for medical schools in two months. I led a study from freshman year first semester lasting maybe 20 hours total. I've played soccer my whole life and have been the captain/organizer of an intramural team every semester and one summer since my freshman year. I have also been mentoring a freshman who works at my lab doing research. Next year I plan on being a biology undergrad TA and a board member of the pre-med club that I have been in for the past 3 years. None of my current leadership activities seem very substantial. Am I wrong? And will next year's commitments be enough to give me at least average leadership experience if I don't get accepted this year?
 
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bravofleet4

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there's just a checklist of things you want to have on your application to cover all your bases and this includes things like hobbies/interests, research, leadership, clinical experience, community service, traveling abroad, teaching, and etc. however, you don't need all these things to have a decent application. it's really more about the big picture. being a science TA is nice but adding it wouldn't make much of a differerence if you've already impressively listed publishing a couple research papers. in that case, it would kind of get lost in your superb research background. overall, adcoms are looking for some sort of theme that interweaves the entire application that tells them what kind of person you are whether for example you are a humanitarian versus a research scientist. I'm not saying you can't be both but they're looking for coherence.

furthermore, a TA position and club leadership while above average is probably not significant enough to make or break you in any circumstance unless you had absolutely no EC's beforehand. By all means you should pursue these opportunities, but I'm just warning you that much more need to be improved as a reapplicant than just "leadership" experience.
 
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Consistent experience as soccer team captain is a reasonable listing for Leadership. The mentoring, I'd list under Teaching. TA is teaching also. Board membership is Leadership. If you end up reapplying, the latter two activities will be nice additions to your list of activities, but more important would be continued clinical experience and some nonmedical community service (if you need to prioritize). Any of them would also be excellent fodder for update letters and interview conversations, too.

You don't need an example of every category available on the pull-down menu to be competitive.
 

bannie22

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So I'm in my second semester Junior year, applying for medical schools in two months. I led a study from freshman year first semester lasting maybe 20 hours total. I've played soccer my whole life and have been the captain/organizer of an intramural team every semester and one summer since my freshman year. I have also been mentoring a freshman who works at my lab doing research. Next year I plan on being a biology undergrad TA and a board member of the pre-med club that I have been in for the past 3 years. None of my current leader activities seem very substantial. Am I wrong? And will next year's commitments be enough to give me at least average leadership experience if I don't get accepted this year?

Leadership is not an extremely impt component of an application.

I do not see any of your current or future activities as activities I would list as leadership under your application.

I listed my soccer exploits as hobbies even though I've been captain for my high school and vice-captain for my intramural teams. Intramural teams realllly dont take alot of organization... and sometimes the captains do nothing!!!

But maybe I just categorized it wrongly = ( too bad me.

If I were you, I would search for more substantive leadership experiences such as starting your own club, or working your way up an existing one.

Once again, leadership in small doses, as you have listed, is more than sufficient, unless of course you are aiming sky high ;)