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LEADERSHIP versus leadership

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by dancer150, Dec 21, 2011.

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  1. dancer150

    dancer150 5+ Year Member

    Dec 8, 2011
    Hey everyone,

    I'm a new member of SDN, but as a pre-med student. I wanted to ask about leadership opportunities and people considered to be a good leadership position.

    What exactly qualifies as a LEADERSHIP position? Other than just taking care of meetings, I would hope that being a club or society leader could also be under this banner if it includes organizing events and advising other students with matters. But I've never really been in full understanding of what that means (other than captain of a sports team).

    Would you believe that this banner could include being an upper classmen adviser for freshman in undergrad? My college has a position where each adviser lives with 16 freshman the entire year, build their college experience (academic, lifestyle, anything really), handle the planning of their classes with their faculty advisers, and teach them college traditions. But perhaps most importantly upper classmen advisers are there for the freshman to talk about anything (depression, social conflicts, academic concerns), and are always used by the group.

    1. Would you guys consider this to be a significant leadership position?

    2. What are other leadership ECs that are noteworthy or even LEADERSHIP positions at all?
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  3. Shark7500

    Shark7500 Clairvoyant 5+ Year Member

    Jul 12, 2011
    There's a few really good posts detailing descriptions of excellent leadership positions. You should use the search function and read up; it'll be worth your time. Among them include positions like being the president of a fraternity, founder of a mid- to large- organization, or director of a large scale philanthropy or volunteer effort.

    As for your particular position: sure, I think it would count as a meaningful leadership experience. I think as long as you can talk about how you've been able to benefit others can explain how you've grown from it, then it's perfect.

    Though of course you shouldn't be taking up this position just as a resume booster. If you're going to have so much influence over 16 freshmen, you'd better make sure to actually put some time into it.
  4. scarshapedstar

    scarshapedstar MD c/o 2016 5+ Year Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Could also be a job. I was a head lifeguard and that worked very well for me at interviews. Entertaining "I was a leader when..." stories about mayhem and first aid were also a plus. :D
  5. dancer150

    dancer150 5+ Year Member

    Dec 8, 2011
    Thanks so much for the advice. I'm definitely continuing my searches.

    Oh, I definitely agree. I've wanted to take this adviser position since I was a freshman, but it was only when thinking of what qualified as "leadership" that made me want to ask.
  6. Narmerguy

    Narmerguy Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Jul 14, 2007
    It could be, but I think the best leadership shows an applicant taking charge of a group of their peers rather than being appointed to a position of leadership by professors/some department. The potential leadership ECs are endless. You could start an organization, you could start your own company, you could organize a major conference on campus, you could organize a major fundraising project, etc.

    People always seem intent on being a part of "clubs" to show leadership. Eh, think outside the box. Clubs are cool, but being able to show tangible results is also quite cool--"I raised $15,000 for a homeless vaccination event"/ "I organized a conference with 1000 attendants from around the state/ "I oversaw a company with $75,000 in revenue". This stuff makes people go, "Wow, he's a leader."
  7. nadaba

    nadaba 5+ Year Member

    May 25, 2010
    Clubs are pretty dumb. I guess if you have a burning passion for the subject of the club, it can work in your favor. So much of the time it's just painfully obvious resume padding.
  8. gettheleadout

    gettheleadout MS-3 Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Jun 22, 2010
    I would think starting one (assuming it's legit) would be thought to entail a bit more effort though...
  9. Catalystik

    Catalystik Providing herd protection SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Here are two of my favorite quotes on the subject:

  10. camshark

    camshark 2+ Year Member

    Apr 26, 2011
    I plan on organizing a blood drive at school and was a manager at McDonald's when I was 16 until age 18...I'm hoping those are some leadership activites
  11. gettheleadout

    gettheleadout MS-3 Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Jun 22, 2010
    I'm personally impressed you made manager at 16.
  12. camshark

    camshark 2+ Year Member

    Apr 26, 2011
    It was fun...then I moved for college and didn't transfer to new mcDs but maybe those 2 yrs will mean something haha
  13. Catalystik

    Catalystik Providing herd protection SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    The longevity was very good.
  14. Drogo

    Drogo hakuna matata 2+ Year Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    I think that seems like a genuine leadership role, taking on the mentoring of 16 freshmen could be a great experience and who knows you might stay in touch with these students even years from now.

    I've been pondering also what kind of leadership role I'd like to take on eventually. I've been really wanting to start a volunteer effort group mainly composed of Latino/Hispanic students (high school on through college) with a lack of direction and also composed of those who do have big career aspirations and are ready to serve the community(volunteer/mentorship type deal).

    There's a large Latino/Hispanic community in southwest Detroit which at times is only plagued with headlines involving murders, drug dealing, home invasions, arson, dumping, and gang violence.

    Being that I'm a first generation Mexican-American, I know starting something like this would really be something I could genuinely put my all in and the side benefits would only be secondary and only an after thought.

    I've been putting a lot of thought into this and any opinions would be greatly appreciated.

    Hopefully OP doesn't feel as if I'm trying to highjack the thread. Maybe others can get some ideas out of all of this..
  15. dancer150

    dancer150 5+ Year Member

    Dec 8, 2011
    That post was incredibly helpful, Catalystik; thank you so much for finding those.

    It seems as though my leadership positions play across several of those levels, but if anyone has any direction or advice, I would appreciate it.

    -I worked at soup kitchen all throughout high school, and now in college, I not only volunteer and donate food there every week, but I also organize a fundraiser. Though selling my own baked goods and dishes to students, professors, and off-campus families, I donate all of the money (totals to a couple thousand dollars every year) to the soup kitchen. I just recently expanded this to include my friends, so I wonder if I could full-fledged make this a club and then be a Level V?

    -I also have activities in the Level II-Level III variety. I am a board member for two health-related organization. Both positions involve planning fairs, speakers, multiple charity concerts/programs with on-campus groups, along with other fundraisers. I am also the head of the campus's Street Outreach program.

    -I am also the president of a very large (non-medical) club. The board has ~15 members, but the club consitutes over 100 students. We're more like a student organization (that works with administration as well), but we promote student safety at college events on weekends. I work with the school administration and Deans at regular meetings and talk about ideas of how to improve alcohol and social safety on campus.

    Does anyone think that this position could hold some merit?
  16. Sephiroth

    Sephiroth One-winged Angel 2+ Year Member

    Oct 15, 2011
    Yes, but at the same time, I've seen many people make their own student organization that has less than 10 people in it and accomplish very little, and it pretty much just looks like they made the group so they could all hold executive board positions. I would assume adcoms are looking for serious tangible production from the group and/or a large number of [active] members.
  17. gettheleadout

    gettheleadout MS-3 Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Jun 22, 2010
    Oh of course, I meant to imply that by "legit," but I can see how that wasn't specific enough at all. :laugh: :oops:
  18. ucsfstudents

    ucsfstudents 7+ Year Member

    Apr 6, 2009
    If you are in a position where you are leading a group of people toward a stated objective, you are in a leadership position. In general, the president of the organition is noted to have the most responsibility, and so would be looked at better than say the secretary of that organization. But it also does come down to what you do in that position. If you do nothing, and are just a place holder, that may or may not get noticed.

    It is better if the leadership position is well established or has some academic or societal impact. Those are just my thoughts and is nowhere near official. I've just been in very many leadership positions including creation of new organizations on campus, etc.

    One advice I was given as an undergrad was to leave some kind of legacy. If you are in a position to leave a legacy, as in a newly developed club or project or something like that, are successful in having it continue even when you are no longer there, then you've left a legacy. Ask yourself what your legacy at your school will be.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011
  19. Catalystik

    Catalystik Providing herd protection SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    I think you've listed a number of legitimate leadership roles. Just be sure that the description you write about each activity highlights your role and what you accomplished.

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