4 years ago
Admissions Advice

words of encouragement and do jobs count as leadership positions?

Hey, I just found out that I didn't get a leadership position in student council for my junior year.. I was sad and disappointed but do leadership positions matter? I saw that leadership positions count as Academic teams (math team, debate club, etc.), community service/volunteering, Employment (after school jobs, internships, etc.), Peer tutoring/advising, Publications (school newspaper, literary magazine, yearbook, etc.) and Student government.

Do jobs count as leadership positions? My jobs are the following:

Tutor - 2 kids, one third grader and one fourth grader- 2 hours each weekday during the school year; teach math, Spanish, reading and social studies

DJ Light assistant - during the weekends - long hours

- Are my jobs good enough for leadership positions and good to apply to Princeton? Or should I get one in school clubs?


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Accepted Answer
4 years ago[edited]

Hi! First of all, I'm sorry to hear about your news. But please please please don't feel discouraged! Being in student council, while it might seem like a pretty good thing to write on your resume, is not a requirement for getting into an elite college. In my opinion, I don't think being elected into student council or not can reflect your abilities accurately. Even though there would be speeches and campaigns, the result is still more or less dependent on your popularity and your social skills. Again, this is just my opinion and it is based on my school's student council election procedure so please don't feel offended. I'm sure you can still get into your dream university if you work hard and aim in the right direction. If you're a rising junior, then absolutely apply again next year. Just because you didn't get elected this year doesn't mean you won't next year! Look at the current president/vice president's campaigning strategies and their speeches and try to figure out what might have caught people's eye. Then, work on making yours more attractive next year. If you are not part of the student council, you can still find other ways to take on leadership positions. Remember leadership is not limited to being the president, vice president, etc. You can be a normal student and still take on leadership positions to make changes. For example, you can become the president of other clubs and organize some new events. If you are close to the librarians at your school, you might be able to organize some book swaps, etc. You could also help bring up new ideas in student council meetings (if your school allows students to participate in their meetings) and help them with organizing it. These are all examples of leadership! If you actually look around, there are lots of opportunities to take on leadership roles.

Some jobs, but not all do count as leadership positions. Of the two that you've mentioned above, I think tutoring would count as one, but not the second one. Being a DJ assistant would still be a good thing to mention in your application essays or interview though. Since you work long hours on weekends, you could talk about how this teaches you better time management as you have to maintain a balance between schoolwork and job. If you want to apply for Princeton, I would say maybe try to take on more leadership roles if you feel comfortable. However, if you are more introverted and prefer to work alone, don't force yourself too much. Leadership experience is a good thing to have, but not necessarily the most important thing. You can still participate in individual competitions like AMC, and win awards. National or international level awards tend to be taken as important as, if not more important than leadership experience. My ultimate advice for you is to do something you're passionate about, something you won't regret doing even if it didn't help with your college app and you will be fine. Passion would lead you to try hard and become who you want to be. This would be able to provide you with more than simply doing something that you don't care about.

Hope this helps :)

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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


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