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Non work Leadership in 3-4 months, anyone ? [#permalink]
25 May 2007, 10:12
I'm getting ready to apply for R1 08. But I just do NOT have any leadership experience on my resume (work or non work). My work conditions do not provide enough opportunity for gaining any leadership experience (I'm 27, spent ~2.5 years doing my MS and ~2.5 years at job) so I am looking forward to get some outside of work.
Merely joining some social-work/non profit orgs. does not really count, and I guess everyone has such stuff his resume.
Any suggestions from already admitted people/engineers who were in the same boat last year as to what can be done in these 3 - 4 months?
You don't need to be formally in charge to have leadership experience. Actually, a very valuable leadership experience is when you, as an analyst or any other "bottom of the pyramid" position, modify behaviours within the company or a group, create something new, propose some good idea or plan and help it come true by selling it internally, etc.
I'm afraid that when most people read leadership they automatically assume that it's limited to people who have formal authority over other people. But that's a fallacy, leadership can be exerted from any position within any organization.
I agree with Lepium, most schools are looking for examples that show leadership potential or leadership behavior. Most schools understand that at 27 and 28, most incoming students don't have leadership experience.
I have a friend at HBS (you know, the LEADERSHIP school) and she said that the majority of people she knew there did not have formal leadership positions when they applied.
Leadership is a quality. It is not a responsibility attached to a certain designation. Granted, leadership supposedly goes hand-in-hand with the job description as you move up the ladder, but you can display uniqueness and leadership irrespective of where you are in your career.
I am a 08 applicant and have heard others obsessing way too much about XC and volunteering.(Very similar to the obsession that some GMATers have for probability). I remember some good advice given by a former gmat clubber who is now in Wharton with a 20% scholarship to boot. His profile was the typical Indian profile. IIT, Good GMAT, IT background etc. His post is worth reading in full, so I am not quoting any sections of his post.
I agree with the general views in this thread, but feel compelled to comment....
1. To the OP: If there's something that you are genuinely passionate about, and would do it anyway (without the MBA apps on the horizon), then do so. If you're just planning on it for the sake of having some EC on your resume, you're a) doing yourself a dis-service and b) grossly underestimating the ability of the adcoms to see through this ploy.
2. In response to the example of the Indian IT stereotype getting into Wharton: You don't really know if Wharton selected him because of his non-formal leadership role or despite it All I'm saying is, sure, if you can demonstrate leadership potential without having been in a formal role, that's great (and I'm sure that there are many budding leaders here ), but if you're already been promoted to it, and have gotten there ahead of senior members based on merit and potential, it gives you a solid base for your leadership essay - you have just that little less to prove, and just that little more to set you apart.