SBC Scoop: Leveraging Extracurriculars for Leadership

*Please note that no client details are ever shared in SBC Scoop or otherwise without complete sign off from client.

In this tough global economy promotions can be hard to come by. To show leadership without clear career progression, look to your extracurricular activities. If you have been involved in an activity as a member, think about taking on a leadership role. This is your opportunity to demonstrate that you can run a project and motivate a team.

Our client George was concerned that he had no demonstrated title changes through his four years at a defense contracting company. Because he worked in an engineering function increase in responsibility was marked by a raise instead of a title increase. George was concerned that though he was well respected at work and had demonstrated increasing skills over time, there was nothing he could indicate on his resume. To address this deficit in proof of his leadership, we took a look at what George did outside of work to see if there was an opportunity for greater leadership.

George had been involved in an annual charity bike ride for the past five years. He was dedicated to the mission of the organization, which raised money to provide medical care for autistic children. George had a personal connection to the organization because his younger brother had autism. It seemed like the right fit for George to become more involved. We suggested that he volunteer to lead the coordination of the next ride. George stepped up to manage the next event. His responsibilities included the recruitment of volunteers to assist the day of and coordination of the vendors and collection of funds. George’s leadership of the team ultimately helped to increase the amount raised in the ride by 14%.

With this experience George was able to write a strong leadership essay for each of his target schools. Along with his strong academics, career skills, and recommendations this demonstration of leadership helped him gain admission to MIT Sloan.

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