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Ticking Talking College Admissions - How my daughter got into her top school

Ticking Talking College Admissions - How my daughter got into her top school

Praveen Gadkari


Verlag BookBaby, 2024

ISBN 9798350938630 , 144 Seiten

Format ePUB

Kopierschutz frei


8,32 EUR

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Ticking Talking College Admissions - How my daughter got into her top school


Demonstrating Leadership

You must have heard on numerous occasions that colleges look for leadership experience, and they emphasize this as another way to differentiate you from the other student applicants. Let me start with something from Harry Potter and conclude with something from Hunger Games.

One of the best examples of leadership by Harry from the Harry Potter series is the Battle of Hogwarts. [Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Scholastic, 2007]. As the ultimate battle against Voldemort and his followers starts, Harry finds himself in a leadership position tasked with rallying his fellow students and teachers to fight against the dark forces. Harry rises to the occasion despite his youthful age and lack of leadership experience, demonstrating bold leadership qualities throughout the battle. Below are some examples of Harry’s leadership during the Battle of Hogwarts:

Leading by example: Harry inspires others to follow his lead and do their part in the battle by fighting on the front lines and demonstrating determination and bravery.

Taking risks: Harry shows that he is willing to put himself in danger to protect others and achieve their shared goals. He takes calculated risks during the battle, such as finding Helena Ravenclaw to destroy a Horcrux despite the battle already beginning around him.

Showing compassion: Despite the violence and chaos of the battle, Harry shows compassion and empathy towards Draco Malfoy after Darco’s friends try to kill him, Ron, and Hermione. He and his friends return to save Draco from a massive fire despite being enemies for a long time.

Making tough decisions: Harry makes decisions quickly and decisively, showing that he can think strategically and act under pressure. He faces several tough decisions during the battle, like sacrificing himself to Voldemort for the entire wizarding world.

Being strategic: Harry recognizes the importance of being competent in dire situations: he is vastly outnumbered in the forest by Voldemort after he sacrifices himself. He tells Narcissa Malfoy that her son, Draco, is still alive after the fire, and in turn, she tells everyone that he is dead so he can execute his plan. Others follow suit, like Neville sneaking up on the snake to kill it.

Harry’s leadership during the Battle of Hogwarts demonstrates his ability to rise and lead in difficult circumstances. He shows that leadership is not just about formal titles or positions but about the ability to inspire, encourage, and make tough decisions when it matters most. His leadership example is a powerful reminder that one can be a leader regardless of age or experience.

Given an opportunity, I would also emphasize leadership when evaluating applicants. It is truly inspiring to see students who have embraced leadership roles in their communities, schools, or extracurricular activities. By taking on these responsibilities, they demonstrate their capacity to inspire and motivate others while positively impacting them. Moreover, leadership experiences are a testament to the development of vital skills such as communication, problem-solving, and teamwork, which are fundamental for success in college and beyond. From my perspective, observing the growth and impact of these leadership experiences is genuinely remarkable.

When reviewing applications, colleges look for evidence of leadership in various contexts — serving as a sports team captain, leading a club or organization, volunteering in the community, or doing a leadership role in a part-time job or internship. They are also interested in hearing about students’ challenges while in a leadership role and how they overcame them.

They also recognize that not every student has had the opportunity to take on formal leadership roles. They value students who have demonstrated leadership qualities in other ways, such as academic achievements, personal experiences, or creative pursuits. Colleges are looking for evidence of leadership and a commitment to positively impacting the world.

Below are some general guidance on where to find more examples of college admissions officers discussing leadership or other topics.

One way to find examples discussing leadership is to search for articles or interviews with admissions officers in college or education publications. These publications often feature interviews or profiles of admissions officers, in which they discuss their approach to evaluating applications and what they look for in prospective students.

Another way to find these examples is to attend college fairs or information sessions, where admissions officers may speak about their institution and what they look for in applicants. These events provide opportunities to ask questions and engage with admissions officers directly.

Finally, many colleges and universities have blogs or social media accounts where admissions officers share information and insights about the admissions process. These posts may provide examples of how admissions officers evaluate leadership experience and what they consider strong examples of leadership in the application process.

The point is to demonstrate something tangible from your background. Let us begin by asking yourself the what and the how within this context.


The question is, what have you done to demonstrate leadership during your high school journey? Display what you have done in any area, within or outside the classroom.

  • Helping your teacher keep the classroom clean, tidy, and organized
  • Starting a club at your school
  • Starting a non-profit organization
  • Starting a for-profit organization
  • Organizing a charitable campaign
  • Mentoring someone
  • Holding executive positions in school or local clubs/organizations
  • Holding notable positions in extracurricular activities, ex, first chair in band or orchestra
  • Having decision-making positions in sports, ex, Captain of the soccer team


The question is, how have you demonstrated leadership during your high school journey? Demonstrate the impact you have had by quantifying the impact you have had by being in that position of significance.

  • Saved 50 hours of teacher’s time in a school year
  • Helped mentor 50 students
  • Honored 200 healthcare workers during the pandemic
  • Collected $5000 for a noble cause
  • Dedicated 100 hours training other band members
  • Dedicated 100 hours coaching a junior soccer team
  • Dedicated 100 hours tutoring other students

College admissions officers are looking for things that show leadership potential based on what you have done throughout high school. It is essential to display that you have done something noteworthy and the fact that it has had a positive impact on your classroom, your school, or your community. It is critical to display progression within a particular activity. What I mean by that is the growth you have achieved by pursuing that activity. For example, you were a student council member in your first year, a secretary of the student council in your sophomore year, a vice president of the student council in your junior year, and a student council president in your senior year. This gradual promotion demonstrates constant learning and improved maturity as you progress.

In my daughter’s case, she had started a baking business called iCake during the pandemic. She also spent many hours baking cupcakes and donating them to healthcare centers in our city, thereby honoring our healthcare heroes. She also used a website called to create a petition. I will share details of how she set it up to effect change in her community, just as one of the things she did to demonstrate leadership.

But before that, here is a little background. One of Aashika’s passions has been baking ever since she was little. Confinement during the pandemic allowed her to delve into this hobby even more. It was an accidental start of a baking business, encouraged by family and friends. The point is to follow your passion and keep doing whatever you enjoy because it will lead to something meaningful on your resume. You may or may not see it coming, but it will be worth the effort in the end.

You can use to bring about a change around you as a change agent, no matter how small it might seem. Their website on empowers people worldwide to initiate campaigns, mobilize supporters, and work with decision-makers to drive solutions. It teaches the best ways to gain support for your cause and make a change! They will take you through the step-by-step process from starting your petition to declaring victory.

  • Create your petition
  • Collect signatures
  • Build momentum
  • Reach out to the media.
  • Engage your Decision Maker
  • Declare petition victory!

They also provide steps to start a petition along with detailed tips to make your job easier:

  • Select the scope of your petition: Local, National, or Global.
  • What is the topic that...