Many of what colleges are evaluating in applications is students' future leadership potential: it will fuel their contributions to the campus community. For applicants thinking about their interviews and college essays, here is some food for thought on the subject.


  1. In this 6-minute TED talk, learn why leadership doesn’t have to be about changing the world.
  2. Here’s another short (& funny) take on the type of leader that gets a movement off the ground.
  3. What is your particular style of leadership? Read this article for a glimpse into six types.
  4. Leaders draw on the idealism of followers, for good…or not. Check out this half-hour podcast.


Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively in influenced others, helped resolve disputes, or contributed to group efforts over time.

Please describe a time in your life (academic, co-curricular, or otherwise) where you had to collaborate to accomplish more than you could alone.

Describe a time when you made a meaningful contribution to others in which the greater good was your focus. Discuss the challenges and rewards of making your contribution.

You have the funding for your own start-up or organization. What will you launch and why?

For one week in January, students upend the traditional classroom hierarchy and teach classes about any topic they love, academic or otherwise. What would you teach that would contribute to the community?