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09/08/2019

How do i show leadership to an admissions officer?

QUESTION
How do i show leadership to an admissions officer?
I have my mind set on applying to Wharton ED but from what i have heard i don’t like my chances. I am currently 1/300 at my high school class and have taken all the hardest classes but my SAT’s are mediocre (math 710, CR 680, Reading 600) and I no activities that really stand out. (I am an officer of a club and play sports but so does everyone else). I guess it also doesn’t help that i am a middle class, white boy from the suburbs in Ohio.

I guess what I’m asking is for advice on how to showcase my leadership qualities. I believe I am a leader in the classroom where i get good grades and go beyond what is required of me every day. My senior year i am not even able to have a lunch so i can fit both AP Physics BC and Choir, both of which i am very dedicated to. I am willing to do anything to improve my chances before November 1st but I have run out of ideas. If anyone has any suggestions of what i could do or even what helped them get in it would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

ANSWER
My advice is to really spotlight a specific leadership experience in one of your essays. Do they still have the essay question regarding your autobiography? That’s your opportunity to illustrate your leadership experience beyond just a title in a list of accomplishments. Make it clear within the narrative the situation or challenge you faced and then the path you took to tackle it with emphasis on the characteristics that make you unique. For example, some lead by example, others lead by acting as a mediator, etc. I recommend featuring Choir as all Penn admits are leaders in the classroom and its a good example of working in a team (business folks LOVE teamwork). Perhaps you’ve taken initiative with a particularly difficult piece or made some extra sacrifices to support the group.

Echoing other posts, if possible, you may want to retake the SAT. While a low SAT school won’t keep you out of Wharton, the pool is a competitive one. If you don’t have the time, I wouldn’t sweat it. A good friend of mine throughout college had a SAT score in the 1300 range (pre-new SAT system) and still managed to kick my 1500+ butt in all of our finance classes. Good luck with your app!