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I'm filling out an internship application, but it asks me why I should be chosen to become a Leader in their team (its a leadership internship), and honestly I've never really held a leadership position. I've been a member of the band, cheer, and basketball team, and I've had two jobs so far, but I've never been anything that important. I don't know if I should tell them I've never held a position like that, but would like to experience it for the first time, or just think a bit more deeply about a time I've actually had a small role of leadership, but I can't think of any. Please help? 

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Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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There may be ways in which you have been a leader without really having thought of yourself that way.  Do you have any younger siblings whom you have led in one way or another?  Perhaps you have been a role model for them or planned their activities.  You might be a leader amongst your friends.  If you are the person who makes the plans and suggestions that they follow, that is leadership, too.  If your friends rely upon you for good advice, that is another facet of leadership.  Another possibility is that you have done some volunteer work in which you have had a leadership role, perhaps for a religious or community organization. If you have helped plan, organize, or otherwise manage a volunteer activity, for instance, a teen activity, a church supper, or fund-raiser, you have been a leader.  Remember that leadership is not simply a matter of telling others what to do. It is also a matter of inspiring and guiding others.  Most of us are called upon to be followers and leaders in our lives, and my guess is you have done some leading without even realizing it. 

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rgideon | Student

You are on the right track on your application in terms of thinking of specific examples. However, you might want to consider the larger picture.

What qualities of leadership do you have? Your extracurricular activities and jobs can be used described as assets if you think of your experience with them in leadership terms. For example, you might be able to say, "I'm a team player." "I learned about the importance of working together as a team in band, cheer, and on the basketball court." Then, you could give examples. This may or may not be true of you, but I am giving you an example of a leadership trait to help you think in terms of your strengths. 

One could think of many leadership traits learned in sports such as: strategy, hard work/grit, knowing the importance of preparation. This may help you think more deeply about your work. Ultimately, it's a personal answer. Remember these tips:

1) You want to describe what qualities you have that might make you stand out from the crowd. You always want to back up these assertions with examples. 

2) You want to talk about how your leadership qualities relate to the particular program to which you are applying.

Good luck on your application.