PIQ Prompt #1 :Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes or contributed to group efforts over time.
The UC schools look for aspiring leaders who don’t just express their interests on paper, but have actively taken initiatives in their chosen fields. When answering this question, keep in mind that a leadership experience does not have to be literal. One of the misconceptions about this prompt is that you have to have a certain leadership title like” President” or “Captain” to write it. It can be more than just a position in a club, or on a team. UC admissions officers look for how you have fostered mentorship, creative tension, and group action. Reflect instead on how you have changed your community, school, or a student group. It’s your impact that matters most, and that should rightfully stay the main focus of your essay.
You can even think smaller scale with leadership and consider how you’ve influenced your inner circle. Think about your family. Do you have siblings that you look after? maybe you're a great example for your little brother and that's a way that you show leadership: you show him how to be a better person. Show how you have gained from these experiences, and explain how you can contribute to the UC campuses. Admissions officers want to see aspects of your life that hold meaning to you and convey new, impressive information about you. So what matters is how you frame the leadership role.
If you do have a leadership position, make sure you do more than just describe. Ask yourself questions like :What did you do in your captain role that was different? How did you grow as a person? What challenges did you face and how did you overcome those? What did you learn from your experiences? What actions did you take and how did those difficulties make you stronger? Try to not just repeat your activities list description, but instead reach a bit deeper, depth is better than broad.
Stay tuned for our next tip on how to tackle PIQ Prompt #2!