Club leadership requires diligent work

Debunking the resume booster myth


Autumn Williams

NHS community service chair Isabel Motil (left) and general assembly member Mariko Hart (right) add details to a banner for the winter social on Dec. 6.

Contrary to popular belief, upperclassmen do not take on leadership positions for the sole purpose of padding their college resumes. Club officers actually dedicate a substantial amount of effort and time in order to run their organizations.

This “resume-boosting” theory regains traction every year during the college application season since many seniors worry that their extracurricular involvement will not impress universities. However, many seniors discover that colleges find titles of little importance in the grand scheme of things.

When evaluating the extracurricular section of the college application, the most prestigious universities prefer quality over quantity.

“[Applicants] are not getting extra points if [they] have more lines filled out on the extracurricular list,” said Mitch Salm, assistant director of admissions at the University of Chicago. “We are asking ourselves what was meaningful and is meaningful to the student.”

Thus, upperclassmen who serve on executive boards cannot simply exploit their leadership titles; they must genuinely exert effort into their organizations.

“I have to make agendas for executive board and general assembly meetings. I also have to make slides for general assembly meetings,” said National Honor Society president Deni Dimitrova. “I coordinate with the advisers and other executive board members to make sure everybody gets their stuff done.”

Club officers must dedicate time to their responsibilities. Senior Isabel Motil, secretary of clubs, such as Latin Honor Society and Dolphin Dash, spends a few hours preparing for any given meeting. Additionally, Operation Smile President Jondre Macaraeg must make arrangements to attend 10-day mission trips and conferences on top of preparing for monthly meetings.

Ultimately, these responsibilities require leaders to exhibit flexibility while running their organizations. Officers often redirect their plans because delegating and enforcing tasks to others presents challenges.

“You have to be very patient with everything because not everything is going to go [according] to plan,” said Jondre. “You have to figure out how to deal with [that].”

As evident by the serious commitment leaders make to their clubs, the idea of “resume-boosting” can be put to bed. Student leaders expend a significant amount of energy in carrying out their club responsibilities, so their roles cannot serve as mere application fillers. After spending hours planning events, arranging fundraisers, and speaking with sponsors and officers, they deserve gratitude, not pointed accusations.