Tell us about two achievements (one as a leader and one as a team member) that you are most proud of, and why you feel that to be so. (400 word limit)
Figure 200 words or so for each. If you do this correctly, the reader should get the sense that you value each of these experiences… the same. Why? Because, presumably, your commitment to EACH objective (in one case as a leader, and in another case as a team member) was in service of ACHIEVING A DESIRED OUTCOME. It’s not about vanity, and valuing the “leader” role above the “team member” role. It’s about valuing “achieving the goal” versus “not achieving the goal.” And whatever your contribution to achieving it is… is what motivates you. If you can sell that, you’re golden.
When talking about leadership roles, in the context of things you are most proud of, be sure to focus on the right stuff, once again. Don’t focus on the size of the achievement. Or the achievement itself. To be proud of something, and for that to stick, there needs to be some aspect of it that was UNEXPECTED or UNUSUAL in some way, that made it noteworthy. Did you take a risk where others would not have? Did you try something unusual that others hadn’t thought of? Were you able to persuade others where other leaders in your shoes had failed? Those are examples of unusual/unexpected things that would justify being proud of an achievement. Otherwise, simply to achieve something that’s more or less expected of a leader, and to be proud of it … isn’t all that exciting.
Similarly, when discussing an experience as a team member that led to success, that you’re proud of, apply that same test. Was there something you did that was unexpected or unusual in some way? Did you make a sacrifice that was atypical? Did you extend yourself in a way that others wouldn’t have? What was it YOU did that was unusual or unexpected? If you can’t answer that, there’s a chance you haven’t found the best example to discuss yet. Do some hard thinking here.
You can also read through our team’s analysis of the rest of NTU’s application essays.
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