Don’t let extreme ambition get in the way of your success

Post By: COYD Staff

college admissionsWhen a student says that they are willing to do whatever it takes to succeed, it doesn’t always come off as a positive statement anymore. More and more, the nation’s top colleges want to see ambition that is rooted by character in a prospective college student. With our economy in the worst recession since the Great Depression and the talk of corrupt practices in Wall Street as one of the causes, admissions officers are not just looking to admit applicants who are hard-working and ambitious. They are also looking for students who care about others, students who have a sense of purpose and vision and desire to contribute to society rather than bring it down.

Below are a few quotes from influential people who give us a good idea of what a leader looks like:

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” John C. Maxwell

“A good leader inspires other men and women with confidence. A great leader inspires them with confidence in themselves.” Reed Markham, American author

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
John Quincy Adams

The college admissions landscape is competitive. Some of the nation’s top colleges admit less than 10% of those who apply, so it’s not surprising that students adopt a competitive attitude. However, students that show an overly competitive nature can be a red flag for an admissions officer. An admissions officer’s job is to create a new freshmen class that will reflect well on the school. They don’t want to make the mistake of admitting the next Bernie Madoff.

In order to stay clear of looking like a “bad apple”, below are few things you should take into consideration when applying, particularly in your essay and interview.

1. Don’t put other people down to pump yourself up in your essay or interview.
2. Don’t talk about how competitive you are.
3. Talk about teamwork and helping others.
4. Exercise humility.
5. Don’t be a know-it-all.
6. Show your teachable side.
7. Know what is going on in your community and in the world.


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2 Responses to “Don’t let extreme ambition get in the way of your success”

  1. jack
    Jan 30., 2013 at 10:23 pm #

    “Talk about teamwork and helping others.”

    Don’t talk about it, DO it! Teamwork should come naturally, it’s not something that’s forced. Frankly we TALK about it too much. Just get together and do it, and have fun.


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