Leadership ideas

Later on this year I will be applying to major U.K companies for a year's work internship as part of my Marketing degree. I have been keeping an eye out for what sort of qualities they are all looking for and leadership is really important.

However, I do not have any leadership experience and when I have applied for committee positions (to get some experience) in my uni's societies I have been rejected for not already having leadership experience!

Does anyone have any suggestions on what I could do over the summer that could prove I have leadership potential and give an example of leadership for when I apply in Autumn?


  • Some of the gap year companies are brilliant for this, they take on youngsters for leadership roles as long as they are mature and have common sense. This is often tested during a weekend away rather then looking at things you don't have on a piece of paper.

     They normally have summer expeditions which would be perfect for you.

    Check out Raleigh, VSO etc or google for ideas.

  • What about helping out with juniors at a local running club, you'll need a CRB to take a group on your own but in the meantime you can help, the CRB won't cost anything as it's on a volunteer basis. Just because they're kids doesn't mean it's not leadership.


  • Or any club, scouts, youth clubs etc, i got virtually all the leadership skills I use now working with a sail training charity for youngsters in all my uni holidays - invaluable stuff

  • You just have to put yourseld out there and have a go.


  • @Josh

    I would suggest looking into what leadership really is and then seeing if you can find examples.  Leadership is more than just filling a position and it is more than just man mangement.  You dont necessarily have to have led a team in order to show leadership qualities.

     So for example I did an Ironman some years ago.  That involved me having a goal.  I could then further define that goal  -did I just aim to finish, did I want sub 10 hours, did I just want to beat a clubmate etc.

    Next was to understand what could stop me getting to the goal, what were the parameters -  eg was my swim good enough.  Did I have enough resouces (time, money, equipment etc).  What could I do to help me succeed - eg could I lose weight, how would that affect other subgoals

    That was enough for me to develop a rough plan which I believed would get me to my goal.  Then as I did the training I measured against the plan (ie control) so I could assess was the plan ok, did it need to be tweaked etc.

    During the time there was crisis management.  Dealing  with illness, dealing with bike crash.

    Coming up to the race I went through lot of what ifs.  So I made sure I had practised in the rain.  I practised fixing a puncture in the middle of an 80 mile ride.

    I think this gives me a reasonable case study where I can show I have exhibited leadership qualites.  Ok it doesnt show I can man manage, lead a team, communicate .  But realistically there are only so many of those roles available to college age people  -and they are not asking you to run things from day one.  If I can show awareness of the need for management skills that may be all I can do.

    So I would suggest understanding what leadership is about. Then looking at your own life experience to see if you can use personal examples (which dont have to be team based)  to demonstrate you understand  the principles and can show that you have acted as a leader.  If you cant think of anything and you cant get team captain type roles then  you could contruct a project for yourself over the summer which would give you the ammunition you need.

  • Josh, take a read  here .. one of many such articles (and just the first reasonable one I found in google). You can take and build on almost any of the traits or examples - and be ready with a good story/debate 'what is leadership' when asked.

    As Bos1 says, don't confuse leadership with 'man management' - many orgs ill be looking for vision and achievement or acknowledged expertise as signs of leadership. If you're doing marketing, you should have the skills to find some good examples & put a positive spin on them (or consider another career if not !)

    Also, have a drill into the culture of the companies, so you can engage and tune into what they are likely to mean by leadership. In marketing it's probably going to linked to being a self starter, good creative ideas, & influencing others to implement rather than leader of a scout group, uni club etc. 

  • MIght have already been covered but I know for a fact loads of kids football teams are folding because they cant get a manager, coach etc.  Then again the seasons nearly over.  You're meant to get coaching badges but there are ways around it I THINK, I know my old team got some guy who didnt but it might've changed since then.
  • Thanks for the help people!
  • Blue legs forever wrote (see)
    You're meant to get coaching badges but there are ways around it , I know my old team got some guy who didnt

    BLF - you don't mean Man City  & Mancini do you? Should we write to the Premier League?

  • Aaron, we don't close our eyes to spam either......so kindly feck orf image
  • popsiderpopsider ✭✭✭

    How about lying ?    You manage a football team in the intra university league, you were the editor of your 6th form magazine etc etc - loads of stuff you could make up which they will never check up on so long as you are able to bullshit a bit  about them.    

    Obviously actually doing stuff like helping scouts or a kids footy team is preferable  but they generally want extended commitment.   

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