University of California Personal Insight Question 1 Back to all templates
Section 1

This response gives you the opportunity to highlight a specific experience to demonstrate your leadership qualities. Leadership qualities translate to your ability to contribute to the UC college community and take on responsibilities and roles within your department. 


Do: Focus on only one specific example. Your space is limited. 

Do: Remember that leadership does not need to have a title. Your leadership experience can be formal or informal. Ideas include mentoring others, organizing events or managing projects. 

Do: Include details about your responsibilities. 


Don’t: Make a list of multiple leadership experiences.

Don’t: Write about wanting to be a leader

Don’t: Write only about an award you received. Focus on actions you took to earn the award.

To see an example, click on the Sample icon on the left

Talk about your specific Leadership Role

Starting Sentence Option 1: Through my leadership experience at [name of organization, program or company,] I learned several [important/profound/lasting] [life lessons/skills.] My official title was [name your role,] which included [briefly describe your main responsibilities or tasks.]


Starting Sentence Option 2: My role as [name your role] at [name of organization, program or company] provided me with valuable leadership experience. I was given the main [responsibility/task] of [briefly describe responsibility or task.]


Section 2

Consider the impact of your role on other individuals, on a team, on an event or a project as a whole. How did your participation change the outcome or influence the situation? In this section, you describe the outcome of your involvement. 


Do: Explain at least one concrete example of your leadership’s impact.

Do: Focus on positive examples only.


Don’t: Use abstract examples such as “inspired others” or “made people happy.” Focus on concrete experiences. 

Don’t: Focus only on yourself. Rather, be sure to explain how your role affected the bigger picture. 

To see an example, click on the Sample icon on the left

Describe the Impact of your Role

Starting Sentence Option 1: My leadership role contributed mainly to the [briefly describe what or who your role supported.] Additionally, I participated in [describe other projects or tasks your contributions supported.]


Starting Sentence Option 2: Through this role, I was able to impact the [briefly describe what or who your role supported.] Further, my contributions supported [describe other projects or tasks your role supported.]

Section 3

This section is a reflection on how your experience changed your perspective on leadership in general. Tie your personal experience to your ideas about what o-strong=" leadership is and how you can apply what you’ve learned to future situations.


Do: Link your experience with your ideas about good leadership in general. 

Do: Mention at least one specific “kernel of wisdom” you took from the experience. It may even be something you’d change about your role. 


Don’t: Continue to list your achievements. This section is about personal reflection.

Don’t: Reflect negatively on your experience. Maintain a positive, goal-oriented attitude.

To see an icon, click on the Sample icon on the left


Takeaway and Self-Reflection on Leadership

This role allowed me to reflect on the [qualities/power/influence] of o-strong=" leadership. I learned that good leadership requires [(choose one or more:)organization/perseverance/vigilance/creativity/kindness/planning.]. Based on what I learned, I believe I am now better equipped to make leadership decisions and contribute back to the community and campus by [talk about what you can do].

You May Also Like