1. Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes, or contributed to group efforts over time.
Having always conceptualized myself as a natural born leader, however arrogrant that may be inferred, I have always feverishly hurdled towards any opportunity to take on roles of leadership wherever they may present themselves. Stressing this point, it is of little surprise to my friends, family, peers and colleagues that when the President of the Philosophy Club at LAVC transferred after Spring 2017, I was more then elated to fill the position. Sporting an extensive collection of political and philosophical literature, many of the discussion topics that I prepared for the club meetings have been works from my own personal library. With this intimate level of familitarity with the books being discussed, it was easy for me to call on people and even ask them deep questions about the text. And in my efforts to positively influence the members of my club, I made it my sworn duty to take the most introverted club members and call upon them to speak at every meeting. There is a great beautiful sense of emotional nakedness that comes with public speaking, and everyone should be made to feel naked sometimes. There is an awesome sense of personal growth that comes with public speaking, and some of our most introverted club members come to every single meeting. What does this tell us? That obviously these introverts like being forced out of their shell. Too often no one tries to hear what they have to say because it’s too much work to get them to talk. But at the Philosophy Club I have built a social environment, an atmosphere in which the frequently non-vocal will find their voice.
2. Every person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways: problem solving, original and innovative thinking, and artistically, to name a few. Describe how you express your creative side.
Public speaking has taught me how to magically connect with anyone. Public speaking has taught me the psychology of self-motivation. Public speaking has helped me to understand the importance and the productivity of failure. As failure is the only truly objective form of constructive critictism. Public speaking has taught me the importance of how one broadcasts themselves. Public speaking is unequivocally without contest my greatest skill as it has served me in countless facets of my life. In my professional endeavors, sales work has always suited my personality quite well. Over time I learned to stop selling the products in which I was pushing, and I learned to sell the only product that any salesmen in the history of the world has ever sold, and that product was thyself. And through this lesson, I learned the most important public speaking tactic of all, delivery is more important then content. This is true of politics. This is true of performance art. And this is especially true of sales. In my stand-up comedy, my delivery of a joke is what makes or breaks it. As President, when I’m leading a Philosophy Club discussion, the way in which I lecture the given topic determines how well I maintain the focus and enthrallment of the club members. It doesn’t matter if the content itself is interesting, if the presentation is laxadaisacal and utterly mundane, wrecked boredom will surely follow. In my High School debate tournaments, it didn’t matter how politically unsophiscated and factually bankrupt my arguments were, at the end of the day the judges remembered my vigor and vitality, my energy and my enthusiam, more then they remembered my opponent’s statistics and cited sources.
3. What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time?
Stand-up comedy is the greatest art form there is. Because it has done so much to damage my fragile ego. It has humbled me and wounded me in the most painful ways. But it has been a constructive pain. The kind of pain that leaves you stronger in the aftermath. An innumberable amount of bad five minute sets and a sea of failed punch-lines on that comedy onstage has given me a resilience that I didn’t know I had. It has challenged me to keep marching forward in the face of adversity. It has challenged me to ignore the worst parts of my subconscious which tell me that I’m not good enough. Stand-up comedy has taught me that there are two types of pain. There is pain that exists for the sake of pain. That’s the first type of pain. The second type is the one that helps you grow. The kind of pain that teaches you that you are stronger then you ever knew you were. As human beings, our artwork is how we express what’s in our hearts, and a great comedian is not afraid to get their heartbroken. And all the comedians that we all know as household names have had their hearts broken, time and time again. And the scariest part about comedy is that even when you’ve gotten good at it, you’re still going to have nights where you bomb. And that is what grounds me and terrifies me and keeps my pride and my narcissism in check. A stand-up comic is always at the mercy of the crowd, and at the end of the day, you are their court jester and you feed hungrily off of their fleeting approval, and that in itself requires great humility. And after 3 years of doing stand-up comedy since graduating High School and turning 18, I can confidently say that my short time as a comedian has given me some of the best parts of myself.
4. Please describe how you have prepared for your intended major, including your readiness to succeed in your upper-division courses once you enroll at the university.
I will be graduating from LAVC with my Associates Degree in History. I have taken most of the history classes that Los Angeles Valley College has to offer. Which has made me exceptionally qualified to help my friends at LAVC with their coursework, essays and exam studying if they just so happen to be taking a history class. And since many of my friends are History Majors, I find myself being quite useful quite often.
Throughout my community college career, I’ve organized various study groups. Sometimes if its a subject I’m not as familiar with, someone else can lead the study sessions but for the history class groups and other social science classes, I took a leadership role. The most recent example being when I took my History 11 course this summer. I organized a study group. It was actually more perfect then it would have been if I had taken it during the spring semester or fall semester because summer classes meet everyday, Monday through Thursday. With this structure, the entire group met every single day afterclass to review the material, work on our coursework and with an exam once a week, study vigorously and quiz one another.
But forming a History 11 study group was not an isolated incident. Before this past summer session, I formed a study group in my Anthropology 111 class in the spring semester. My love of history translates into a passion for many of the social sciences. And although my peers may have grown tired of it, during exam weeks, I drilled them like a marine sergeant. There were five of us in the study group. The three ladies in our group ended the class with A’s, while the two gentlemen (which includes myself) in our group ended the class with B’s. No one walked away from that study group with anything less then an 85% in the class.
I’m sure your University offers many tutoring services and I’m sure your students are quick to form study groups. This is the criteria of a good student. One who contributes back to his community, his college and his fellow peers by enriching university life. And forming study groups enriches the social environment of the campus.
And a good student who enriches campus life is the one who doesn’t wait for others to form study groups so that they can tag along. A good student puts his best foot forward, and organizes his peers into a productive cohesive body with a shared purpose. I know that as a history major and as someone who has a great passion for the social sciences, I will put my best foot forward and I will form study groups and organize my peers into a productive cohesive body with a shared purpose.
I am a student who has formed study groups, taken on leadership roles for clubs on campus and I even ran (unsuccessfully) for student body to serve in the Associated Student Union.