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Leadership Essay for Chevening Scholarship
I do believe leadership is simply a set of skills in which every one of us can obtain through disciplinary actions and learning processes. Whether it requires to lead a powerful organization or to drive a small teamwork towards greater success, as long as we inspire the team to stay motivated, we become an effective leader. Driven with this perspective, I continually seek for opportunities to develop and demonstrate my leadership throughout my academic life and professional career.
During my junior year at college, I made a big decision to be a captain for my department's soccer team for the first time. I believe it was a golden chance for me to improve my leadership skills through this role. However, leading this team to challenge in the competition was tough for me because we had adversity and arguments within the group. What's more, everyone was getting busy with their classes, school assignment, and homework so that we hardly found our time for training and practices. Therefore, what I did as a leader was to encourage the players to learn to make a commitment to actively participate our weekend's training. As the result, our team performance was initially smooth that our team won than losing and went through to the semi-final. At this round, we did not win and were kicked out from the champion, but we proudly satisfied with better record of our runner-up for the first time in our history. It was all because we believed we could do it as team to change the record, and we committed to training, prepared ourselves, and seek for assistant to improve and achieve it.
It, then, motivated me to expose myself in social activities and contribution services in my community. Because education and youth empowerment are my great passion, I have recently joined an International Platform TED Talks as a Volunteer Subtitle Translator to help bridge the gap of language barrier of Cambodian people to reach out to inspirational messages, innovative ideas, and broader knowledge as well as practical skills from around the world. In addition to bringing such resourceful, oversea platform to my local community, I have also joined the Fulbright Undergraduate State Alumni Association (FUSAAC) in helping young high school students to have access to quality education, youth capacity building, and cross-cultural understanding. As a Volunteer Program Coordinator, I cooperatively work with my team to organize a series of development programs and events to engage and help youth find jobs and careers that they are passionate about and enable them to positively contribute to society and reach their full potential.
Besides these opportunities, I always pursue to demonstrate and improve my leadership in my professional work. As an Assistant Project Coordinator under The Institute of Environmental Rehabilitation and Conservation (ERECON), I work towards managing and ensuring effective coordination on technical training and workshops and I also lead the interns and junior staff in data collection from local farmers. I noticed the team seemed to struggle during the interview with farmers individually, regarding to their illiteracy and understanding, but everyone pretended that everything was fine. So, I decided to invite them to address the issues and figure out better approach for effective interview to gain accurate information. In the meeting, we firstly came up to conduct the survey with small group of farmers, but it did not work out and the response was repeated because the farmers tended to follow others' opinions. Eventually, we gathered again and the solution was to simplify our questionnaires so that farmers are able to answer independently with a little support our team. The result was beyond our expectation that we could finish the survey earlier and all the information we got was precisely responsive. We were so happy and proud to have done such a good job as a team.
These experience have shaped not only my team, but me personally to actually understand I could empower the people around if I am just willing to get out to do something about it for a better change. My neighbors in the small village of remote province in Cambodia has started to encourage their children to go to school because they see the achievements and difference that a normal person, like me, grow up through education.