We believe it is critical that your candidacy reflect the interests, experiences and pursuits that are most important to you. To this end, is there anything else you would like us to know?
"Why do you want to join this organization?" was the first question my counselor asked me in an interview for a leadership position in Link Crew. I began looking around the room, frantically searching for a response. Why would I want to spend a week of summer in leadership training, take the responsibility of coordinating the freshman orientation, and mentor students in advisory every week? After a period of awkward silence, I responded, "to give back to the school." I quickly regretted that answer; it was too cliche, too generic, and too impersonal. Fortunately, I was accepted into the organization despite my thoughtless response.
At orientation, I gave a welcome speech to a room full of freshmen, who all listened to me attentively except for one student, who was reading a book. During lunch break, I approached the student and asked him why he wasn't paying attention during my presentation. After some difficulty in starting a conversation, I found out that the student, named Kobe, spent all his time reading manga, Japanese comic books. He didn't want to come to orientation because he was afraid he'd be excluded by other students.
On the first day of school, I walked into the first Link Crew advisory meeting and handed Kobe a flyer for animé club, a group filled with students who, like him, love to read manga. A big smile appeared on his face, and he immediately agreed to join the club.
Interacting with Kobe prompted me to return to the interview question that gave me such a hard time. As a freshman who read about scientific experiments for enjoyment, I was just like Kobe, afraid of exclusion and judgement. My experience with the dilemma of social acceptance and individuality eventually led me to Link Crew. I take pride in helping students feel a sense of belonging in school, whether it's by enrolling in the chemistry club or participating in the theater crew. Ultimately, Kobe helped me answer that interview question: I want to join organizations such as Link Crew to encourage people to embrace their interests and find their true selves.