The Global UGRAD Program is for young leaders committed to serving their home communities.
Why would you be a great participant in the Global UGRAD Program?
"And, kid, that's how I learned that a better life is earned," my dad said after telling me why we moved to Jakarta. Born and raised in a small village in North Sulawesi, my parents' dream was for their kids to earn a better education in a big city. However, after succeeding in pursuing it, my parents never wanted us to be rats fleeing a sinking ship. Therefore, I was built with the mentality to be proud of the culture of communities. I was engaged in an Angklung extracurricular in kindergarten, a traditional instrument from West Java, making it the first instrument I have ever learned. Fast forward to my senior year in high school, I led my Sociology group project by choreographing Si Patokaan, a folk song from my hometown. I was elated to perform this song because of the depth of its meaning. It is about a son who departed from his hometown to a big city to pursue success with the prayers of his parents.
Fast forward to college life, I have been contributing to several activities, all with the same goal: to serve and nurture people. Being a freshman during the exacerbation of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, I kicked off as a fundraising volunteer at Kita Bersama, a social-based community, to help people all over Indonesia who were financially impacted by the pandemic. I worked by raising awareness through my socials about the campaign and encouraging people to contribute to the charity. Submitted Rp 200.000.000 in total, the team's success was worth the sweat and tears.
In the next semester, I was also the vice leader of the competition field at Epicentrum, my faculty's biggest communication festival. Not easily satisfied with my experiences, last July, I led more than 50 individuals by taking the role of head of the event field at Unpad Awards, a safe place to appreciate the organizations and students of Padjadjaran University for their hard work the whole year. Both experiences taught me that working with people needs precise communication skills and emotion management. I learned to be a leader who leads, not a boss who dictates.
One of the most remarkable opportunities I have got this year is being on the selection committee for the task force against sexual violence in the campus environment. I arranged, assessed, and took part in recommending the best applicants along with two other students and lecturers from various faculties. Taking a significant role in preventing and handling sexual harassment around campus, an urgent issue by the Ministry of Education, I comprehended the importance of using my knowledge to voice the voiceless. After months of working together, we objectively selected and established the task force for sexual prevention and handling at Padjadjaran University.
After several contributions to my university, I still seek to impact by bringing great lessons from my soon-to-be host university in the U.S. To actualize it, I need to establish a bonding relationship with the people in the host university. As a journalism student who aims to be an international journalist, I plan to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of the U.S. newspaper media and compare the Indonesian press with the U.S. lecturers. Thus, once I get back, I will share the insights with the lecturers in my home university since many of them are also practitioners as journalists in various Indonesian media. Moreover, I seek to attend extracurricular activities related to media and journalism to expand the skills that would benefit me in the future. With these plans, I would be a great participant in the Global UGRAD program.
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When they ask about community leadership, they are asking about your current activities, both co and extra curricular that allow you help in the building of your student and home community. They are not asking you to go all the way back to kindergarten and give an unrelated quote from your dad. The first paragraph is a throw-away. The total essay only glosses over the discussion required. It is not important how many activities you have participated in. What matters is the impact of your long term participation in the activities. Co-leadership roles do not normally carry much weight since the actual leadership movements are shared between people. A stand out leader will be a lone leader who proves that his movements, based on decisions and movements, resulted in an improved community and a strong performance from the team. That is not strongly presented in this essay because the presentation is too busy noting activities rather than proving leadership skills. Pick 2 stand out activities. One co curricular and one extra curricular. Completely discuss how you functioned as a leader in these settings inclusive of the major problem, problem assessment, actions taken, and final results of your leadership movements.
What I see most in most of the essays of this forum is that people believe that writing sensationalist things will comove analysts. In addition to being disrespectful to the people who are analyzing their essay, it is to assume that they do not have careers full of training and experiences in the area that make them distinguish whether their intentions are realistic or not.
Think of your story fondly. You're probably young and they're not demanding for a person with a lot of experiences, but rather with experiences that have tested positive in your life, and you need to describe it in a true way.