Iowa State University
From Stomach-Churning to Leadership
Describe a leadership experience you have had.
My stomach lurched violently as if it had been caught on a fishhook and jerked suddenly forward. The scene before me, a bunch of shorts and t-shirt clad high school marching band kids puffing through various instruments, swayed and became blurry, as if separated from me by a heat wave. I saw the look of concern on the face of the sophomore girl next to me, and thought, “If I faint, I hope she catches me.” Luckily, I didn’t faint during my first marching band practice of freshman year in 100 degree heat. Not so luckily, I ran off to the side of the instrument arc as the fishhook caught my stomach again and I vomited into the dry yellow grass. This was the most embarrassing possible way to start my reputation with my new high school peers, I thought. Amazingly, it was also the beginning of the best leadership experience I’ve ever had.
Despite my messy first practice, by the end of freshman year I discovered I really liked marching band, so much that I wanted to be even more involved the next year. As a sophomore, I tried out to be flute section leader. This meant I would be in charge of the other nine flutes all of marching band season, teaching basics and correcting mistakes. This sounded like fun to me, until I attended my...
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