How to Write a Leadership Essay for Study Abroad Application?


Mrunmayai Bobade
Updated on Jun 14, 2023 05:40 PM IST

Many foreign universities, especially those with MBA programs, prefer to select students who best suit their ideologies. What does it take to write a scholarship essay that is convincing? Let's discuss the examples in this article.

Tips to Write a Leadership Essay for Study Abroad Application

Vince Lombardi, a legendary American football coach, once said, "Leaders aren't born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work."

In the first place, leadership refers to the ability of an individual to influence and lead people. Probably, by becoming ONE with his/her followers. On the other side of the coin, a leader is someone who has alpha personality traits.

A well-crafted leadership essay is a crucial component of any study abroad application, as it offers a glimpse into your ability to inspire, influence and create a positive impact. Leaders possess a clear vision of their goals and a sense of purpose that drives their actions. They act ethically and inspire trust by upholding integrity and holding themselves and others accountable for their commitments. Therefore, your essay must include all the relevant points demonstrating your leadership qualities.  

With thousands of applications being reviewed by admission officers every year, it is necessary to identify your Unique Selling Point (USP) to grab their eyeballs. Enlist all the qualities that come to your head and provide suitable examples and anecdotes to support your claims.

In this article, we will explore the essential qualities of leaders that must be included in the leadership essay and provide invaluable insights on how to write and what to avoid while writing a leadership essay thereby guiding you to craft a compelling and impactful piece.

Thousands of international students seeking admission to top universities have sought the assistance of our Study Abroad Experts to write an excellent leadership essay. We are excited to know that many of our students have received admissions to their dream colleges. 

Want to Write an Outstanding Leadership Essay?

What is a Leadership Essay?

A leadership essay is a letter of informational communication that helps you participate in leadership-focused study abroad initiatives or programmes. Leadership essays are one of the most epoch-making aspects of the study abroad application; it sparks an idea about the leadership quality you aspire to acquire as well as your future work plans.

In addition to this, the effectiveness of your writing and communication skills (in English) or the way you impress the committee members by outlining this piece of paper counts as paramount importance in the decision-making process.

What is the Purpose of a Leadership Essay?

The purpose of the leadership essay is to help overseas educators to cite dynamic learning experiences (especially in non-native lands). As we know, to be in parallel with the ever-changing environment and fast-paced world, leaders are expected to deal with uneven challenging situations. Therefore, for those who wish to emerge themselves as future leaders, the leadership essay serves as a chance to engage themselves in various activities that require the compelling qualities of a leader.

In other words, the purpose of this essay is to educate participants to learn the value of responsibility; to learn how to interact and work in a team while cherishing everyone's point of view; to learn time management; to scale up and get the task done; to emerge as a better man in unorthodox circumstances. Henceforth, it is clear that you must turn out to be an enthusiastic participant and boast your interpersonal leadership skills.

Related Reads: 

How to Write a Convincing Scholarship Essay? How to Write an Undergraduate Application Essay for Admissions Abroad
How to Write a Gap Year Essay? Tips to Write a Perfect Career Goals Essay

Key Competencies of a Leader

There are a few things that define a good leader, such as:

  • How passionate are you about being a leader?

  • Which great leadership abilities do you own?

  • What moulds you to become bicultural?

Create a list of such questions before you start writing a leadership essay. Make up your own sentences and explain how they relate to qualities that make great leaders. This should be arranged at the beginning of your essay in not more than 2-3 sentences.

As a leader, your words should be powerful and reflective of your personality. To inaugurate the essay, you can use words like achiever, confident, accountability, effective communicant, dare to challenge failure, adaptable to change, integrity, honesty, empathy, responsibility, etc.

Note: Do not forget to focus on the language or wording you use to describe your story as a challenger of life.

Can't Wait to See Yourself as a Future Leader? 

How to Write a Leadership Essay for Study Abroad Application?

If you are still unsure of how you will write a great leadership essay, shake your hands with the guidelines discussed below:

The Starter (Essay Introduction)

The introduction of your leadership essay must be compelling. During this step, your essay should stand out from the rest and grab the reader's attention as the crow flies. Anecdotes are the best way to illustrate this. Your reader will be captivated by your dramatic descriptions of the situation in one or two sentences.

  • The introductory part of your essay must resonate with the qualities of a leader.

  • It must be irresistible to a degree that the reader finds it engaging or can't stop reading the challenges you acknowledged.

  • As an alternative, you can also begin by stating an epigram.

Example: Leadership is not about designation, position, or title. It is about one life inspiring another."

The Main Course (Essay Body)

Throughout the body of your essay, you should describe your leadership traits and how they relate to the anecdote you mentioned in the introduction. Organizing your essay should be pretty flexible, provided by some background information by demonstrating how you are committed to the values of leadership in your life.

  • The body paragraphs of your essay are meant to be blown by a personal touch.

  • Take your own time- summarize a convincing story and illuminate it with emotions.

  • Provide some background information by demonstrating how you are committed to the values of leadership in your life.

  • Add relevant experiences.

  • Add a spice of both your strengths and weaknesses.

  • Draft past experiences (list any leadership positions you've held).

  • Include what you have done outside the classroom (list of any community services you've done).

Example: "A leader is the circum-centre of a group's power cell. I admire the sense of purpose a good leader can induce to achieve practical goals in life. I've always been through uneven situations and they've taught me to become strong and who I am today. I carry the capability to serve the nation and help people achieve the impossible. It would be a great opportunity for me to come across the philosophy of leaders by living in the global arena, different cultures, languages, and new competitors."

The Dessert (Essay Conclusion)

An essay about leadership must also have a spellbinding conclusion. The words you choose to end your essay should leave your reader with a lasting impression of your leadership skills and writing capabilities from the cradle to the grave. Hence, you must take special care of this portion and use it wisely.

  • The dessert or conclusion of your leadership essay should conclude be succinct.

  • Your worthiness as a leader.

  • Respect towards work.

  • Call to action.

Example: "I would love to be greeted by this opportunity to learn extraordinary artefacts and expand my scope in the direction of becoming a conspicuous leader. Looking forward to transforming my leadership objectives into goal-specified intentions. Hope to hear from you soon."

Important: Please note that these examples are only provided to you for reference, you should not be using these sentences in your essay or anywhere in your application.


  • Proofread your essay several times (reading it out loud helps).

  • Your essay should not exceed the word count requirement.

  • Do not include fake information.

  • Check for plagiarism before submitting.

Things to Avoid in Leadership Essay

Leadership essays are very tricky to right. You never know when you will cross boundaries and your qualities and examples will sound like bragging. Therefore, it is crucial to be moderate in your approach and humbly put forward your qualities. Here are the things to avoid in leadership essays for studying abroad: 

  • Exaggeration: Avoid embellishing or exaggerating your leadership experiences, skills, or achievements. Authenticity is key, and admissions officers can easily discern between genuine leadership and inflated claims.

  • Vagueness: Be specific and provide concrete examples of your leadership experiences, highlighting the impact you made and the lessons learned. Vague statements without evidence can weaken the credibility of your essay.

  • Negativity: Avoid dwelling on failures or weaknesses without showcasing how you overcame them and grew as a leader. Focus on highlighting positive outcomes, growth, and the lessons learned from challenges.

  • Lack of Focus: A good leadership essay should have a clear focus and narrative. Avoid scattering your ideas or trying to cover too many leadership experiences. Instead, select a few key examples and delve deeply into them.

  • Generic Language: Steer clear of using clichés and generic phrases. Instead, strive for originality and use specific language that demonstrates your unique leadership qualities and experiences.

Just like other personal assignments, write an essay that feels real and relatable to your own being. Keep working on your essay until it leaves you with a feeling of satisfaction. In the end, you will end up with a perfect piece of calligraphy that makes you proud of yourself.

If you are still carrying any doubts in regards to writing a leadership essay for your study abroad application, drop us a line at Each year, thousands of students are placed at our partners' institutions around the world. 

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