It’s July, and that means only a few more weeks until the annual Competitive Advantage conference — when college students from across the country come together to build their leadership skills, explore career options and opportunities, connect with corporate executives and learn about graduate school.
If you haven’t applied yet, don’t worry; there’s still time. The July 15th deadline has been extended to August 5, 2020. But, before you click over to the application, read on to learn more about eligibility requirements, the application process and what we are looking for in applicants.
According to Competitive Advantage Application Processor Kristin Laney, the program’s requirements are pretty straightforward. To be eligible, students must be:
- A U.S. citizen or permanent resident
- A sophomore, junior or senior in college
- In good academic standing (3.0 GPA or above)
- Part of the target demographic (African American, Hispanic American, Native American)
- Able to show continuous growth as a young, emerging leader through extracurricular activities and community involvement
Applicants must answer a series of questions and submit demographic, academic and extracurricular information. Students are required to submit a completed application and resume as well as a current transcript before the start of the program. Major doesn’t matter, as individuals studying any discipline are welcome to apply.
“When we review applications, our first step is to ensure applicants meet all eligibility requirements,” Laney says. “Beyond that, we are looking for students who are in good academic standing and who demonstrate their growth as a leader through participation in both extracurricular and volunteer activities. Applicants should be interested in participating in professional development opportunities or in learning about or preparing for graduate education.”
When completing your application, it is important to address anything that might be perceived as a red flag. For example, if you answered “yes” to the question about being disciplined or placed under academic sanction, it is important to provide additional information about your circumstances.
Responding “yes” to this question will not automatically eliminate you from participating in the program. Your explanation, along with other components of the application, will be reviewed by the program director, who will make the final decision. What is most important, Laney notes, is that you are honest and sincere when providing an explanation of your situation.
In addition, she advises students to be as thorough as possible when responding to application questions and to ensure that their resumes are up-to-date and include information about both academic and extracurricular and volunteer activities.
“I would encourage students to review career center resources,” Laney says. “Most schools have sample resumes and tips on their website, in addition to staff members who can provide insight and advice.”
Before submitting your application, take the time to review and proofread your resume and other materials, says Janice Wells-White, vice president of program administration for The Consortium and Competitive Advantage director. “Your application is a reflection of you and your personal brand,” she says, “so it is important to make sure that you put your best foot forward.”
To apply now, visit the Competitive Advantage application page.