Any point in including participation in competitions?


For example let’s say you get 0 awards, but you participated, e.g. participation ICAS, or participated in NZ Next Top Engineering, or even being accepted to let’s say NZ Model UN but not being able to attend. Is there any value incorporating these into an application and how?


Hi, Anon!

This is a great question, and it depends on the context regarding your specific situation. But generally speaking, it could be worthwhile in one of two ways.

For instance, the first way is if it shows your perseverance, enthusiasm and/or continued engagement with a particular activity which helps to support a ‘candidate theme’. For example, you may have participated in NZ Model United Nations for three consecutive years.

The second way is not the best but could still be helpful, is that these types of activities could be used as a cushion in your application to make you seem more attractive as a candidate.

Overall ncorporating these types of activities into your application help to position you as a well-rounded candidate and can help in adding a different dimension to your candidate profile.

Hope this was helpful :slight_smile:


Yes absolutely include activities where you were an actual participant, specifically if they illustrate the things you care about, or illustrate your intellectual passions.

When you are a participant in an activity that highlights your skills, interests, or passions, you can include these components in the activities section of the Common Application. If, say, you become a Crimson student, one of the things we can help with is making sure the words you use in your description of those activities reveal your strengths and give a clear picture of your specific contribution. Think of your activities resume less as a game where the person with the most points wins, but instead as an opportunity to show how you get involved, how you participate in a team effort, and how you engage in a collaborative learning situation. This is way more significant than whether you win or lose the competition at hand!


Thank you both!

My trouble is I have a handful of these… how could I craft it together on my application? And how do I go about developing a story through this?


Without oversimplifying it, I would say that you should think about what traits you are trying to display on your application. Then for each trait think of a link between the activities you participated in.

This is a very basic example: “I enjoyed the rigorous nature of case competitions and competing in the Auckland Uni Engineering Competition because it helped me to think critically and solve complex problems with peers”.

You would obviously want to make sure you expand on that above example with a bit more detail about your involvement. Also I would suggest keeping the ‘why’ in mind. Why did you get involved in the first place, why did you enjoy it etc.