Thomas Jefferson University

Leadership Portfolio


A Leadership Portfolio is an ongoing reflection of the individual accomplishments, skills, activities, programs and other related experiences that have contributed to your personal leadership development.  You can use a leadership portfolio in any situation in which you need to demonstrate your leadership abilities, such as a job, internship, or residency interview.

Successfully completing a Leadership Portfolio will be worth two Leadership Credits.*

If you are interested in starting a portfolio, send an email to James Dyksen, MSEd, Associate Director, Academic Support Services, Office of Student Affairs or Danielle Litwin-Moskowitz, MA, Assistant Director, Academic Support Services, Office of Student Affairs. They can meet with you to help start the process, or simply help you track your progress throughout the year.  It is important to let them know that you are planning on submitting a portfolio so they can be aware of how many to expect.  Portfolios must be submitted by March 13th.

Leadership Portfolio Components

The table of contents for your leadership portfolio is listed below.  Click on each component to view more detailed information. View a printable version of the Leadership Portfolio Overview and Instructions.

Writing a personal statement on any topic is a process which can help you to develop a stronger sense of what the topic means to you.  In this case, creating and describing what leadership is and what it means to you will help to develop an understanding of why you participate in leadership. Your statement can include: your definition of leadership, a description of leadership qualities, or what you think is the most important thing about leadership.  For example:

Leadership is the ability to guide a group of people in accomplishing a task or goal while utilizing the skills of each member of the group and making each member feel committed to the process and the group as a whole.  A good leader sets attainable goals, involves everyone in the group, and acknowledges the skills of each member of the group.  The most important leadership characteristic is enthusiasm.  When goal attainment is difficult the leader can recognize difficulties without sacrificing enthusiasm or encouragement.

Your personal statement can be succinct, like the one above, or more detailed, but should not be more than one page.

Your resume helps to sum up all of your relevant experiences, coursework, jobs, workshops, and volunteering opportunities.  It is important to have a strong resume that highlights your leadership abilities and experience.

For Resume / CV assistance contact:

Sidney Kimmel Medical College

Contact: The Office of Student Affairs and Career Counseling at 215-503-6988

All Colleges (except SKMC) – Center City Campus and Abington-Dixon Campus

Contact: Career Development Center at 215-503-5805 or

All Colleges – East Falls Campus

Contact: Marianne Able Career Services Center at 215.951.2930 or

View the Compilation of Leadership Experiences Worksheet

Although you will have most likely listed your leadership experiences on your resume, this is your chance to explain your leadership experiences in more detail.  This includes experiences both inside and outside of the university, such as: coursework at the university that relates to leadership, Leadership LIVE workshops, any involvement with on-campus or off-campus organizations, community service, conferences, and workshops or seminars you may have attended.  You could also detail any presentations you made, such as in class, or public speaking experiences, such as making a speech to a student organization.

The compilation of Leadership Experiences should, in some ways, be organized like a resume.  You will include basic details about each of these experiences, including the name of the experience, the date or time frame, and a brief summary of the experience. 

For example:

Course: Health Service Administration and Professional Development

Date: Fall, 2017

Description: Issues addressed in this course include:  supervision, staffing patterns, structure of organizations, management of programs, program development and evaluation, policies impacting practice, and ethical practice.

Community Service Activity: MANNA

Date: September 21, 2018

Description: Each month, MANNA prepares and home-delivers more than 70,000 nutritious meals to individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS, cancer or other life-threatening illnesses.  Volunteers are required to

Leadership LIVE Workshop: Branding your Leadership: Your Job Search and Beyond

Date: October 31, 2018

Description:  This workshop helped students prepare how to best market their leadership skills to prospective employers and in the workplace. 

Student Organization: Vice President, Colleges Against Cancer at TJU

Date: Ongoing

Description:  Colleges Against Cancer at Thomas Jefferson University is a chapter of the national collaboration of college students, faculty, and staff dedicated to fighting cancer and volunteering for the American Cancer Society.  As Vice President I scheduled all meetings, organized a volunteer event for twenty people, and ran the meetings when the President was not available.

View the Reflective Essays Worksheet

In this section, you have an opportunity to highlight some of your leadership experiences by writing brief reflective essays.   Essays should be approximately one page in length.  You will need to include at least five reflective essays in your leadership portfolio. 

You should write an essay on any Leadership LIVE workshop or community service activity you participated in this year.  You may also include any other leadership experience you have had, including student organizations or health mentors.  If you have participated in Leadership LIVE in previous years, you are welcome to include that experience as well.

Your reflective essay could include:

  • A brief summary of the experience
  • A reflection on how this experience increased your knowledge of leadership
  • A reflection on who this experience changed your view of leadership
  • One key thing you took away from the experience

The final aspect of your leadership portfolio is a two page essay on your leadership growth.  In this essay you want to describe in detail how experiences in or related to leadership have impacted your leadership growth.  Reflect on your leadership experiences and growth and consider:

  • How has your definition of leadership changed over the past year or during your time at Thomas Jefferson?
  • How have you experienced an increase in awareness of yourself and others in relation to leadership?
  • How have you demonstrated the skills necessary to work collaboratively? 
  • Have you built your theoretical and practical knowledge about leadership?
  • Describe how you better understand leadership as a process, not a position?
  • Discuss how you have sought opportunities to enhance your leadership development and engaged in leadership behaviors.

If you have had any informal leadership experience you could include it here.  For example, if over the course of this year you have become more comfortable speaking up in class, describe that experience in your essay on leadership growth.

Tools for Creating Your Leadership Portfolio

Download Personal Statement on Leadership Worksheet
Download Compilation of Leadership Experiences Worksheet
Download Reflective Essays Worksheet


If you are creating a hard copy portfolio, it should be a 3-ring binder with dividers to make it professional and organized.   Your portfolio should include a section for each of the items in the Table of Contents. 

If you are creating an electronic portfolio you should create the document in Microsoft Word.  Your portfolio should include a section for each of the items in the Table of Contents.  Each section should be clearly labeled, either with a title page or with a distinct header.  Page breaks should be used to clearly mark the beginning and end of each section. 

While we encourage you to be creative, the portfolio should look professional. 

You are welcome to add additional sections as needed, including Examples of Writing, Professional Experience, Certificates, Honors, etc.  You may also include a letter of reference from someone, such as an employer or professor, which describes your leadership development over the past year.

Submit hard copy portfolios to James Dyksen, MSEd, Associate Director, Academic Support Services, Office of Student Affairs (Edison Building, Suite 1122).  Submit electronic portfolios to James Dyksen or Danielle Litwin-Moskowitz.

Your portfolio will be reviewed for content, organization, formatting, and grammar.  You must include every item listed above in the Table of Contents. If corrections or additions are needed you will be asked to edit the portfolio and resubmit before receiving your two Leadership Credits.    

To earn Leadership Credits your Leadership Portfolio must be submitted by March 13th.  Successfully completing a Leadership Portfolio will be worth two Leadership Credits.*

*Leadership Credits are used in the Leadership LIVE program and do NOT represent nor correspond to academic credits.  No academic credits are awarded for participation in the Leadership LIVE program.