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Admissions questions? Creating a strong application.

January 17, 2022
UBC MEL MHLP - Admission Questions: Creating A Strong Application

If you’re thinking about applying to the MEL or MHLP, you likely have some questions about the admissions process. In this series, we chat with some of our team members about the eligibility requirements and application process for the Master of Engineering Leadership (MEL) and Master of Health Leadership and Policy (MHLP) degrees.

We spoke with Clement Yim, MEL & MHLP Program Coordinator, about creating a strong application.

Tell us about your job.

I’m the program coordinator for five of the MEL programs: Urban Systems, Integrated Water Management, Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, High Performance Buildings and Sustainable Process Engineering. In addition to managing the overall admissions process, I’m responsible for organizing various co-curricular opportunities, such as industry guest speaker events, that enhance the student experience. I also manage program development for these five MEL programs. This involves meeting with each program’s industry advisor panel and working with program directors and instructors to make sure the curriculum remains relevant, up to date and aligned with industry needs.

What makes for a strong application?

The applications that stand out are those where we see a strong fit between the applicant’s personal and professional goals and the goals of the MEL and MHLP programs.

These degrees integrate technical and leadership knowledge within a very collaborative cohort-based learning environment. Strong applicants use their letter of intent to tell us why this type of integrated degree appeals to them, rather than a more research-based master’s degree or a degree focused solely on business.

It’s great when applicants tell us why they are interested in being part of a cohort of students from a range of disciplines.

Each program itself is very interdisciplinary – High Performance Buildings, for example, brings together students with backgrounds in architecture and engineering – and students from all MEL and MHLP programs come together for the business and leadership classes. This creates a very dynamic experience that mimics real-world environments and gives students opportunities to learn from people from a wide range of backgrounds.

Leadership development is an important component of the MEL and MLHP.

Applications that stand out highlight examples of initiative innovation and teamwork within the letter of intent, resumé or references.

We also like reading applications where the prospective student has identified specific challenges in their industry and can tell us how the MEL or MHLP can help them gain the technical and leadership skills to address these challenges.

Any advice for those who are applying?

On the practical side, carefully review the eligibility requirements and make sure your application is complete.

Your resumé should be clear, concise and up to date, and it should include meaningful descriptions of the responsibilities you’ve had in your professional roles. Finally, if you suspect you don’t quite meet the criteria in any area, address this openly in your letter of intent so the admissions committee can take this into account when reviewing your application.

What’s the best part of your job?

I’ve been in this position for two years and working with the team here is a huge plus. It’s also very motivating to follow students from their initial applications and then as they move through this transformative learning environment. It’s definitely rewarding to see their professional and personal growth as they make meaningful connections within their field, with fellow students in their cohort and with alumni.

Admissions questions? Review some of the strengths, areas and components of creating a strong application to the MEL and MHLP degrees. The applications that stand out are those where we see a strong fit between the applicant’s personal and professional goals and the goals of the MEL and MHLP programs.