UBC MEL MHLP Professional Leadership Master Degrees

Integrated Water Management

Alumna Story — Dominique de Groot

Integrated Water Management — Dominique de Groot

As a Senior Environmental Specialist with Hatfield Consultants, Dominique de Groot oversees a portfolio of projects within the consulting company’s environmental infrastructure management group. These range from environmental assessments in the early planning stages of a project to overseeing environmental management systems during operations.

Over the past three years, she’s worked on everything from mine expansions and oil and gas development to airport infrastructure upgrades and climate change adaptation work for municipalities.

“I work with a lot of large interdisciplinary teams, and being able to draw on some of the technical knowledge I gained in the MEL has made those interactions easier,” she says. “In addition to building specialist knowledge in integrated water management over the course of the degree, I also gained a broader repertoire and understanding of general technical issues – so I can work more efficiently with all team members no matter what their background.”

Dominique says that the MEL’s business and leadership courses have also had a significant impact on her daily work. “I’m using the leadership skills I learned in the program each day. My communication skills are stronger and I can easily adapt to different situations and challenges.”

She adds that the courses taught by UBC Sauder’s Robert H. Lee Graduate School provided her with a strong foundation for thinking strategically about business development, which is an ongoing focus when working in consulting.

Dominique was part of the first cohort of MEL students, coming to the program with an undergraduate degree in environmental science and several years’ experience working on construction and engineering projects across Western Canada. After completing the MEL in December 2016, she initially worked as an environmental specialist on a large-scale hydroelectric upgrade project. In September 2017, she moved to her current position at Hatfield.

She says it was a leap of faith to enrol in a program without any brand recognition and that was just starting out. That’s changed, she says, noting that “it’s been motivating to encounter a growing number of people in industry who know about the degree and appreciate the value the hybrid program brings.”

As for advice for students considering the program?

“There are so many opportunities you can leverage as an MEL student, both within the program itself and in the larger university community. Also, take advantage of the invaluable connections you can make with faculty and your classmates – it’s a pretty great network of people. The MEL prepared me for the positions I’ve moved into since graduating and enabled me to confidently advance within my career.”

Integrated Water Management

Integrated Water Management

Apply your technical and leadership skills in developing sustainable water management solutions.

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