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Guest Speaker Series: Disrupting the Eco-Waste Industry

October 13, 2021
UBC MEL MHLP - Guest Speaker 2021 - Jaclyn McPhadden - RecycleSmart

On September 14th, 2021, Master of Business Administration (MBA) students from UBC Sauder’s Robert H. Lee Graduate School, Master of Engineering Leadership (MEL) and Master of Health Leadership and Policy (MHLP) students attended a networking event featuring guest speaker chief administrative officer and co-founder of RecycleSmart Solutions Jaclyn McPhadden (MBA ’11).

Jaclyn first felt that entrepreneurial spark after seeing first-hand the amount of waste being generated at the hotel where she worked. Wanting to acquire solid business skills to build a company that offered sustainable waste solutions, Jaclyn returned to UBC where she enrolled in the MBA program at the UBC Sauder’s Robert H. Lee Graduate School.

With ideas and passion in hand, Jaclyn first set her sights on gaining the experiences and building tools that would help expand her business training.

Even before graduation, Jaclyn and a business partner began the strategy development of their company, RecycleSmart Solutions. They saw the effects of climate change and hoped to build a business that would help others reduce their environmental footprint. What started as just a spark has now rapidly expanded into a full flame becoming an industry disrupter and earning 12th place on Growth500’s fastest growing Canadian companies list in 2018.

It has been a decade since Jaclyn first started RecycleSmart Solutions and since then her company has only continued to grow, with MacLean’s naming her Female Entrepreneur of the year in 2018. In reflecting on her career and educational journey, Jaclyn offered MBA, MEL and MHLP students the advice of showing their resilience and persisting even when you hear “no”. At the same time, she highlighted the importance of consistently being open to new ideas.

By nurturing constant innovation and an agile approach to new opportunities and challenges, RecycleSmart Solutions continues its rapid growth with major project expansions showing up on the horizon.

Following Jaclyn’s speech, MBA, MEL and MHLP students connected with one another to discuss the future of entrepreneurship and sustainability. Students expanded their professional networks while engaging in constructive conversations that went well beyond the event.

Professional development opportunities and networking events like this one occur throughout the duration of the MEL and MHLP programs. Students are encouraged to attend and engage in thought-provoking discussions and connect with local thought leaders, which helps in uncovering potential career directions.

Find your entrepreneurial spark with a professional master’s degree like the Master of Engineering Leadership (MEL) or Master of Health Leadership & Policy (MHLP).

As innovative interdisciplinary graduate degrees, MEL & MHLP graduate degrees offer an exciting guest speaker series, professional development and networking opportunities throughout the program. This gives you the chance to expand on your knowledge and interests while providing the tools that allow you to pave your own success. In addition to cutting-edge education, the programs also offer real-world work experience through student projects where students develop their own innovative and sustainable solutions.

If you would like to solve some of the world’s greatest problems and create sustainable change like Jaclyn, consider the opportunities a professional graduate degree like the MEL or MHLP could bring you.

Read about our successful MEL & MHLP alumni and sign up for an information session today to become the next changemaker within your field.