News & Events

Why pursue an MEL or MHLP? To make a difference

February 4, 2020
UBC MEL MHLP Make a Difference

Although each individual has their own unique reasons for pursuing a Master of Engineering Leadership (MEL) or Master of Health Leadership and Policy (MHLP) degree, a few common themes emerge when talking to current students and alumni. These include a desire to:

  • gain experience in a related industry to shift into a new career
  • accelerate their career progression and take on new responsibilities
  • make an impact on society and in the world
  • move into a higher-paying position
  • deepen their expertise in a specific area
  • pursue a love of learning
  • bolster their credentials
  • live in a new city, province or country

In this series – Why pursue a postgraduate degree? – we take a closer look at some of the reasons why experienced professionals are applying to the MEL and MHLP.

Making a positive impact with your work

It’s a great thing when your work aligns with your values and goals – when you’re using your expertise and skills to contribute to positive change and making a difference in the lives of others. But for many of us, this is not the reality. It doesn’t have to stay that way.

The MEL and MHLP programs can offer a path to a career in line with your personal values, where your work is engaging, meaningful and inspiring.

The unique interdisciplinary nature of these postgraduate programs can give you the skills to shift into more fulfilling work. Business and leadership courses make up about 40 per cent of the program and are offered through UBC Sauder’s Robert H. Lee Graduate School, and industry-specific technical classes are taught through UBC Faculty of Applied Science. This combination gives students the business and technical knowledge to confidently pivot into a related industry or a position that is better aligned with their values.

Alumni who are making an impact

Colin Jeffrey came to the MEL in Urban Systems with a background in mechanical engineering and experience in manufacturing. He was looking for the “opportunity to work in a rewarding field where your actions are ultimately improving society.” The MEL gave him the technical expertise he would need to move into an industry sector more aligned with his social and environmental values.

With his newfound technical knowledge in urban systems and his business and leadership skills, Jeffrey was hired as a project and utility management engineer to develop asset management plans for municipalities – working on district energy systems and utility projects.

Ian Li was working as a registered nurse when he decided to enrol in the MHLP in Seniors Care to “explore ways to improve seniors care and the lives of seniors in general.” Although he considered other options – including a master of science in nursing and a degree in health informatics — he felt the MHLP in Seniors Care would give him the practical and strategic tools to successfully engage multiple stakeholders and work for positive change for Canadian seniors. Ian is now a Clinical Project Manager at a long-term care home.

Read more about our successful MEL and MHLP alumni.

Making the change?

You can turn your values into action. If you’re feeling that your current role is no longer aligned with your values or that you could make a more significant positive impact in a related industry, the 12-month MEL or MHLP can provide a springboard to a more fulfilling position.

The MEL and MHLP programs are designed specifically for professionals who have at least several years of relevant industry experience. However, in some circumstances, students are accepted to the program if they can demonstrate that their education and professional experience are relevant and transferrable to the new area of industry specialization.

With their project-based curriculums, focus on business skills, renowned academic and industry instructors, and professional networking opportunities, the MEL and MHLP can help you gain the leadership skills, domain knowledge and hands-on experience to successfully transition into a new position that is more in line with your values. What are you waiting for?

Keep Reading: Alumni