News & Events

Why pursue an MEL or MHLP? To move your career forward

January 21, 2020
UBC MEL MHLP Progress Career

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.

Live up to your potential

Perhaps you feel ready to move into a position with greater management responsibility, but you haven’t had the opportunity to demonstrate your leadership skills. Or you’ve been promoted into a leadership position and now realize that your business and management skills are not at the same level as your technical expertise.

This is a common experience, says Tamara Etmannski, Academic Director of the MEL and MHLP programs. “Technical experts are often promoted into leadership and management positions – but that doesn’t mean they always have the skills they’ll need for their new roles,” she says.

Being a successful leader takes time and training. Our alumni’s success stories prove that taking the time to learn foundational business concepts and strategies is a worthwhile investment.

They tell us that the business courses taught through UBC Sauder’s Robert H. Lee Graduate School have made a significant difference in their career progression after graduating. The emphasis on group work, case studies and presentations is an excellent way for students to deepen their leadership, communication, project management and presentation skills.

Leadership starts here

Like many people wanting to pursue graduate education to develop his leadership skills, Nikko Asistio, an MHLP student in the 2019 cohort, considered both an MBA and a graduate degree in his area of specialization. For him, the MHLP offered the best of both worlds.

“I’d been on the fence about whether I wanted to do graduate work in clinical education or in business. The MHLP has given me the opportunity to really understand the business side of health care, and that’s what has intrigued me the most,” he says. “I’d worked as an interim manager in the past, and faced certain challenges as I didn’t have an educational background in management. Now that I’ve been exposed to change management practices, finance and accounting, I’m much more confident in my business and leadership skills.”

For Jackie Reiners, the MHLP in Seniors Care gave her the confidence and knowledge to take on a high-profile position as executive director of a not-for-profit providing care and support for seniors. “I’m taking the skills and knowledge I developed over the year – in health care, finance, leadership and staffing – and integrating this learning to collaborate effectively with my team and make decisions with confidence as I lead an organization of 100 employees.”

Alumnus Mustafa Khalid returned to his previous organization after completing his MEL in Urban Systems, but was hired into a higher-level position on a project with significantly more responsibility than he’d had before, thanks in part to his new business and leadership skills.

Read more about our successful MEL and MHLP alumni.

Offer more

The unique interdisciplinary nature of the MEL and MHLP make them a strong choice for professionals who want to gain business and leadership skills historically associated with MBA programs, while continuing to advance their considerable technical knowledge.

In just 12 months, our students graduate with the ability to confidently take on new positions of leadership and responsibility within their organizations. What are you waiting for?

Keep Reading: Alumni