How to Apply to UBC | Ultimate University Guide
Arry Pandher - January 25th, 2022
If you’re a Canadian student, especially living in BC, you’ve probably looked into heading to UBC for your post-secondary studies – and for good reason too! As we discussed in How to Get into UBC (the first part of our four part UBC Ultimate University Guide series), UBC is ranked among the top 3 universities in Canada. UBC has over 43 degree and 260+ programs to choose from. UBC also has two beautiful campuses – Point Grey and Okanagan. Here’s how to apply to UBC!
GrantMe has helped countless students apply to and get into UBC. Check out Paige, Ripdaman, and Amisha’s stories to start! If your interested in securing your future with GrantMe’s support, and want to know how to apply to UBC – take our free, two-minute quiz.
When beginning to apply to UBC, you must keep in mind that though your grades are beneficial to your application, your work experience and how you portray it is integral to applying to UBC. UBC’s Personal Profile is a chance for students to discuss their work and volunteer experience. It gives the admission committee a look into the student’s hobbies, interests, and life beyond grade percentages. Here are our best tips to answer your personal profile questions when applying to UBC!
Personal Profile Questions
1. Explain how you responded to a problem and/or an unfamiliar situation. What did you do, what was the outcome, and what did you learn from the experience?
For an unfamiliar situation that you encountered, ask yourself: What skills did I use? How did I delegate tasks? How did I communicate to work through the situation? How will I use what I learned from this experience in my future – especially at UBC?
2. Briefly describe the culture of your school community and your involvement within it. What impact has the school culture had on you? How would you enhance or change it?
This question is a great way to connect any school mantras, mottos, or slogans to your volunteer work in school. For example, if your school is dedicated to excellence, you can discuss how you strived for excellence when you were President of Student Council, or as a volunteer or a club. Talk about how your excellence manifested into results, and include a self reflection on how you felt connected to the school culture.
3. Tell us about who you are. How would your family, friends, and/or members of your community describe you?If possible, please include something about yourself that you are most proud of and why.
This is a great opportunity to boast about yourself! Choose one or two qualities that your friends and family would describe you as, and use that as a launching pad to talk about what you’re most proud of! This should be an impressive role in your community that emulates the quality that you are discussing.
4. What is important to you? And why?
This questions is short and simple. And that is exactly how you should answer it! If animals are important to you, discuss how you volunteered at a vet clinic. If anti-racism is important to you, discuss your advocacy work! Connect your interests to the work you’ve done. You can also connect these qualities to any awards you may have won in or outside of school.
5. Describe up to five activities that you have pursued or accomplishments achieved in one or more of the following areas. Please outline the nature of your responsibilities within these activities. (50 words per description).
Describing your experiences in 50 words may seem tough, but if you follow the STAR structure, you should be able to accurately portray you experiences in a way that illustrates your situation, tasks, actions, and results!
For a complete guide on how to use the STAR structure, check out our video below!
6. Tell us more about one or two activities listed above that are most important to you. Please explain the role you played and what you learned in the process. You will be asked for a reference who can speak to your response.
This is your chance to go into more detail about two activities that you find are the most impactful for your application. The most powerful roles are founder roles, in which you founded a club or organization. Next is being a part of leadership of a team, and last is being a member! All three of these are amazing roles to include in your application, but some are more impactful than others.
This year, UBC included an extra question about the pandemic:
Give us an example of how the pandemic has changed your involvement in the community or group most important to you. What have you learned from this experience?
To answer this, think about your community events – did they transition remotely? Were they cancelled? How did you deal with that? What new skills did you use to cope with this drastic change? This is a good opportunity to discuss your flexibility with BIG changes!
4 Things UBC Looks for in Personal Profiles
Engagement and Accomplishment
Think about how you pursue your interests while also managing your responsibilities. With your free time, are you supporting your community? What accomplishments are you most proud of? Do a self-reflection on these accomplishments. How have they impacted your community, yourself, and the world around you in a positive way?
When the topic of leadership arises, you should be thinking of your responsibilities. How did you manage your responsibilities? Think about the following leadership styles – which one are you?
When writing out your work experience, make sure that it sounds compelling. To be compelling, you must be authentic in your experiences. Choose relevant experiences that you are passionate about. If you’re wondering how GrantMe students have done it, check out Mattie – a GrantMe student that won over $200,000 and the coveted Schulich Award. She gives some advice to students:
“Make sure you’re picking out activities that you’re actually passionate about and you actually enjoy doing. A lot of students pick out activities that they think scholarship committees want to hear about. Stick to what you value.”– Mattie, Schulich Leader Scholarship Winner
Your voice is your authentic self. To portray your most authentic self, write a personal profile that is genuine to who you are. Your identity is a big factor that influences your biases and unique experiences. So, don’t hesitate to discuss your identity!
Check out Will’s video, in which he discusses how GrantMe helped him as a first-gen student!
How to Secure your future at UBC
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