In conversation with Tanika Chadha who recently completed her Bachelor’s Degree from University of British Columbia

What did you Major in at UBC and Why did you choose it ?

 Integrated Engineering – I wanted to satisfy a curious mind while developing analytical skills which would allow me to pursue any profession. Almost every field welcomes graduate engineers. I always really enjoyed economics so I added that on as a minor to my degree.

 How easy or difficult was it for you to crack the admission at UBC ?

The application was long, but having the right grades went a long way. UBC is very competitive being one of the Top schools in Canada . Making sure your SoP and problem-solving essay is clear, interesting and concise goes a long way.


What all did you do to make sure that you make a successful application? Was it a cake-walk or you had any hiccups?

No major hiccups if you have good grades and stellar recommendations. Recommendations are key.

 How did you go about writing your Essays? Do you think it helps to start writing early ?

Early I definitely recommend. I went through 6 drafts before I had the final. I made sure that the story was personal – the big mistake we sometimes make is trying to put down what we think the admissions committee wants to hear. Instead, I went for putting down what was real for me – think it makes you stand out.

 Did you apply to other schools and get acceptances from there as well? If yes which all ? Why did you choose UBC?

I got accepted to every University I applied to in Canada, i.e., McGill, University of Toronto, Waterloo, McMasters. The choice was personal for me and the city mattered as much as the school. I wanted to be on the West Coast. Another factor was the specialization within engineering– since I didn’t plan to pursue a career in Engineering, I wanted to take up the Integrated Engineering program which was only available at UBC.

Tell us more about the course ? Was it intensive enough ? 

The program differentiates itself from other engineering programs by allowing students to develop a more cumulative, systematic and analytical mindset through 3 year-long projects where groups were to design and build a product from scratch, paying the utmost detail to every aspect of the device. It allows you to gain a perfect balance between being an innovative self-starter and still working effectively as a part of a team.

How is the University life at UBC ? Share some insights.

The culture on campus is quite unique. Everyone is a nature lover and people love to go a short trips together. This can range from a day hike in the local mountains to a drive down to Whistler. I myself never felt bored a single day. There are so many events on campus, you can always walk a little and find something to do.

Were you involved in any extra-curricular activities ? If yes tell us more about it.

Many – you pick a club for anything and it exists. There’s even a club for people who have or like moustaches!

I personally chose to get involved with 2 organizations I felt connected to. (a) The Trading Group – the names says it all, for people who want to learn and are passionate about financial markets and eventually want a career as a trader. Members ranged from people who just want to learn where to invest their internship income to those who interned at top banks. Gave me a chance to diversify my network outside of engineering and meet lots of people who go on to become connections at different firms after graduation. I stayed on with this club for 3 years and was able to take on as President in my last year – an advantage to being consistent with your extra-curricular activities.  (b) Women in Engineering – struck a cord with me since most engineering programs don’t have many women. It also allowed me to develop a strong network with female professionals in engineering and take on another leadership role to organize their yearly conference.

Did the University train you well ? Would you recommend the University to other Students ?

Definitely, my experience was one of a kind. Its also about what you learn outside the classroom and not just inside. I met people from countries I hadn’t even heard of and working on projects where you get to see so many different perspectives really gives you a new look on how to work effectively in any situation.

 Tell us more about life in Canada .

People are warm, welcoming, interesting and there’s always lots to do. You really get a chance to be a part of anything you want. I myself really enjoyed living in a city where you had the ocean and the mountains – making a usual day vary from a walk on the beach to a day on the ski slopes.

 What are you doing post your degree ? What are your future Plans ?

I completed an internship in Investment Banking and just graduated now. I’m currently in the process of applying to Banks and Consulting firms for my first full-time role.

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