Jakob Gattinger, BASc '19, Mining Engineering

“Engineering has offered me … far more than I would’ve gotten out of any other undergraduate program, and enabled so many possibilities for my career that other fields of study likely would not have offered.”

Jakob Gattinger

Jakob Gattinger

  • Degree: Bachelor of Applied Science
  • Grad year: 2019
  • Program: Mining Engineering
  • Campus: Vancouver

Jakob has a passion for problem solving and serving those around him. Throughout his degree, he has focused on advocating for fellow students and building community in UBC Engineering. This has included involvement with the Engineering Undergraduate Society, Alma Mater Society, the UBC Board of Governors as well as UBC’s Vancouver Senate. Beyond UBC, he’s been involved with the Canadian Federation of Engineering Students, including a two-year stint as chair of the board of directors.

Why did you choose engineering?

I wasn’t set on a career in engineering prior to coming to university, and as it turns out, I don’t think I will be pursuing a career in engineering! I came to UBC Engineering hoping to learn problem solving skills that I could apply to a wide range of areas. There’s no doubt in my mind that I’ve gotten these skills, and much more. Whether you are looking pursue a career as an engineer or not, I have come to discover there is a place in UBC Engineering for you.

What has been your most memorable/valuable non-academic experience studying engineering at UBC?

Serving on UBC’s Board of Governors has been, without a doubt, the most memorable experience I’ve had outside the classroom. It’s been incredible, as an engineering student, to get a year-long crash-course in endowment finance, property development, audit and risk management and so many other elements of overseeing an organization as large as UBC. Doing this alongside leaders from the private and public sectors from across BC has made this experience even more valuable.

How do you feel a degree in engineering has benefitted you compared to a different field of study?

Engineering has offered me, as I see it, far more than I would’ve gotten out of any other undergraduate program, and enabled so many possibilities for my career that other fields of study likely would not have offered. I’ve also had the chance to pursue a Minor in Arts alongside my engineering coursework, and I think there’s great opportunities for engineering students to branch out into other areas of academic interest during their studies.

What advice would you give a student considering engineering?

I think it’s most important that the technical skills that can be gained from a degree in engineering are only one part of the upside. Your coursework, as well as extracurricular opportunities you’ll encounter, will set you up for a whole range of possibilities after graduation — which can vary enormously given the broad skillset you’ll leave with. This, in combination with the people you’ll meet along the way, will set you up for success wherever you go.

Where do you find your inspiration?

I’ve found inspiration through the people I’ve met during my time at UBC — both within and beyond the engineering community. It is true that engineering education is rigorous, and I’ve seen that as an enabler of great camaraderie among the student body. I’ve been fortunate to spend time with so many successful and kind people throughout my time in Applied Science, and they’ve been a great motivating factor for me.

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