Showing up like a Stubborn Idiot

”Explore till you find something you love outside academics!“

Mayank Gupta, dressed in full red color in front of the UBC Engineering Cairn

Mayank Gupta

  • Degree: Bachelor of Applied Science
  • Program: Integrated Engineering
  • Campus: Vancouver

Year: 3rd Year

Chat with Mayank


Of the two years at UBC, I spent the first half living a nocturnal life in India. My focus was almost entirely on academics as there was only so much I could get involved in sitting halfway across the world. Consequently, my move to UBC campus was accompanied by an insane involvement in extracurriculars. I volunteered in several roles in the Engineering Undergraduate Society where I found a passion for the engineering traditions and values, became a part of the Integrated Engineering Council that brought with it an unprecedented sense of belonging and became an Orientation Leader to welcome students to UBC! Working for UBC Mars Colony and UBC Rocket design teams filled up my weekends and I organized a 200 people 3D modeling competition with the UBC Design League. Getting involved was the best decision I could have made to kickstart my on-campus university life. From studying in the clubroom before tests to racing chariots on Main Mall in E-Week, I've found people I love hanging out with planning a stupid thing to do yet again that is not knocking on people's doors and running!

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Mayank and his Integrated Engineering team, taking a photo with their chariot on Main Mall

Integrated Engineering's Chariot Racing Team - E-Week 2022

How did you decide your current UBC Engineering discipline, or why did you choose UBC Engineering?

Fun fact: I applied to all schools for Computer Engineering (realized only after getting into Integrated Engineering - IGEN - how much I dislike Computer Engineering). IGEN appealed to me because of its multidisciplinary nature and its annual capstone project. It also allowed me to take time to figure out my options to work in the aerospace industry and cater my degree to those areas.

What has made your time at UBC Engineering memorable?

Traditional engineering events like Christmas Carolling, E-Week, Week E^0 and painting the Cairn (the big "E" on Main Mall) have been some of my best memories at UBC Engineering over the last couple of years. In addition, interacting with other engineering students as the IGEN E-Week rep, EUS Tutoring Director and Red Sales rep has been immense fun! I'm looking forward to voicing student concerns to faculty in my capacity as the EUS VP Academic 2022-23 and building rockets as part of UBC Rocket!

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Mayank and his friends, holding up a Engineers UBC sign while wearing red outfits

UBC Engineers Christmas Caroling 2021

Tell us about your experience in your program. What have you learned that is most valuable?

A lot of what IGEN teaches is taking initiative. Upper years and professors encourage students to reach out to them if a student wants help with something. Moreover, working in a team is at the core of being an IGEN. The annual capstone projects are all team-based and give us real-time experience in working with team dynamics, pitching and creating a project from scratch. Two months into my first technical job now, I'm understanding how transferable these ideas are to working in the industry.

What resources or events organized by UBC Engineering have helped you in your academic, professional or entrepreneurial journey thus far?

One of the most influential events for me has to be the UBC Engineering Mentorship program. I was paired with a recent IGEN graduate who helped me in more ways than I can count. I learned networking, and as well as general job search strategies. We worked on my resume for almost two months which was a tremendous help. In addition, I got an insight into working in the engineering industry which helped me better transition into my first technical job and making the best of my IGEN degree.

What is one piece of advice you would share to a student entering UBC Engineering?

Academics are important but please explore things outside it. Start conversations with people around you; just a simple "hi" works. Show up for events organized by your student council and undergraduate society - you'd be surprised by how many people are interested in getting to know you if they've seen you around a few times! Be stubborn and get yourself out of your bubble and network be it alumni, students, or faculty members. The more you meet people, the better your UBC Engineering experience will be.

We are committed to UBC’s vision of “a community in which human rights are respected, and equity and inclusion are embedded in all areas of academic, work and campus life.” What opportunities have you had to respectfully engage with leadership?

A big part of my job as VP Academic of the Engineering Undergraduate Society (EUS) this year is incorporating and promoting Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in all academic and professional development matters affecting UBC Engineering students. This includes ensuring a safe and healthy academic environment for students to grow and explore their interests by taking student concerns to faculty. I also have the opportunity to prepare for Imagine Day for the second year in a row with the UBC Orientations Team, this time as a Senior Orientation Leader, to create a warm space for incoming engineering students.

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