“Engineering has been challenging and rewarding. From course work, to REC teams, to clubs, and everything in between, UBC has pushed me to become a better leader, engineer and person.”
- Degree: Bachelor of Applied Science
- Grad year: 2019
- Program: Civil Engineering
- Campus: Vancouver
From the Engineering Undergraduate Society (EUS) to the UBC Cycling Team, Alan Ehrenholz spent the entirety of his six-year degree exploring what UBC had to offer and giving back to the community that gave him so much. From the very beginning, as the first-year representative on EUS Council, Alan was keen to be involved. He searched out groups on campus, including Sigma Phi Delta, Geering Up, and UBC Recreation to name a few, and began to give back to his community. Through the EUS, and eventually the Alma Mater Society where he served as President, Alan spent most of his degree working to improve the student experience at UBC. He strived to bring a community feeling to a sometimes dauntingly large campus, whether that be through chatting over a burger at a BBQ or running around campus in tights, Alan’s vision was to have everyone at UBC feel like they belonged.
Why did you choose engineering?
I originally chose engineering because I loved solving problems, and I chose UBC Engineering because my father and grandfather were both UBC civil engineering graduates (1981 and 1953 respectively).
What has made your time at UBC the most memorable?
The people and relationships I have made during my time here. There is such a diverse group of people at UBC, both within engineering and on the campus as whole, you can interact with so many amazing and talented individuals. I know I have made lifelong friends during my time at UBC, and I cannot wait to move onto the next adventures in life with them.
What have you learned in engineering that is most valuable?
Engineering has been challenging and rewarding. From course work, to REC teams, to clubs, and everything in between, UBC has pushed me to become a better leader, engineer and person. I have been lucky enough to experience a lot of different experiences UBC has to offer, and look forward to carrying that mindset forward into the next stages of my life. However, the friends that I have made will be the most valuable.
How are you applying the skills you learned through your studies at UBC?
The academic skills I have learned at UBC will be used at CBCL Consultants Ltd — a consulting engineering firm in Halifax, Nova Scotia — where I will be working as a municipal engineer-in-training. However, the intangible skills, the social skills, the leadership skills, they will be used in whatever adventures I choose to take on next (most likely involving bikes!).
What has been your most memorable/valuable non-academic experience studying engineering at UBC?
Joining the UBC Cycling team. My degree had been so focused on engineering and student leadership, that it was amazing to be able to join a group of amazingly talented and diverse people and represent my school in a completely different way than ever before.
How do you feel a degree in engineering has benefitted you compared to a different field of study?
In my mind, a degree in engineering forces you to think in a step by step, logical manner. The courses ask you to approach a problem from an objective position. Being able to approach a problem or task from an unbiased position and utilize logic to provide an effective and utilized solution has benefitted me in many aspects of life outside of my schooling/career.
What advice would you give a student considering engineering?
To do it! And to ensure they experience more than just engineering. To search out a multitude of opportunities that allows them to become a well-rounded person, and a more effective engineer.
Where do you find your inspiration?
In the people around me. You can’t help but be inspired by people’s energy, passion and drive to make the world a better place. So many 15 minute coffee conversations have left me excited to dive back into my work.
What are your plans for the future?
In the immediate future I will be moving to Halifax to work for CBCL. I am looking forward to driving across Canada and seeing this great country, and everything that the East Coast has to offer! Longer term, it is hard to say, and I think that is exciting. Life has a funny way of providing opportunities to those who go looking for them, and I think that mindset is one of the most valuable things engineering has taught me.
How will you go on to make a difference in our world?
I look forward to being involved in designing the cities of the future: sustainable, safe and community-oriented. Being able to transform cities to meet the needs of the communities that live in them is my lifelong goal.