Civil Student Spotlight – Striving to Develop Ideas Into a Reality by Creating a Lasting Impact

Kelly Kim

Degree: Bachelor of Applied Science

Program: Civil Engineering

Campus: Vancouver

What extracurricular activities are you currently involved in?

Currently, I am involved in the Concrete Toboggan Engineering Design Team as the Ski Design Subteam Lead, the Civil Engineering Undergraduate Society (Civil Club) as Co-President, and I work part-time with Industra Construction Corp as a Project Coordinator. Throughout my undergraduate degree, I have also been involved with the Varsity Outdoor Club, the Engineering Undergraduate Society, the Scholar’s Advisory Council, and intramural soccer and futsal.

How do you balance between being a student and your club involvements?

Balancing my academics with club involvements can be challenging, but I’ve found that effective time management and prioritization are key. I am very passionate about all of the work I do and for the success of the teams I’m involved with, which helps to keep me motivated when the work is plentiful and there seems to not be enough hours in a day. I also strongly value the connections and friends I’ve made thus, I’ve become comfortable asking for help and delegating responsibilities to help distribute the workload and promote engagement and community amongst the groups.

What motivated you to take on leadership roles within your community?

My motivation to take on leadership roles within the civil engineering community stems from a desire to make a positive impact and contribute to the growth and development of my friends. With an extensive background of extracurricular involvements before attending UBC, I have learned to grow confidence in my leadership, communication, and organization skills. Then as I gained experience working with a team, I grew excited with possibilities and opportunities that I could imagine and strived to develop these ideas into reality. I believe that by taking on leadership positions, I can help foster a supportive and inclusive environment for others to learn, collaborate, and succeed.

What impact would you like to make on the UBC Civil community after you graduate?

After I graduate, I hope to leave a lasting impact on the UBC Civil community by inspiring future generations of students to pursue their passions and become actively involved in extracurricular activities. I hope to be an example that others can learn from as someone who is positive, hardworking, and resilient.

Can you share a particular instance or project within your extracurricular involvements that has left a lasting impact on you personally?

One project that has left a lasting impact on me personally was when I was Team Captain of the Concrete Toboggan team. The process of designing, constructing, and competing the toboggan challenged me greatly as I was required to not only apply my engineering knowledge in a practical and hands-on way, but also my leadership and organizational skills far beyond what I could have imagined. As a result of the team’s hard work and dedication, we placed 2nd overall and won various other awards, achieving the team’s best performance in recent history. It also provided me with valuable teamwork and leadership experiences that have helped shape my personal and professional development.

Do you have any advice for current students who want to become more involved in their community?

My advice for current students who want to become more involved in their community is to step out of their comfort zones and take advantage of opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities that align with their interests and goals. Even if application deadlines are missed, there is a high chance that a variety of teams and clubs would be extremely excited for your participation regardless of your overall schedule. Something people tend to miss when becoming more involved with their communities is that professional/technical development is one aspect, though any group can be an incredible way to meet new people, develop your skills, and make a positive impact. Leadership roles do come with responsibilities that should be taken seriously though they are also opportunities to challenge yourself, grow, and learn from your experiences.