June 28, 2023

Certificate in Engineering Leadership helps prepare tomorrow’s engineering changemakers

Schulich program provides teamwork and leadership skills to undergrads
Hunter Marcelo was one of many students who took part in Schulich's Certificate in Engineering Leadership.
Hunter Marcelo was one of many students who took part in Schulich's Certificate in Engineering Leadership. Submitted

Hunter Marcelo is happy to sing the praises of the Schulich School of Engineering’s Certificate in Engineering Leadership.

A music teacher, artist and president of Schulich Soundstage, he received the certificate as part of his four years of studies at the University of Calgary, where he majored in chemical engineering with a minor in biomedical engineering.

Marcelo, BSc (Eng)’23, has always been involved in different projects and initiatives, volunteering his time and helping mentor his fellow students.

However, he says the certificate gave him the opportunity to bring together all of his passions.

“It’s directly applicable to so many academic and extracurricular experiences that students will have during their undergrad at Schulich,” Marcelo says. “You get to practise these skills before you graduate and enter the industry.”

The certificate is a key part of the Schulich School’s hope to educate and train the next generation of engineering changemakers, as highlighted in its new strategic plan, Schulich Momentum: Enhancing Community, Expanding Impact.

Setting himself apart

Marcelo remembers first hearing about the certificate from one of his orientation leaders when he began studying at Schulich back in 2019. He then had conversations with a family member who is an engineer, and several mentors and friends already at Schulich, about what being an engineer was all about.

“I knew that engineering roles in industry involved project management and teamwork, in addition to the fundamental aspects of science and design,” Marcelo says.

“I wanted to learn about these professional and social skills outside of the classroom in order to set myself apart from my peers and prepare myself for my career.”

He says the leadership program felt like a great opportunity to explore the non-technical side of engineering while learning about working in a team dynamic.

More than he expected

The certificate involves three tiers — foundations, development and excellence — with workshops, networking events, a leadership conference and other opportunities.

The aim is to build leadership skills and expertise through professional development, while giving students a chance to build their networks.

But Marcelo soon learned there was more to the program than what he read in its course description.

“I didn’t expect the leadership program to be so immediately and directly applicable to situations that I was experiencing in my coursework and extracurriculars, such as different term projects and my participation in clubs,” says Marcelo, who aside from his musical work was involved in the UCalgary Mentorship Program and the ENOVA Biomimicry Design Team.

He says the program’s three-year structure allowed for the development of a community of students who could share their own university and leadership experiences.

Hunter Marcelo at Convocation

Hunter Marcelo soaks in the moment at Convocation 2023.


Eyes to the future

After crossing the stage during Convocation 2023, Marcelo says he is still open to several possibilities for his future.

He has a passion for the biomedical engineering field and would like to explore academic research more by going to medical school.

Marcelo says the Certificate in Engineering Leadership will undoubtedly help future students who take part in the program, and believes it will continue to help him going forward.

“I think the topics of discussion and the opportunities to network are both very beneficial to everyone in the program,” he says. “The topics, especially proper conflict resolution and self-regulation, are applicable in a variety of situations from the workplace to even personal relationships.”

Learn more about the Certificate in Engineering Leadership.

The Schulich School of Engineering has launched its new strategic plan, Schulich Momentum: Enhancing Community, Expanding Impact. The plan includes four pillars, including Preparing Tomorrow’s Engineering Changemakers. Its goal is for all Schulich engineering students and postdoctoral scholars to engage in the innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem, learn ready-for-the-world skills, and become part of the community of global changemakers with a strong sense of social responsibility.

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