UBC Personal Profile: Examples, Question Samples & Prep Tips

UBC Personal Profile: Examples, Question Samples & Prep Tips

If you’re looking for UBC Personal Profile questions, examples, and prep tips, then you’ve come to the right place. 

Before you dive in, it’s important to understand that UBC admissions committees receive thousands of applications every year. To help you stand out from the crowd, you need to demonstrate a clear sense of self, strong life experience, and exemplary communication skills.

Our ‘full student’ coaching process will help you improve in all these areas (and more!). 

If you’re not working with a coach, be sure to read the Self-Awareness, Goal-Setting, and Narrative Communication & Deductive Communication Skills Guides. All of these resources will empower you with the skills you need to show the admissions committee who you are, what you want to accomplish, and why you’d be a great fit for the University of British Columbia.

You’ll also notice that all our Personal Profile templates use the Narrative/Deductive Approach (access your blank template here) so you can see an effective general structure for your essays.

COACH’S TIP: You can choose EITHER the Narrative OR the Deductive approach for your UBC Personal Profile essays. The Narrative Approach is usually for Arts/Business programs, or for personal questions where you want to tell a memorable story that creates an emotional connection with the reader. The Deductive Approach is typically used for STEM programs, where you have to provide an argument in a logical and structured way. 

DON’T feel like you have to stick to this model — it’s just a guideline so you can learn to communicate in a way that’s most familiar to you. Just choose the approach that you’re most comfortable with (and get in touch with us if you need some help deciding which is best for your application). 

REMEMBER: This guide offers GENERAL guidance for the Personal Profile and is NOT PROGRAM SPECIFIC — some questions might be added, removed, or different depending on which program you’re applying to. Make sure you do you research and complete the ENTIRE application for your program. 

If you’re serious about getting into your top-choice program at the University of British Columbia and reaching your fullest post-secondary potential, connect with a Youth Coach™. It’s never too early to receive coaching.

Table of Contents

  1. UBC Personal Profile Overview: What is the Personal Profile?; Why do you need to write it?; How is it evaluated?; How to use this guide; and More.
  2. 2022/2023 UBC Personal Profile: Questions; Templates; Examples; Prep Tips; and More.

UBC Personal Profile Examples – Overview

In this section, we’ll go through all the must know information for your UBC Personal Profile.

What is the UBC Personal Profile?

The Personal Profile is mandatory for ALL high school students applying to any degree on UBC’s Okanagan or Vancouver campuses.  

If you are applying to Bachelor of Design in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and/or Urbanism, you do not need to submit a Profile. 

The UBC Personal Profile is made up of up to 8 short written essays (depending on the program you’re applying to). Keep reading for a full list of the questions, as well as essay templates and examples for each question.

You can access and submit the Personal Profile on EducationPlannerBC

COACH’S TIP: Write your essay responses BEFORE you start your online application, so that you have time to rewrite, edit, and polish your answers. When you sign in to EducationPlannerBC, you will have to upload your answers immediately, so if you have them saved in a separate doc, you can simply copy and paste them.  

IMPORTANT: The application opens on EducationPlannerBC in early October 2022 and the deadline to submit your application (including the Personal Profile) is January 15, 2023 at 11:59pm PST for regular admission.

Why Do You Need to Submit the UBC Personal Profile?

The UBC Personal Profile allows the program(s) you’re applying to get a better sense of who you are beyond your grades

Without it, you’re just a name on a page, and it’s really hard to differentiate you from other applicants, especially when everyone is a competitive applicant. 

The UBC Personal Profile asks you to talk about things like your:

  • Experiences
  • Interests
  • Values
  • Skills
  • Leadership Potential
  • Achievements 
  • Challenges you’ve overcome
  • Extracurriculars (across multiple years)
  • Goals
  • …and all the valuable lessons you’ve learned along the way!

The evaluators use all these details to see if you’d be a good fit for the program you’re applying to and UBC more generally. They will also use this information to see if you will receive an entrance scholarship.

Put simply, they want to figure out what makes you, you, as well as the experiences and lessons that have helped in this process.

The Profile can also help make your application more competitive (especially if your average is a bit lower) because you can emphasize the fact that you’re a well-rounded student who has the drive, skills, and passion to succeed in the program

Keep reading for explanations for each question, as well as templates and examples to help you write the best Personal Profile possible.

How is the UBC Personal Profile Evaluated?

The UBC Personal Profile is evaluated by readers who have been trained and are familiar with the area of study you’re applying to. 

While there are no right or wrong answers, the Profile evaluators don’t want you to simply list a bunch of activities you’ve done and things you have accomplished. 

Instead, they want to understand what you’ve learned from doing all these things and that you can articulate deep personal insight in all your answers. They also want you to use specific examples.

Strong essays will answer questions like these:

  • What did this experience teach you about yourself?
  • What did this experience teach you about others?
  • How did this experience change your outlook of the world?
  • How did it impact your goals and plans for the future?
  • What skills did this experience help you improve? 
  • Did this experience start/intensify your passion in your chosen field?
  • What did the challenges that arose during this experience teach you?
  • How has this experience changed you as a person and as a leader?

UBC Personal Profile Evaluation Rubric

Reviewers evaluate each essay in your Personal Profile according to 4 criteria

1. ENGGAGEMENT AND ACCOMPLISHMENT:

Using specific examples, your answers should outline the activities, initiatives, causes, accomplishments, etc. that you’re most proud of and care most about, and the accomplishments you’ve had in those areas. 

You should detail what you’ve learned because of these experiences, and how they’ve made you a better person both inside and outside the classroom. 

Here are some things to think about to help you get started:

  • What you care most about
  • The people who are most important in your life 
  • How you manage your time and responsibilities
  • Hobbies, volunteer work, or other interests you’re passionate about 
  • Community involvement and specific accomplishments you’ve achieved 
  • A goal or project you’ve set for yourself and achieved (and how you’ve done that) 
  • How you develop your passions and interests in various areas of your life

Using specific examples, your answers should discuss experiences/accomplishments where you became a stronger leader and developed leadership skills, like responsibility, reliability, resourcefulness, time management, accountability, and initiative. 

2. LEADERSHIP: 

Leadership can come in many forms, so don’t feel intimidated if you haven’t had much experience with it. It can be something as simple as a group project where you took the lead, or an extracurricular activity where you stepped up and went above and beyond the call of duty. 

Leadership can also be individual, like managing your own time or setting a specific challenge/goal for yourself and making a plan to achieve it.

Here are some things to think about to help you get started:

  • A specific experience where you showed exceptional leadership (and how you managed it)
  • What being a leader means to you
  • How you handle responsibility and accountability
  • How you use diverse opinions, experiences, and backgrounds to the advantage of the group you’re leading 
  • Effective strategies you’ve learned that help address specific challenges you’ve faced while leading
  • How your activities and accomplishments have benefited your peers or community
  • How have your leadership experiences influenced how you interact with others 
  • What are the lessons you’ve learned (including effective leadership strategies) that you will use in the future 

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3. SUBSTANCE: 

The evaluators want to see that EVERY example, detail, and learning outcome you write about in your answers has a purpose and is meaningful

They want to see that you’ve really thought about your answers and taken the time to prepare them.  

Uniqueness is a HUGE factor here — you don’t want your answers to be basic and the same as everyone else’s. They need to dig beyond the surface and give relevant and interesting insights that other students might not have thought of. 

The evaluators also want to see that you’ve built self-awareness and have asked yourself big questions like who you are, what you value, where you want to go, and how you’ll apply the lessons you’ve learned to get there


If you have filled out our Student Identity Blueprint then this pulling out substance and deep personal insight in your essays will be a lot easier (if you haven’t filled out your Blueprint yet, click here to get started or connect with a coach). 

4. VOICE:

The evaluators want to see that you can communicate your ideas in an authentic and memorable way, using storytelling, emotional connection, and character development

They want to see your personality and voice jump off the page — NOT the same generic essay over and over.

This might seem obvious, but a lot of students don’t know how to articulate their ideas in a genuine way that showcases who they are and explains what makes them different

Once your Profile has been evaluated according to these criteria, it is compared with other students’ Personal Profiles. Then this score is applied to your overall admission average as well as other admission criteria (e.g. video interview), if applicable. 

How to Use this UBC Personal Profile App Prep Guide

In this guide, we will provide breakdowns, templates, and examples for all 6 Personal Profile Questions. 

IMPORTANT: The program you’re applying to might not ask you to answer all 6 questions (or some of the questions might be slightly different) or it might have some slight variations on the questions listed below. Make sure you read the ENTIRE application to make sure you aren’t missing anything for your program. For program-specific guidance, connect with a coach any time for support. 

As mentioned above, all our templates use our Narrative Communication & Deductive Communication Approaches, so you can see what an effective structure looks like for the answers. We will use both approaches throughout this guide. Choose whichever approach you’re most comfortable with (or connect with a coach for support).

We will use UBC Personal Profile templates and examples from the UBC Sauder BCom Personal Profile to show you what essays using the Narrative Approach look like. We have adapted these essays into the Deductive Approach structure so that you can see examples for this communication style as well.  

Click here for your template, with options to use the Narrative Approach (starting on p.1) or the Deductive Approach (starting on p.9). 

Ace your UBC
Personal Profile.

get a youth coach™

Khanh

UBC Alumni
& Youth Coach™

2022/2023 UBC Personal Profile Questions & Examples 

Here are the UBC Personal Profile questions, as well as answer examples. 

REMEMBER: The program(s) you’re applying to might include some or all of these questions (or some questions with slight variations). Make sure you read the entire application carefully to make sure you don’t miss anything! You can also connect with us for program-specific guidance.

UBC Personal Profile Answer Examples – Question 1

“Explain how you responded to a problem and/or an unfamiliar situation. What did you do, what was the outcome, and what did you learn from the experience? (Maximum 1,500 characters)”

UBC Personal Profile Question 1 – Breakdown

As the first question in your Personal Profile, this is where you have the opportunity to make a strong first impression.

This question prompts you to discuss a meaningful experience, where you were required to address a challenge or uncomfortable situation. The important thing here isn’t so much what the situation was, but how you handled adversity and what you learned from it

Maybe you learned a new strategy for being a leader, or you saw the benefits of getting outside of your comfort zone, or you learned something about yourself.

Go beyond the surface and try to think of a problem/unfamiliar situation that will allow you to provide deep insight and self-awareness. Be as unique as possible, drawing out a learning outcome that is unexpected and memorable. 

COACH’S TIP: Paint a vivid and detailed picture as much as possible, showing who you were before this problem and/or unfamiliar situation happened, and then what your initial reaction was, and how you resolved it. Let your personality shine through, while taking the reader on the journey with you. 

Choose only experiences where you have a clear learning outcome that has changed who you are and how you view the world. You want to make sure that your answer has substance. 

The reviewers want to see that you’ve really thought about why this learning outcome is important and how it can be applied to your life today (and in the future). If you can do this, we guarantee that your essay will stand out from other applicants. 
Not sure how to communicate your personal growth and learning in essay questions like these? Our Narrative Communication Guide and Deductive Communication Guides are a great place to start, and you can also connect with a coach to take your essay response to the next level.

UBC Personal Profile Question 1 – Template

Get started on your template here (Click File > Make a Copy within the doc). This template doc has BOTH the Narrative Approach (starting on p.1) and Deductive Approach (starting on p.9) templates listed below.

REMEMBER: There is a 1,500 character limit for this answer. 

Here’s a template that follows our Narrative Communication Approach:

  • Hook (~100 characters) – Optional
    • Quickly capture the reader’s attention and set up the essay so they know what to expect.
  • Context (~200 characters)
    • Set the scene with who you were before this problem/unfamiliar situation happened using the 5Ws (Why, What, When, Where, Why). If you can, focus on explaining who you were before this problem/situation occurred, like what you believed in, valued, etc.  
  • Catalyst (~200 characters)
    • Describe the problem/unfamiliar situation and exactly what happened. Paint the picture vividly with your words and try to give enough detail so the reader feels like they are there with you. Briefly describe your emotions when this problem/situation occurred. 
  • Outcome (~350 characters)
    • Discuss how you responded to this problem and/or unfamiliar situation, how you solved it, and what the end result was (this is the ‘after’ scenario that you introduced in the Context section). 
  • Reflection (~650 characters)
    • Provide deep insight into some specific learning outcomes that occurred during this experience. Focus on 1-2 themes, while providing specific examples of the impact this experience had on your life today. Finally, write 1-2 sentences about how this experience will help you as a UBC student. 

Here’s a template that follows our Deductive Communication Approach:

  • Hypothesis/Answer (~300 characters)
    • State what the problem and/or unfamiliar situation was, and briefly how you responded to it initially. 
  • Main Reason(s) (~300 characters)
    • Explain why you had the initial reaction you did, and how you solved the problem and/or address the unfamiliar situation. Paint the picture vividly with your words, and give enough detail so the reader feels like they are there with you. 
  • Supporting Arguments (~300 characters)
    • Provide examples of what happened as you were working to resolve the issue, such as any roadblocks you faced, skills you used to make things easier, how you addressed them, and what the final outcome was.  
  • So What? (~600 characters)
    • Provide deep insight into some specific learning outcomes that occurred during this experience. Focus on 1-2 themes, while providing specific examples of the impact this experience had on your life today. Finally, write 1-2 sentences about how this experience will help you as a UBC student.

UBC Personal Profile Question 1 – Example

Here are some examples of how to answer this question, using BOTH of our communication approaches.

REMEMBER: Please note that all of the examples in this guide are EXAMPLES ONLY and are NOT meant for you to copy.  

Example 1: From UBC Sauder Personal Profile Prep Guide, following the Narrative Communication Approach:

ubc sauder personal profile examples and sauder video interview questions

Example 2: Here’s an example of the same essay, but following the Deductive Communication Approach:

ubc personal profile example questions samples and tips

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UBC Personal Profile Answer Examples – Question 2

“Give us an example of how the pandemic has changed your involvement in the community or group most important to you. What have you learned from this experience? (Maximum 1500 characters)”

UBC Sauder Personal Profile Question 2 – Breakdown

This question is similar to Question 1 because it again asks you to discuss your ability to adapt and learn during difficult situations. Think of the pandemic here as similar to the problem/unfamiliar situation you talked about in Question 1. 

Then, take it one step further and give insight into who you are by describing the causes, activities, and community initiatives you care most about.

Even though we know that COVID was super stressful for everyone, don’t be overly negative in your answer. Instead, draw out 1-2 positive opportunities and experiences it has provided to you as a leader, like pivoting your perspective or driving personal growth and change, teaching you something you didn’t know about yourself, evolving your skills, etc. 

Similar to Question 1, you should provide deep personal insight and learning outcomes, while using your chosen experience to highlight your passion, dedication, and commitment. Be as unique as possible. Go beyond simply saying “The pandemic was hard because everything closed.” Instead, paint the picture of your involvement in your community/group before COVID (‘before’) and then talk about how you faced this challenge and came out better in the end (‘after’). Take the reader on a journey with you, while describing your emotions and showcasing your personality.

For example, if you volunteer as Vice President Events and Fundraising at your local Salvation Army, you could use this experience as an example to talk about your how your interest in helping the underprivileged population of your community started because your parents immigrated to Canada when you were young and you saw how hard it was for them to make ends meet. This valuable context will help you establish a strong emotional connection with the reader (and it will make your answer more memorable). Then, you could move into the COVID-19 portion of the question, where you discuss how your involvement shifted and what you learned from that. 

The most important thing here is to write an authentic and memorable story that articulates who you are as well as your growth, learning, and change over time. To make this process easier for you, we’ve developed the Narrative Communication Approach™ and Deductive Communication Approach™ so you can create memorable essays. You can also connect with a coach to learn how to use these communication styles in your Personal Profile responses.

UBC Personal Profile Question 2 – Template

Get started on your template here (Click File > Make a Copy within the doc). This template doc has BOTH the Narrative Approach (starting on p.1) and Deductive Approach (starting on p.9) templates listed below.

REMEMBER: There is a 1,500 character limit for this answer. 

Here’s a template that follows our Narrative Communication Approach

  • Hook (~100 characters) – Optional
    • Quickly capture the reader’s attention and set up the essay so they know what to expect.
  • Context (~250 characters)
    • Discuss how you were involved in the community and/or a group that was particularly important to you before the pandemic. Paint a ‘before’ picture here, so that the real impact can be felt later on in the paragraph.  
  • Catalyst (~300 characters)
    • Describe in detail how COVID-19 changed everything about this community activity/group for you. Answer the questions: When COVID hit, what happened? Did it impact your involvement in the community/the group that was most important to you? What was the most difficult part and how did you respond? Describe your emotions as much as possible here.
  • Outcome (~350 characters)
    • Discuss how you responded to these challenges. Give 1-2 examples of the shift/changes you had to make and any effects this had on your community involvement/group. Finally, state what happened after all your efforts, listing quantifiable outcomes (i.e. money raised, hours worked, members added, etc.) as much as possible.
  • Reflection (~500 characters)
    • Describe how this experience allowed you to learn and grow as a leader and student. Provide deep insight and a unique learning outcome. Focus on 1-2 themes, while providing specific examples of the impact this experience had on your life today. Finally, briefly state how you will use this learning at UBC.

Here’s a template that follows our Deductive Communication Approach:

  • Hypothesis/Answer (~200 characters) 
    • Clearly state how the pandemic has changed your involvement in the community or group that is most important to you (and briefly what the activity/group was). 
  • Main Reason(s) (~500 characters)
    • Discuss how you were involved in the community and/or a group before the pandemic. Paint a ‘before’ picture here, so that the real impact can be felt later on in the paragraph. Then, describe how COVID-19 changed everything about this community activity/group for you. Answer the questions: When COVID hit, what happened? Did it impact your involvement in the community/the group that was most important to you? What was the most difficult part and how did you respond? 
  • Supporting Arguments (~300 characters)
    • Discuss how you responded to these challenges, and how it helped you evolve (both the activity itself and you as a person). Give 2-3 examples of the shift/changes you had to make and any effects this had on your community involvement/group, and how you responded/adapted. 
  • So What? (~500 characters)
    • Describe how this experience allowed you to learn and grow as a leader and student. Provide deep insight and a unique learning outcome. Focus on 1-2 themes, while providing specific examples of the impact this experience had on your life today. Finally, briefly state how you will use this learning at UBC.

UBC Personal Profile Question 2 – Example

Here are some examples of how to answer this question, using both of our communication approaches.

REMEMBER: Please note that all of the examples in this guide are EXAMPLES ONLY and are NOT meant for you to copy.  

Example 1: From UBC Sauder Personal Profile Prep Guide, following the Narrative Communication Approach:

sauder video interview questions

Example 2: Here’s an example of the same essay, but following the Deductive Communication Approach:

ubc personal profile example questions samples and tips

UBC Personal Profile Answer Examples – Question 3

Tell us about who you are. How would your family, friends, and/or members of your community describe you? If possible, please include something about yourself that you are most proud of and why. (Maximum 1500 characters)

UBC Personal Profile Question 3 – Breakdown

This question is asking A LOT, in a REALLY limited space. 

With so many topics to address, things can get pretty disjointed and chaotic if you aren’t careful. 

To help you make an organized and articulate answer, we recommend tackling this question in the following way. 

First, identify 1-2 themes that will unify the entire essay. This can be anything from a hobby or research interest, to a skill/value, extracurricular activity, or an audacious goal you’ve set/achieved. 

Next, answer each of these 3 components, highlighting your theme(s) wherever possible:

  • Introduce Yourself: Think of this component as your pitch to convince the evaluators why you’re a standout applicant who is the PERFECT fit for UBC. 🙂 Limit yourself to 1-2 memorable and unique facts that can be used to differentiate you from other applicants. You can talk about things like notable achievements and/or hobbies, unique experiences, things you value, skills you’ve worked on, etc.  
  • How People Describe You: Provide 1-2 adjectives that best describe you, providing direct quotes, feedback you’ve received, etc. wherever possible. This can be from friends, family, role models, a teacher, a coach — anyone whose opinion you value.
  • Something You’re Proud of and Why: State a unique accomplishment that highlights the facts/adjectives you mentioned above in action, as well as the skills it took to get you there. Then, answer why you’re so proud of it and what you learned because of it.

Remember that your theme(s) is the focus of the entire essay, while the details in the 3 components listed above (e.g. facts about you, your experiences, personal anecdotes and insight, and lessons you’ve learned) give more details about how the themes relate to you and why they’re an inseparable part of who you are.  

For example, say the overall theme of your essay is perseverance/determination, as well as your interest in entrepreneurship and software development. 

You would start with the first component (i.e. introduce yourself) and talk about how you are a resourceful and independent person, who does whatever it takes to reach a goal once it has been set. You could say that this determination comes from your parents, who immigrated to Canada when you were 2 years old, and always taught you the value of working hard and going after what you want. After being inspired by their success as small business owners, you decided to pursue your interest in entrepreneurship. 

Then, in the second component (i.e. how people describe you), you might say that your friends and family describe you as being very sure of yourself and confident in your abilities, which they saw when you started your own cyber security entrepreneurial venture. After seeing the struggles you went through, as well as all the late nights and trial and error, they realized how determined you were to go after your dreams. 

Finally, for the third component (i.e. something you accomplished), you could say that the thing you’re most proud of is taking your small business from nothing to having over 20 clients and generating over $10,000 in sales in just a few months. You learned that a big part of perseverance/determination is learning to receive constructive criticism, while maintaining authority as a leader, and being open to evolve. 

Here, you can see that the student provides a ton of details about himself (e.g. his family, immigrating to Canada, his interest in business, his organizational and leadership skills, etc.), while answering every component of the question. The theme of perseverance and entrepreneurship unifies and creates a focus for the entire essay, so that all the details are clear and organized. 

We know that such a complex question might seem a bit intimidating at first, but if you break it down into smaller sections it’s much more manageable. We also recommend that you connect with a coach to help you choose unique and authentic themes, and help you articulate your interests, skills, experiences, and goals in a memorable way. 

UBC Personal Profile Question 3 – Template

Get started on your template here (Click File > Make a Copy within the doc). This template doc has BOTH the Narrative Approach (starting on p.1) and Deductive Approach (starting on p.9) templates listed below.

REMEMBER: There is a 1,500 character limit for this answer. 

Here’s a template that follows our Narrative Communication Approach

THEME(S): 

  • Hook (~50 characters) – Optional
    • Capture the reader’s attention and give a quick preview of what’s to come.
  • Context (~350 characters)
    • Briefly answer the question “Tell us who you are”, listing 1-2 notable facts that are an inseparable part of who you are (remember to use your theme as a focus). Provide 1-2 short sentences for each fact, giving enough detail that the reader can get a clear sense of who you are and your personality. You can start the essay with a statement like “I am…”, “I enjoy”, “I am passionate about”, “I value”, etc. 
  • Catalyst (~300 characters)
    • Discuss how your friends and family would describe you, using 1-2 adjectives (which also relate back to your main theme). Use direct quotes or feedback you’ve received from people here as evidence. 
  • Outcome (~400 characters)
    • Describe an experience or two as evidence for why people would feel this way about you (e.g. volunteer work, social initiatives, extracurriculars, etc.), and make it an accomplishment you’re particularly proud of. Describe the outcome of the experience you noted above, using quantifiable facts (e.g. money raised, hours volunteered, people helped, etc.), as well as the skills it took to get you there. If you don’t have a specific experience in mind, mention another achievement or accomplishment or are particularly proud of, as long as it relates to the theme of your essay.
  • Reflection (~400 characters) 
    • Discuss what you have learned about yourself (and others) as you’ve explored your personal and academic interests and taken part in the activities you mentioned above. What have your experiences taught you about yourself? How have you evolved as a person? Finally, conclude your essay with a brief statement about how you will use the details you mentioned above to make you successful at UBC.

Here’s a template that follows our Deductive Communication Approach:

THEME(S): 

  • Hypothesis/Answer (~400 characters)
    • Briefly answer the question “Tell us who you are”, listing 1-2 notable facts that are an inseparable part of who you are, while introducing the theme as the focus of your essay. Provide enough detail about your memorable facts that the reader gets a clear sense of who you are and your personality. You can start the essay with a statement like “I am…”, “I enjoy”, “I am passionate about”, “I value”, etc. 
  • Main Reason(s) (~400 characters)
    • Discuss how your friends and family would describe you, using 1-2 adjectives (which also relate back to your main theme). Describe an experience or two as evidence for why people would feel this way about you (e.g. volunteer work, social initiatives, extracurriculars, etc.). Use direct quotes or feedback you’ve received from people here as evidence. 
  • Supporting Arguments (~300 characters) 
    • Describe the outcome of the experience you noted above, using quantifiable facts (e.g. money raised, hours volunteered, people helped, etc.), as well as the skills it took to get you there. If you don’t have a specific experience in mind, mention another achievement or accomplishment or are particularly proud of, as long as it relates to the theme of your essay.
  • So What? (~400 characters)
    • Discuss what you have learned about yourself (and others) as you’ve explored your personal and academic interests and taken part in the activities you mentioned above. What have your experiences taught you about yourself? How have you evolved as a person? Finally, conclude your essay with a brief statement about how you will use the details you mentioned above to make you successful at UBC.

UBC Personal Profile Question 3 – Example 

Here are some examples of how to answer this question, using both of our communication approaches.

REMEMBER: Please note that all of the examples in this guide are EXAMPLES ONLY and are NOT meant for you to copy.  

Example 1: Here’s an example of this essay question, following the Narrative Communication Approach:

ubc personal profile example questions samples and tips
ubc personal profile example questions samples and tips

Example 2: Here’s an example of the same essay, but following the Deductive Communication Approach:

ubc personal profile example questions samples and tips
ubc personal profile example questions samples and tips

Need some help tackling tough UBC Personal Profile questions like this one? Remember — you aren’t alone! 

Our Youth Coaches have helped hundreds of students create unique and authentic essay responses that showcase their skills, experiences, and strengths. Connect with a coach for all the support you need!

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UBC Personal Profile Answer Examples – Question 4

What is important to you? And why? (Maximum 1500 characters)

UBC Personal Profile Question 4 – Breakdown

Unlike Question 3, this question seems pretty straightforward. But don’t be fooled — it’s still asking a lot.

By finding out what is most important to you (and how it became important), the evaluators get a lot of insight into what makes you, you (and whether you’d be a good fit for UBC).

This question is left intentionally broad so you can discuss a wide range of topics like:

  • Values
  • Skills
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Extracurriculars 
  • Competitions 
  • Clubs
  • Community activities
  • Teams
  • Social causes 
  • Role models 
  • Influential things/people in your life
  • Transformational experiences 
  • Concepts and ideas (e.g. leadership, work/life balance)

When thinking about what you want to discuss, reflect on something that you’re genuinely excited and motivated about, and articulate this passion in your answer. The goal here is to make the evaluators as excited about it as you are. 

Perhaps more important than the actual thing you discuss is WHY it’s so important (and how you communicate that). 

Think about where you’d be if you hadn’t discovered it, and what life would look like without it. 

Take the reader on a journey of how you have pursued this interest over time, the formative experiences you’ve had while doing so, and the positive things that have resulted from it. 

Remember that an important part of the UBC Personal Profile evaluation rubric is focusing on learning outcomes, so you should always list around 2-3 life-changing things you’ve discovered about yourself along the way. 

Finally, think about how this interest will ultimately make you a better student, and how you will continue to explore this interest at UBC. Do some research about specific clubs, programs, courses, etc. that will allow you to continually explore this interest and contribute to the UBC community as a whole.

Need some help deciding which topic to discuss for this essay question? We can help!

UBC Personal Profile Question 4 – Template

Get started on your template here (Click File > Make a Copy within the doc). This template doc has BOTH the Narrative Approach (starting on p.1) and Deductive Approach (starting on p.9) templates listed below.

REMEMBER: There is a 1,500 character limit for this answer. 

Here’s a template that follows our Narrative Communication Approach

  • Hook (~50 characters) – Optional
    • Quickly capture the reader’s attention and set up the essay so they know what to expect.
  • Context & Catalyst (~400 characters)
    • State what is important to you. Answering the 4Ws (who, what, when, where) as much as possible so you provide enough information that the reader knows exactly what you are talking about. Discuss how it became so important to you (i.e. was there a specific event, time, or person where your interest started?).
  • Outcome (~550 characters)
    • Describe what happened as a result of you pursuing it, such as skills you built, people you met, a career path you discovered, a goal you achieved, etc. Focus on 1-2 ways that it has impacted your life, and think about what your life would look like if you hadn’t discovered it. Briefly discuss any plans you have in the future to continue to pursue this area of interest. 
  • Reflection (~500 characters)
    • Talk about 1-2 learning outcomes that have occurred because of this interest. Answer questions like: How have I changed over time? How has it influenced my life? How has it changed my worldview and values? Conclude by briefly stating how this interest (and your learning outcomes) will help you succeed as a student at UBC.

Here’s a template that follows our Deductive Communication Approach:

  • Hypothesis/Answer (~300 characters)
    • State what is important to you. Answering the 4Ws (who, what, when, where) as much as possible so you provide enough information that the reader knows exactly what you are talking about.
  • Main Reason(s) & Supporting Arguments (~400 characters)
    • Describe what happened as a result of you pursuing this interest, such as skills you built, people you met, a career path you discovered, a goal you achieved, etc. Focus on 1-2 ways that it has impacted your life, and think about what your life would look like if you hadn’t discovered it. Finally, draw on your experiences cultivating this interest and how your interest has grown or changed over time. Briefly discuss any plans you have in the future to continue to pursue this area of interest. 
  • So What? (~500 characters)
    • Talk about 1-2 learning outcomes that have occurred because of this interest. Answer questions like: How have I changed over time? How has it influenced my life? How has it changed my worldview and values? Conclude by briefly stating how this interest (and your learning outcomes) will help you succeed as a student at UBC.
UBC Personal Profile Question 4 – Example 

Here are some examples of how to answer this question, using both of our communication approaches.

REMEMBER: Please note that all of the examples in this guide are EXAMPLES ONLY and are NOT meant for you to copy.  

Example 1: Here’s an example of this essay question, following the Narrative Communication Approach:

ubc personal profile example questions samples and tips

Example 2: Here’s an example of this essay question, following the Deductive Communication Approach:

ubc personal profile example questions samples and tips

UBC Personal Profile Answer Examples – Question 5

List up to five activities or accomplishments in one or more of the following areas:

  • Athletics
  • Clubs
  • Creative and performing arts
  • Family and community
  • Service to others
  • Volunteering 
  • Work or employment
  • Other 

UBC Personal Profile Question 5 – Breakdown

UBC wants to see a broad range of activities in your Personal Profile, both inside and outside of school.

Choose extracurricular activities (like volunteer work or being a President of your school’s debate club), hobbies (like learning a new language), interests (like competitive swimming at your local community center), and/or general activities you enjoy doing with your family, friends, or members of your community (like playing tennis). 

COACH’S TIP: As mentioned above, the evaluators DON’T want you to simply list a bunch of activities you have done. Instead, they want you to talk about activities and experiences that have created learning outcomes that have profoundly shaped who you are as a person, while communicating these lessons in a unique, authentic, and memorable way (this will be especially important for the next question, which we will discuss more below). 

Choose up to 5 activities that will show the depth and breadth of your experiences. We call this the T Model (learn more about it here).

Here, you have 1-2 big activities that you’ve put a lot of time and effort into (this is the depth, or the vertical part of the ‘T’). For example, this could be a non-profit you started in your community, a fundraising event you organized to help address homelessness in your community, or giving a TEDx talk on an issue you are passionate about. These are BIG accomplishments that you’re super proud of. These should be the first ones in your Personal Profile, so you can wow the committee from the beginning. 🙂 

Next, you’ll have 2-3 activities that take less time and effort, but are still super important for helping shape who you are (this is the breadth, or the horizontal part of the ‘T’). For example, these could be an online course you took that ignited your interest in finance management or a summer internship you did that helped you develop your communication and leadership skills. 

Structuring your activities in this way will show the evaluators that you have well-rounded experience in many areas.

We know that identifying (and participating in) activities like this can be difficult, especially if you don’t know where to start. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Our unique approach will help you and your coach identify and execute audacious and authentic goals (we call these AYA goals) that are perfectly aligned with your interests and passions, so you can accomplish what you want (and have amazing experiences to talk about on your application). Connect with a coach to get started and check out our Goal-Setting Guide now.

UBC Personal Profile Question 5 – Template

Get started on your template here (Click File > Make a Copy within the doc). This template doc has BOTH the Narrative Approach (starting on p.1) and Deductive Approach (starting on p.9) templates listed below.

REMEMBER: There is a maximum of 300 characters per activity.

For this question, you will be asked for the following information: 

  • Activity Type: State what this activity is, using the list above. If your activity isn’t mentioned in that list, write a 1-2 word description.
  • Start Date: State when you began this activity (month/day/year) 
  • End Date (optional): State when you completed this activity (month/day/year). If you are still doing it, leave this blank.
  • Ongoing (optional): If this is an ongoing activity, check this box.
  • Frequency: Select from the dropdown menu how often you participate in this activity (for example ‘Regular Weekly Activity (5-10 hours per week).
  • Short Description (max 300 characters): Briefly describe your role in this activity and what it was for (e.g. President of your school’s economics club). Then, describe what you did, as well as what quantifiable outcomes (i.e. money earned, hours dedicated, etc.) and what you learned as a result of taking part in this activity (if you have space).

COACH’S TIP: On the EducationPlannerBC site, you will have to add each activity individually to your profile. Our template will ensure that you have all the correct information beforehand so you can have everything prepared and proofread.👍

UBC Sauder Personal Profile Question 5 – Example

Here’s an example of a list of activities for this question

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Find the mentor you’ve been looking for.

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UBC Personal Profile Answer Examples – Question 6 

Tell us more about ONE or TWO activities listed above that are most important to you. Please explain the role you played and what you learned in the process. You will be asked for a reference who can speak to your response. (Maximum 2100 characters)

UBC Personal Profile Question 6 – Breakdown

This question gives you the chance to discuss further insight into the impact your experiences have had on you and how the lessons they taught helped shape who you are.

We recommend choosing 1 activity to write your essay on so that you can provide enough detail and create a memorable and unique story. 

However, if you have two activities that both helped you discover a similar learning outcome, then you can write about 2. 

For example, if you volunteered to help organize a fundraising event for Alzeheimer’s research and awareness, you could talk about why you took on this role, and then the leadership skills, time management, team work, and problem solving skills you developed along the way. Talking about this one activity using the template below is perfectly fine. However, let’s say you with the help of your Youth Coach you took your goals to the next level and started your own non-profit to continue the journey to fund research for this disease. This would be a great opportunity to discuss two activities because it shows your dedication and your evolving leadership and interest in entrepreneurship and business.

It’s also important to choose an activity that you genuinely care about, so that you can convey your passion to the evaluators, along with what you learned. Your experiences make up what you value and what you care about. If you completed your Student Identity Blueprint™, it will be really easy to choose activities that align to your Nurtured Values and communicate these values in your Personal Profile. If you haven’t filled out your Blueprint, connect with a coach to get started.

COACH’S TIP: Make sure you give your reference a heads up that UBC might contact them. Discuss the activity you were involved in, as well as your role, responsibilities, and what you learned as a result of that experience. You can even email some talking points for them to use if they’ve contacted. You don’t want your essay to give one learning outcome and then your reference to give another, so take the time to make sure the messaging is aligned.

Finally, when discussing what you learned in the process, make sure you really focus on the qualities that UBC looks for in its students, like leadership, community involvement, team work, and a passion for the field you’re applying to. 

If you need help deciding which activity from Question 5 to choose, connect with a coach for support. They can help you write an authentic and memorable response that will help you stand out from other applicants and increase your chances of admission success.

UBC Personal Profile Examples Question 6 – Template

Get started on your template here (Click File > Make a Copy within the doc). This template doc has BOTH the Narrative Approach (starting on p.1) and Deductive Approach (starting on p.9) templates listed below.

REMEMBER: There is a 2,100 character limit for this answer. 

Here’s a template that follows our Narrative Communication Approach:

  • Hook (~200 characters) – Optional
    • Quickly capture the reader’s attention and set up the essay so the reader knows what to expect.
  • Context (~400 characters)
    • State the activity that you are discussing from the list you gave in Question 5. Describe what you did in that activity (i.e. your role, responsibilities, etc.). Try to answer the 5Ws (who, what, when, where, and why). 
  • Catalyst (~500 characters)
    • Describe who you were before you started this activity and how your interests, values, etc. evolved while you were doing it. This can be a specific event that occurred while you took part in this activity or change over time. State some quantifiable outcomes that occurred as a result of your participation in the activity (e.g. money raised, hours devoted, etc.).
  • Outcome & Reflection (~1,000 characters)
    • Describe how this experience allowed you to learn and grow as a leader and student (this is the ‘after’ picture that you started in the Catalyst section). Provide deep insight and a unique learning outcome. Focus on 1-2 themes, while providing specific examples of the impact this activity had on your life today. Finally, briefly state how you will use this learning at UBC.

Here’s a template that follows our Deductive Communication Approach:

  • Hypothesis/Answer (~400 characters)
    • State 1-2 activities that you listed in Question 5. Describe what you did in that activity (i.e. your role, responsibilities, etc.). Try to answer the 5Ws (who, what, when, where, and why). 
  • Main Reason(s) & Supporting Arguments (~700 characters)
    • Describe who you were before you started this activity and how your interests, values, etc. evolved while you were doing it. This can be a specific event that occurred while you took part in this activity or change over time. State some quantifiable outcomes that occurred as a result of your participation in the activity (e.g. money raised, hours devoted, etc.).
  • So What? (~1,000 characters)
    • Describe how this experience allowed you to learn and grow as a leader and student (this is the ‘after’ picture that you started in the Main Reasons section). Provide deep insight and a unique learning outcome. Focus on 1-2 themes, while providing specific examples of the impact this activity had on your life today. Finally, briefly state how you will use this learning at UBC.

UBC Sauder Personal Profile Question 6 – Example

Here are some examples of how to answer this question, using both of our communication approaches.

REMEMBER: Please note that all of the examples in this guide are EXAMPLES ONLY and are NOT meant for you to copy.  

Example 1: From UBC Sauder Personal Profile Prep Guide, following the Narrative Communication Approach. This example is from the list of activities in Question 5, from a student who was the President of their school’s economics club.

ubc sauder application

Example 2: Here’s an example of the same essay, but following the Deductive Communication Approach:

ubc personal profile example questions samples and tips

Need some help writing essays that describe your extracurriculars and what you learned? Connect with a coach for support.

UBC Personal Profile Answer Examples – Question 7

Additional Information (Optional): You may wish to use the space below to provide UBC with more information on your academic history to date and/or your future academic plans. For example: How did you choose your courses in secondary school? Are there life circumstances that have affected your academic decisions to date? What have you done to prepare yourself specifically for your intended area of study at UBC? (maximum 600 characters)

UBC Personal Profile Question 7 – Breakdown

So far in your Personal Profile, you’ve given the admissions committee some insight into your experiences and achievements inside and outside of the classroom with volunteer opportunities, extracurriculars, and various other activities.

All of these questions show how you undertake responsibilities, deal with setbacks when they arise, and have grown as a person along the way. Think of this as the development of your interests and passions through the activities you are involved in.

Question 7, on the other hand, focuses less on extracurriculars and other activities, and looks inside the classroom. Here, the reviewers want to know how your academic journey has developed your interest in business and led to you applying to UBC. 

This question is very open-ended so that you can focus on basically any area that has impacted your academic choices and performance. 

If you aren’t sure what to write here (if anything at all), have a look at your Student Identity Blueprint™ to help you identify why your interest in your chosen field began, your achievements thus far, and the skills/values that helped shape this interest (and who you are more generally). If you haven’t already completed your Blueprint, connect with a coach to get started on one.

The most important things to focus on for this question is how your courses in high school helped you develop your interest in your chosen field (and how you’ll continue to explore this at UBC).

You can discuss a gradual development over time or a specific event that changed academic choices/plans, and what you learned about yourself as a result.  

Focus on courses that are applicable to the program you’re applying to as much as you can here. 

Think about such questions as:

  • What made you want to take this course?
  • What challenges did you face when you did?
  • How did this evolve your interest in your chosen field more generally?
  • What skills, like leadership, communication, team work, and problem solving, did you develop along the way, and how? 
  • How will these skills and experiences you developed help you at UBC, and how?

COACH’S TIP: Use specific details and talk about the emotions you experienced as much as you can. This will help create a unique connection with the reader and transport them into exactly what you felt during the situation/experience you are talking about. 

If you are unsure how to approach this question, connect with a coach to find an authentic angle that will emotionally connect with the reviewers while communicating your journey. 

UBC Personal Profile Question 7 – Template

Get started on your template here (Click File > Make a Copy within the doc). This template doc has BOTH the Narrative Approach (starting on p.1) and Deductive Approach (starting on p.9) templates listed below.

REMEMBER: There is a 600 character limit for this answer. 

Here’s a template that follows our Narrative Communication Approach:

  • Context (~100 characters)
    • Provide a brief description of your academic experience, including details like courses you’ve taken, skills you’ve built, and your experiences in high school. Briefly mention how these contribute to your interests and plans for the future (e.g. future studies, career, etc.). 
  • Catalyst (~200 characters)
    • Describe any experiences, challenges, or setbacks (academic or personal) and discuss how these affected your academic decisions in high school and while applying to university. Emphasize the uniqueness of your experiences and the emotions you felt so that you can be as authentic as possible. 
  • Outcome & Reflection (~300 characters)
    • Talk about what you learned as a result of this experience. How did it help you evolve as a person and student? Provide specific examples that show how what you’ve learned will help you excel at UBC. 

Here’s a template that follows our Deductive Communication Approach:

  • Hypothesis/Answer (~100 characters)
    • Provide a brief description of your academic history to date and/or your future academic plans. 
  • Main Reason(s) & Supporting Arguments (~250 characters)
    • Provide some details and examples, like courses you’ve taken, skills you’ve developed, and your experiences in high school. Briefly mention how these contribute to your interests and plans for the future (e.g. future studies, career, etc.). 
  • So What? (~250 characters)
    • Talk about what you learned as a result of your experiences, and how they’ve helped you evolve as a person and student. Provide specific examples that show how what you’ve learned will help you excel at UBC. 

UBC Personal Profile Question 7 – Example

Here are some examples of how to answer this question, using both of our communication approaches.

REMEMBER: Please note that all of the examples in this guide are EXAMPLES ONLY and are NOT meant for you to copy.  

Example 1: From UBC Sauder Personal Profile Prep Guide, following the Narrative Communication Approach:

ubc sauder interview questions

Example 2: Here’s an example of the same essay, but following the Deductive Communication Approach:

ubc personal profile example questions samples and tips

UBC Personal Profile Answer Examples – Question 8

Please submit the names of two referees who know you well and can comment on your preparedness for study at UBC. Examples of referees include an employer, a community member, a coach, a teacher/instructor, or anyone who knows you well. One of the referees you select MUST be able to speak to one of the activities / experiences described in one of your long-answer responses above. For applicants who are currently attending a high school, one of your referees MUST be a school official (e.g. grade 12 or senior year counsellor, teacher, or IB Coordinator). Neither referee should be a friend, family member, or paid agent.

UBC Personal Profile Question 6 – Breakdown

The purpose of this question is so that UBC can verify the activities, experiences, and learning outcomes you discussed in the previous questions. 

Before listing the names and contact information for your references, make sure that you ask your references for permission first, so that if they get a call or email from UBC then they’re not surprised. 

UBC Personal Profile Question 8 – Template

Get started on your template here (click File > Make a copy)

You will need the following information:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Relationship
  • Email Address
  • Phone Number

UBC Personal Profile Question 8 – Example

Here an example of the information for this section:

ubc sauder application

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