Write your Personal Profile

The Personal Profile is a crucial section in your UBC application. This is your chance to tell us about the things that are important to you, your significant achievements, what you’ve learned from your experiences, and the challenges you’ve overcome. It’s our chance to determine whether you’re a good fit for UBC and if you’ll receive an entrance scholarship.

 

Watch: Your Personal Profile for your UBC application

Get tips for crafting a strong Personal Profile that will help UBC understand what’s important to you, what you’ve achieved, and what you’ve learned from your life experiences so far.

Who must write a Personal Profile

You must complete a Personal Profile as part of your online application if:

Preparing for the Personal Profile

Each of the Personal Profile questions requires short essay responses (50 to 200 words), so you’ll want to think about your answers before you start your online application. Here are three tips to keep in mind:

  • Take time to reflect. Instead of simply listing your accomplishments and experiences, tell us what you’ve learned from them.
  • Be specific. Use details to provide context and elaborate on your answers.
  • Be true to who you are. Don’t focus on what you think we want to hear. Use your unique voice to tell us what you want to say.

Personal profile questions

Depending on which degree(s) you apply to, you’ll be asked to answer some or all of the following questions in your Personal Profile:

  • 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?
  • Briefly describe the culture of your school community and your involvement within it. What impact has the school culture had on you? How would you enhance or change it?
  • 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.
  • What is important to you? And why?
  • Describe up to five activities that you have pursued or accomplishments achieved in one or more of the following areas. Please outline the nature of your responsibilities within these activities. (50 words per description)
    • Club
    • Family/community responsibilities
    • Creative or performing arts
    • Work/employment
    • Athletics
    • Volunteer
    • Service to others
    • Other(s)
  • 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.
  • Additional information: 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?
  • 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.

How UBC evaluates your Personal Profile

UBC’s trained readers will read and evaluate your Personal Profile and compare it with the profiles written by other UBC applicants. We’re not looking for a particular experience, and there are no right or wrong answers. Your profile will be assessed against four criteria.

Engagement and accomplishment

How do you pursue your interests and manage your responsibilities? What do you do with your time when you are not in class? What would you (or others in your community) consider your most significant contributions and accomplishments? Whether it’s winning an international award or taking care of a younger sibling, any experience can teach you something about yourself and/or the world around you. We want to know what you have been doing and what have you have learned from your experiences. Make sure to give specific examples.

Leadership

Have you undertaken responsibilities and activities that have benefited those around you and/or contributed to your community in a meaningful way? If so, what have you learned about yourself and others in the process? Leadership can come in many forms. Any act of responsibility and/or initiative that serves others is a form of leadership. Leadership can be demonstrated in a formal role, within a group (e.g., being president of a club or captain of a team), or in an informal role, as an individual (e.g., taking it upon yourself to help in your community). And remember – it’s not just about being in a leadership role, it’s about what leadership has taught you.

Substance

Have you spent sufficient time reflecting upon what you want to say? Have you answered the questions in a detailed and meaningful way? Is the content of your Personal Profile superficial or clichéd, or are you presenting interesting, well-thought-out, and relevant ideas? Remember that trained UBC readers will be reviewing and comparing thousands of Personal Profiles. The best way to stand out is by making sure you have something meaningful and insightful to say.

Voice

Communication is important. Have you written a Personal Profile that is genuine and unique to who you are? Does your profile authentically reflect your own words? Will your voice stand out in a meaningful way, or will your profile read like many others?