UNB Alumni
Telling our #ProudlyUNB stories

Q&A: Julia MacPherson, UNB Alumni Student Leadership Award

Author: UNB Alumni

Posted on Mar 22, 2024

Category: UNB Fredericton , Engineering , Young Alumni , Inspiring Stories

Recipient of a 2023-24 Alumni Student Leadership Award, Julia MacPherson is a member of the UNB REDS Field Hockey club and plays a leadership role as club vice-president, extending her leadership in sport to serve on the board of directors for Field Hockey New Brunswick. In addition to her commitment to athletics, Julia is deeply engaged in the faculty of engineering where she is a mechanical engineering student. She serves on the Engineering Endowment Fund committee, is a peer mentor, and is Vice-President Communications with the Engineering Undergraduate Society, among many other community volunteer efforts.

What inspired you to enroll in UNB’s engineering faculty?

In high school, I enjoyed and excelled in science and math-related subjects. When searching for a career connected to these areas, I discovered engineering, and I am grateful that I ended up pursuing this degree. I chose UNB Engineering because of its excellent engineering reputation, program size, and location in Atlantic Canada.

What has been the most rewarding or exciting part of your academic studies?

The most rewarding part of my engineering studies has been the ability to take my learning beyond the classroom in several ways. Through engineering student groups, I’ve gained experience planning national conferences in marketing, bilingualism, and sponsorship. Recently, my teammate and I won two qualifying competitions to attend the Canadian Engineering Competition where we placed second in the country. These events show a culmination of learnings throughout my degree and are certainly rewarding after many hours of classwork.

How do you stay involved in student life on campus? 

I stay involved in student life through sports, volunteering, and student government. I have been a member of the REDS Field Hockey Team during my entire degree as I love to play and represent my school. I have also been involved with the Engineering Undergraduate Society, conference planning committees, and leading orientations. This year, I am the co-chair of the Engineering Endowment Fund which distributes grants to student projects.

What do you enjoy most about being involved in student life on campus?

I love the feeling of community and the friends I’ve made through various campus activities. I’ve made many friends through field hockey and engineering clubs that I would not have met otherwise. These connections help me feel connected to the UNB community across all years of study and a variety of different programs.

How has receiving the Alumni Student Leadership Award positively impacted your UNB experience?

Receiving the Alumni Student Leadership Award is an honour that has allowed me to focus on my studies and extracurriculars, rather than on finances. I am fortunate to have received scholarships throughout my years at UNB that allow me to fund my studies and take advantage of all that Fredericton and UNB have to offer during my time here.

What makes you Proudly UNB?

I am Proudly UNB because of our wonderful community and the sense of belonging it fosters. UNB has such diverse students and provides us all with opportunities for not only a great education but personal growth. Being Proudly UNB will last a lifetime.

What are your future plans once you’ve completed your undergraduate degree?

This spring, I plan to travel to Europe with my engineering senior design teammates. Following graduation from UNB, I’ll be moving back home to Saint John to begin full-time work in engineering project management at J.D. Irving. Through the UNB co-op program, I gained valuable work experience that helped me secure this position prior to graduation. I look forward to staying in the Maritimes and working towards my professional engineering designation.

How do you hope to stay connected to UNB in the future as an alum?

I hope to stay connected to UNB through both sports and academics. I will always be a big supporter of the team that has given me many opportunities and taught me skills on and off the field. Throughout my career, I hope to engage and connect with UNB students, whether through work terms or mentorship. I will always be connected to the school that has formed much of who I am today.