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What I Do “Exactly”

2Everyone seems to ask what I do, “exactly”. Alumni Relations Assistant seems like a vague title over top of a mountain of miscellaneous tasks.

I respond in saying I’m a gofer. You know like, “Go for this..” and “Go for that…”.I rather like the phrase and think it fits, as my job has a certain malleability that anyone beginning in an assistant 9-5 position can relate to.

I’ve tried asking my other coworkers that Work Study with me and they seem to run into the same problem.

“We kind of just do a little bit of everything.” I’ll explain what this means.

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“So What?”: Conquering Your Argument

sowhatt

Imagine your audience is an angst-ridden teenager. They like to wear black eyeliner, give you attitude and remain both cool and aloof. They read your paper and say, ”So what?” (probably just to antagonize you). While they might grow-out of this phase, the “So what?” of your writing may never change.

Unless you work at it.

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From Your Friendly Neighborhood Work Study

workstudyLittle known fact, McGill gives the most financial aid to students in Canada (so says MacLeans University reviews).

If you’re receiving any kind of government aid, such as OSAP, you’re likely eligible for the Work Study program. And even then, you can apply for McGill Financial Aid.

This is just a friendly reminder that WORK STUDY application is OPEN on the Financial Aid area of your Minerva.

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Go Outside: A Guide to Summer Loving in Montreal

Montreal_Jazz_Festival_Montreal_Jazz_Festival - 13Careers matter. But so do experiences.

As much as I love writing about careers, studying and self-help, my passion is in culture writing and life in Montreal.

If you haven’t noticed -or rather, if you haven’t stepped foot outside- Montreal is bursting with loud, live activities.

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The Weakness of Wording

2687dc3959a7f5ecbe554ab2fe7e9e63Everything is about how you word it. Proper vocabulary makes impressions and makes pace. It gets you going and keeps your audience involved and on the same page. We often incorporate words that we use casually into our professional conversations without realizing and they hold us back. It’s okay to be assertive and confident in your speech! It’s not like you’re going to be telling your boss “NO, this is how I WANT it done”. But “I think” instead of “I was just thinking about maybe…” gives you an edge that’s worth taking seriously.

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Check Yourself: Self-Editing 101

CheckYourself_largeI’ve given a lot of writing advice. It’s my way of trying to pick up after myself and make sure others gain something from my mistakes.

Self-Editing is so incredibly important; I can’t stress this enough. You need to know what to look for and have an eye for your own classic mistakes. As wonderful as it is to find a blessed human being willing to read over your hard work, it doesn’t always work out that way.

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Is Passion a Reality?

4dbc1f1e4c2099399307131I recently got in a very heated debate with a good friend over the idea of following your passion.

As an English major with a deep set yen for all things literary, I consider my passion pretty strong and worth following. He disagreed, saying that graduates today are too often told to follow their passion and pursue outlandish dream jobs with no real perspective for the careers that actually need to be filled.

What I thought was interesting, though, was how often I began hearing this “Don’t follow your passion” speech.

It seemed to be popping up everywhere as convocation ceremonies began. What exactly does this mean?

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When You Have Time

TimeI’ve written about time-management before and productivity. This is different. I want to be more proactive. I want to be a busy person, and I think you should to.

I was once told, “If you want something done, ask a busy person” and I thought that was insane logic. If someone is busy, how can they get anything new finished, they’re already preoccupied. On the contrary, this has proved time and time again to be a tried and true pattern with successfully productive, proactive people.

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What We Talk About When We Talk About Writing

MakeMeWriteWhat We Talk About When We Talk About Love is a collection of short stories by Raymond Carver. Brilliantly written and critically acclaimed, it’s been mentioned by dozens of famous followers and quoted in many -many- movies. In Stuck in Love (2010), the character William Borgens quotes the “human noise” that Carver describes at the end of the book. Borgens says that, as writers, it is our job to decipher that human noise to the best of our ability and create from it great works. The whole movie actually focuses on this family of writers and make it look so easy, deciphering the world and creating an opinion. I’m here to say that in many ways it’s much more difficult than that, and lend a few tried and true pieces of advice from my own experience.

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Everyone’s a Critic

Constructive-CriticismCriticism is a difficult tool. In the right hands, it can fix, improve and perfect. But it’s all in how you take your tea, so to speak. Not everyone is going to sugar coat it and oftentimes it’ll just be given to you straight. It’s understandable that these things can make you feel a bit bitter, but criticism is meant for you to use so that you can be better. It’s meant to be considered and applied but not destructive. You should be proud of the work you accomplish but open to the possibility of imperfection. Everything in moderation *sips tea*.

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