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Job Hunting Experiences At McGill

There are many places at McGill to find jobs. I have been working at a job since last September under the work study program. I have also worked at SSMU in my second year of university. I would like to talk a little bit about my experiences finding jobs. Work Study accepts applications starting in July for the upcoming year. The earlier you apply, the better because you will be able to apply to job postings earlier than if you submit your application later. It was quite hard to get a job from the work study program because it is quite competitive. I had to send out many emails with my CV, transcript, and sometimes cover letter to as many positions as possible. Many times I got an email back saying that the position was already filled or that I did not pass the initial screening stage. Many times I did not even get a response back.

When the job postings are put up in August, there will be many jobs to apply to. The list will also update frequently. It’s important to check it everyday. Sometimes you won’t get a response back and it’s important to not get discouraged and to keep applying. I eventually got an interview and secured a job luckily. It was a laboratory assistant job. I would be stacking tips, autoclaving, and washing equipment for 3 labs located next to each other. The expected hours were an average of 9 hours per week. In the beginning, autoclaving and washing were easy since all I had to do was put things into a machine. Stacking tips was a bit hard in the beginning as I was quite slow in the beginning. As the year progressed, I began to do the same amount of work in less time and I could be more efficient.

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How to Handle Rejection – Lessons from Distributing Flyers

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work as a flyer distributor or a fundraising canvasser? I know that most often than not, my first reaction when I see a canvasser is to avoid them. For these workers, rejection is a daily reality inherent to their work, and finding a healthy way to manage rejection also becomes crucial to their work and their well-being. For the rest of us. rejection is a fact of life that we will all face at one point or another, in life or in work. The past two weekends, I worked as a flyer distributor on a busy downtown street. I’d like to share my experiences with a focus on how it has helped me find a more balanced and healthy perspective on rejection.

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Making the Most out of One-Day Volunteering

Last Week, I volunteered for Campus Life & Engagement (CL&E)’s Orientation session for newly admitted CEGEP students. Throughout the day, I signed in registered students, told attendees where their next destination was, helped set up information desks, and answered any McGill-related questions. Although this event only required a one-day commitment on my part (with a short training session a few days prior), the experience was well worth it. Despite walking into a room full of volunteers I didn’t know, I ended up making friends, learning more about McGill and other volunteer opportunities, and snagging myself a cozy volunteer t-shirt. Here’s how I made the most of it.

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396 Research Course

I just did a 396 research course in the Winter 2017 semester. Before I registered for it, I went to talk to my departmental advisor to ask for more information. She said it was a great way to do research in a professor’s lab and have it count toward your degree. What was also really nice was that you do not have to a 396 in your own department. You could be in Anatomy and Cell Biology and do a 396 from the biology department or physiology department or other departments.

The hardest part is to find a professor who will take you. There is a page on McGill for 396 projects which are posted for students to apply. Those are not the only one! I thought those were the only one at the beginning until I read on Reddit that you could just email as many professors as you can and see who takes you. The marking scheme is usually 50% lab performance and 50% final report or 50% lab performance, 40% final report, 10% presentation. Everything is marked directly by the professor whose lab you are working in.

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Convocation in the Pouring Rain

Milestone events tend to make me more pensive than usual. This year’s convocation was no exception. In this post, I try to capture what the day felt like for me and offer just one of many accounts of the experience. To the graduating class of 2017, particularly to the Science ‘B’ graduates, this is to our collective memory and moving forward. (more…)

Make The Most Of It

There are many words that can be used to describe me. One that I get often is “indecisive”. But I disagree. Well, I don’t disagree (I can see that I’m not helping my case here) but I agree in certain aspects. When it comes to extracurricular experiences though, I do disagree. Yes, I’ve done a little bit of everything, but that wasn’t a result of indecisiveness. That was because I wanted to experience everything. After all, how do you know that you don’t enjoy working in a particular field until you’ve actually worked in said field? In the long run, this logic bode well for me…but I did often find myself in positions that I knew were a little mundane for me after the first couple weeks. And let’s be honest, we’ve probably all been there. So what do you do when you have a month or two left in a position that you’re not enjoying? (more…)

Opportunity Knocks

         I was fairly young when I first heard this phrase. I believe it was in an episode of Franklin, though it may not have been given that it was so many years ago and I’m probably just confused. Regardless, my young and naïve mind for some reason translated this phrase into “opportunities come knocking”, and for most of my teen years I thought one must wait until opportunities present themselves to you. Fast forward a few years, and I learned this isn’t actually the case. (more…)

Traveling Experience in Taiwan – Part 3

For this post, I would like to talk about some interesting cultural differences I noticed when I was a volunteer English teacher and interned in Taiwan. During my orientation at the elementary school I was going to be teaching at, the director ran down the daily schedule with us (there were other volunteers). He told us that class would start at 8:30 AM and the children would have an allotted 30 minute block to clean the classroom. When I first heard this I was surprised. I had heard from my parents that they had to clean the school back then, but this time I could actually see it happen. The director then told us that blocks were going to be about 1 hour each with 10 minute breaks in between. For lunch, the children would have to drag a cart from the kitchen and then serve the food to the other children. This was another surprise.

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Volunteering Somewhere New

At the start of the summer, I began volunteering at the Fondation Jeunes en Tête. When I walked into the foundation’s offices, I was rightfully nervous. Starting a new job (paid or not) can be intimidating. However, especially in the case of volunteering, it can feel rewarding to be spending time in a place where many of your peers value the same things and are working to create change. (more…)

Getting the Most Out of that Conference

“The conference”… a hot bed of new knowledge in “whatever this conference is about”.  Chances are you will come across a couple of these in your life and, if you’ve had an impact, you may be invited to speak at some.  If you’re anything like me, you’ll show up to your first conference excited by the prospect of meeting new people as excited as you are about making a difference in your field.

Unfortunately, if you are like me, you’ll end up next to a mid-forties man in a suit who cannot stay off of Facebook on your right, a young professional woman pretending not to take explicit note of the notes you are taking on your left and some unseen man somewhere behind you snoring.  No joke, this was my first experience at a conference but, don’t be discouraged, I still have some useful tips for you to get the most out of it.

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