« Older Entries

Grades Matter, but Experience Matters More

Why does it seem that being successful at school means employers will be lining up at our doors to hire us when we graduate? It’s not true! If we have no job experience, we are at the bottom of the hiring pool behind candidates who have already been part of the work force for several years. Retrospectively, if I had worked hard at finding unpaid or even paid experience in my field, instead of just focusing on excelling in the classroom during my studies, I feel as if I would have been better equipped for the job search now. (more…)

The Perks of Being a Public Speaker: How To Not Suck

I’m a teacher; a new one, at that. But, even I know that the ability to speak well in public is a big “pro” in life, at school, at work, and especially during interviews! As University students, we’ve all been through the occasional oral presentation. I’ve never been one to be nervous about speaking in front of others, but I do understand the butterfly-feeling in your stomach before you go up to give a talk. I get it. It’s hard. Societal pressures make it even harder. Is my hair tied up right? Do I look okay? Oh, gosh…these pants make me look fat. Am I wearing the right shoes? Will I forget any of my lines? Oh, crap…I hope I didn’t forget to print something. What if I can’t keep eye contact with the audience? Are people judging me? These are just some of the questions that may go through your mind before you get up there to do your presentation. (more…)

“So Good They Can’t Ignore You”

 

Source: Google Ngram

When we look at people who are satisfied with their career, we will often see that they are passionate and love what they do. Successful people may be passionate, but does solely following your passion lead to success? As a young, inexperienced, and slightly restless university graduate who can no longer hide within the structures of student life, this question has been yearning for an answer. (more…)

Music Can Temporarily Help Your Stress Levels

Being a student isn’t easy, but yet…you knew that already. That’s nothing new. Stress consumes all of us, student or not; from societal pressures, to school, to work, to relationships, to daily life, we learn to cope in different ways. For me, music heals my soul. Every time I’m stressed, I put on my favorite new songs, and within minutes, I calm down. I don’t zone out from the real world, but I do become entranced by the music to my ears. It’s amazing what music can do for you.  (more…)

Let’s Talk: Don’t Suffer the Agony of Job Searching Alone

I have spent the last two months attending counseling on resumes, cover letters and interviews; applying for jobs online, and meeting with employers. I have heard sayings such as “when you don’t have a job, it is your full-time job to search for one,” and “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” I figured, it can’t be that difficult, you just put in the time and, like school, you apply where you want, they realize your merit and bam! you’ve got a dream job that you’re passionate about and pays really well… How naïve of me. I have agonised over cover letters and resumes, with each application requiring 5 hours of grueling preparation. I have been faced with rejection time after time, and all of it has had a mental toll on me. Coming out of McGill, I have hardly had to prove my merits because they were there clearly posted on my transcript. I had rarely been rejected for research or VP positions that I had wanted. Now, I am stewing in self-doubt, doubting my credentials and my ability to work, and I am unsure of what kind of work I want to do. In order to snap out of it, I have found that the greatest way to get my spirits up is to relate to others. Here are 3 groups of people that are helping me piece out this time in my life.

(more…)

An Alternative

It’s a Saturday afternoon, your hair is curled and pinned back, you smell like garden of rosebushes. You feel good. You’re waiting for your friend to catch a bite to eat at a cute, boho cafe right around the corner from your snug studio on the 4th floor where your sister is probably playing the guitar and plastering nail decals on her toes. Nothing is going wrong, you’re in a happy place. You see your friend parking her car near the curb. Wait, you don’t have a car. She walks in wearing a fitted pencil skirt and grey top, you could almost smell the Downy and iron steam. You don’t have an ironing board, it didn’t fit in the closet so you threw it away. Sitting opposite in our booth, we exchange a few words and she then continues to talk about her recent project abroad and the many experiences and perspectives she came across. You stayed home, helped your sister with her music. We all do it or have done it at some point in our lives… (more…)

I’m Not A Quitter, I’m a Tryer

In the midst of our oh-so-busy lives, there is an eagerness, a strong gust of wind called willpower that helps us to get through our days. Willpower helps you be determined and stay determined. It guides you through the thick and thin and tells you not to give up. But…what happens when you just want to quit? When all you want to do is quit your job and quit your classes? Why do we keep going if it’s so hard? And, what happens when it gets too hard for us to keep going? (more…)

Towards Better Communication: Nonviolent Communication

Communication is at the core of all relationships, including work relationships. Most people quit their jobs because of the work environment, not due to the job itself. A recent study by Accenture reports the top reasons for quitting a job in America are disliking one’s boss (31%), a lack of empowerment (31%), internal politics (35%), and lack of recognition (43%).

This phenomenon reflects our collective need for better emotional intelligence and communication skills. One tool that has been useful for me is nonviolence communication (NVC). The “nonviolent” in NVC refers to communicating in a way that does not result in harm. In other words, it means communicating without the use of guilt, humiliation, shame, coercion, threats, and moral judgments, among other things. NVC follows a process of (1) observation, (2) feelings**, (3) needs, and (4) requests. (more…)

Diary of a Cruise Ship Girl

I was an inexperienced, dependent girl from Montreal when I chose to make a change. In the summer of 2011, I made the decision to work abroad on a cruise ship as a Seasonal Youth Counselor. When I arrived onboard the Norwegian Pearl in Seattle, I quickly realized that my lodgings consisted of three roommates living in a small room and food that was so greasy it looked like it came right out of the oil tank at the bottom of the ship. It was a new, fast-paced life that involved lots of energy and constant awareness. I came into this novel environment, having no prior ship-life experience and knowing no one. Originally, when I applied for the job, I assumed I would be ready to step outside of my box and tread water in the real world. I thought that this job would give me the independence that I needed in my life, but I was very wrong. Many co-workers immediately labeled me as the “weird new girl.” I received no eye contact, no friends, and rare enjoyments. (more…)

How to Get Out of a Rut

Getting out of a rut

For me, having a vision and purpose are the basis for motivation. But when I entered university, I did not know what I was doing or what I was looking for. Quite honestly, attending university was a rite of passage and not a conscientious decision. On top of that, the huge U0 classes, the sense of isolation, and the need to be something made me feel quite lost.

It took me almost two years to get to a better place. Here are some thoughts and resources that were helpful to me when I felt stuck in a spot. Give them a quick read!

(more…)

« Older Entries
Blog authors are solely responsible for the content of the blogs listed in the directory. Neither the content of these blogs, nor the links to other web sites, are screened, approved, reviewed or endorsed by McGill University. The text and other material on these blogs are the opinion of the specific author and are not statements of advice, opinion, or information of McGill.