Gearing up for the Summer

jobpicWith an entire week of no class ahead of us, reading week seems like a good opportunity to hunker down and finally figure out what to do with our four months of summer, if we haven’t done so already. There are many different
possibilities: one could travel, or do summer school, or like me and many other students, try to find work. That’s something a lot easier said than done. With so many students looking for jobs, the hunt may seem way too daunting.

As a science undergrad, I am very interested in doing research. But as a first year student, I don’t have much experience outside of whatever experience I’ve gained through my chemistry, biology, and physics labs. About a month ago, I attended an event hosted by the McGill group Student Research Initiative, where current students spoke about their past experiences applying to get into labs at McGill and elsewhere. To me, the students who spoke and succeeded in getting a position all had something in common: they were all very willing to simply put themselves out there and contacted as many professors and people as possible. Some people sent out over 50 emails just to get a few replies. But they didn’t give up. I remember one student, who was in their first year, received no replies at all in their first year, but tried again his second year and secured a research position for the summer in the second year. That’s serious persistence.

Though it might be a little late to apply for research positions-because at the SRI event the students strongly recommended us to apply in late January/early February since these positions are so competitive-there are still many other options out there. If you’re planning on staying in Montreal, there are a multitude of big companies in Montreal that do research and you can reach out to them and apply for various government funded grants. Search up the IUSRA–it is something worth looking into if you want to do research in an industrial setting. That is something that I’m looking to do.

Then there are those other jobs for students. Have you ever wanted to work in an amusement park? Places like Wonderland in Toronto and Le Ronde hire many students during the summer. Municipal government funded jobs are also available in cities. If you’re going home for the summer like me, that is a very good option. Usually there is some sort of application to be filled out–this would be a good time to check if this option is still available! Not only are there opportunities to work for someone, you can open your very own business! There are grants for students who want to start their own business in the summer. There’s more info about this on the federal government’s page that can be easily found.

Good luck on your search, and have a great reading week!

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