About the Bloggers


Our amazing new bloggers are getting ready to post their first blogs.

Check out their bios below and bookmark this site to follow them all year!

 Jing Liu

jingHi there! I’m Jing, a recent undergraduate in violin performance. I’m stereotypically short, I love animals, organization, and I hate winter even though I’m a February baby. I lived in Australia for a few years of my childhood but alas never formed that mysterious Aussie accent.

Like many university students, I graduated with one diploma and am thinking of pursuing a different career. In my case, I’m strongly considering librarianship, so I’ll be spending most of my blog posts divulging my experiences going from one career to another, and all the processes and (especially) feelings involved!


John Brannon

Brannon Jam Timer

Who am I? What am I doing? These are small yet complex questions. I am a mixture of many things including but not limited to a student here at McGill University, a Montreal Roller Derby League official, food enthusiast, microbiologist, and beer brewer. I am originally from Ralph, Arkansas; however, I have moved around quite a bit over the years. I came to MTL a while back for an adventure in research. Along the way, I have been indulging myself on poutine, smoked meat, fresh bagels, various beers, and pudding chômeur. I am currently in my 4th year of the Microbiology and Immunology Ph.D. program. With a little luck and fingers crossed, I will be finishing the program over the next year. In a nutshell, I am a farmer boy from the American South become scientist.

I have 99 goals and a career is one! I am in the midst of finishing my current research and initiating new projects for the lab. My more long-term goals are finding a post-doc in an area of research I care about. Join me over the next year as I take on this chaotic storm. Far later in life, I would like to find a way and career that will allow me to use microbiology to positively impact the world. Additionally, I would like to share my experiences as an international student, what is it like to start out as a graduate student and how the struggle is worth it all, finding a balanced life during studying, volunteering with the Montreal Roller Derby league, and far more. Well, I’ll see y’all out there on the web!

Lisa Trotto

lisaHello Everyone!

I am a third year graduate student completing an M.A. in Educational Leadership. I am a Montreal native with Italian roots. I have been working as both an ESL adult education teacher and a private teacher in a children’s rehabilitation centre for the past four years. My future aspiration is to become a Vice-Principal and promote diversified and educational improvement at all levels.

I hope to take you through the ups and downs of grad. school and assist you in the field of leadership so that you will all strive to exceed your established ambitions! I am a strong believer in life-long learning and feel as though in a world that is constantly changing, you can never stop educating yourself and growing as a person!

I will be giving you strategies on networking, organization, time management, climbing the social ladder and tips for success! I hope to also touch upon culture, travel, technology, the changing field of education and the world of work along the way. I am looking forward to your comments and questions! Hopefully my blog posts will assist you in both your educational journeys and future careers!


Sandy Wong

sandyHello, dear readers! My name is Sandy Wong and I will be a first year U0 student in the Faculty of Science. This is the first time I have lived outside of my awesome hometown, Windsor, Ontario. I expect the transition from living at home to living in a dorm to be a challenge, but it’s one I am eager to face, and possibly write about. Throughout high school, I’ve had a few jobs. I hope to continue working throughout school—I am very excited to share my past, present, and future job search experiences with others. Perhaps you’ve noticed that I haven’t mentioned what I’m majoring in, or what I hope to pursue. That is something I hope to figure out soon within my first year here. There are many opportunities available throughout the year for students to inform themselves to plan for their future careers. These events I fully intend to attend, and will gladly share the dates and times and information on these opportunities as well as some of my own thoughts.

Despite my seeming lack of direction major-wise, I do enjoy volunteering and investing my time in many hobbies. Prom was my excuse to make my own Duck Tape attire, which I suppose is the most worth mentioning of my artsy crafty projects. I’ve played piano for a great deal of my life, and very much enjoy it. When I’m not studying, eating, and listening to music simultaneously you can probably find me curled up reading a book or writing (probably rewriting) something on the computer. Or doodling, that happens a lot too.

I’m really no expert, but I hope that by reading about my own learning experiences, others out there will learn something new or helpful. And possibly be entertained.

Andrea Saliba

andreaHey everyone! I am a second year student working towards a major in chemical engineering. Originally from Lebanon, I am a big fan of coffee, hot yoga, travelling and being organized. You will probably find me in a random coffee shop studying (yes noise do not really bother me) or at the library with a Tim Horton coffee! Having just gone through my first year as a woman in engineering, I will mainly talk about how to balance studying and enjoying the amazing nightlife of Montreal. I will give you some tips to being organized, to seek volunteering position, to apply for internships and will also count you my mistakes as a first year student. Coming to engineering can be quite scary, and you may have heard how impossible you’re courses are going to be or how hard it is to pass, but don’t be afraid because plenty of people have survived it and you can DO IT. If you want to ask me a question don’t hesitate to contact me through the many social media platforms!


Nicki Siamaki

nickiHey guys! I’m a second year student who hopes to pursue a major in International Development and minor in International Relations and Arabic. I was born and raised in Toronto but I lived in Dubai for three of my teenage years. I’ve done tons of volunteering in Canada, and in other countries such as China and Morocco. I want to be fluent in six languages by the time I’m 30 and I’m obsessed with scuba diving (one day I WILL be an instructor). So basically my plans are to be a polyglot who is either a diplomat/international lawyer and is a scuba diving instructor on the side. Sounds pretty cool huh.

Anyways, living without our parents many of us are suddenly expected to keep up our grades, be involved in extracurricular activities, run a household (in my case), pay the bills, and improve our CV’s. So, I’m going to write about strategies on how to keep organized, time management, and seeking out volunteer, work and learning opportunities to make the most out of your years in university.



Sharon Yang

I’m Sharon, a current U1 neuroscience student here at McGill, and one of your CaPS bloggers for this year! I currently work as a McGill campus rep for Kaplan, and as a student researcher up at the Montreal Neurological Institute investigating the genetics behind leukodystrophies! In my spare time, I play for the McGill Varsity badminton team, and am a saxophonist with the McGill Fantasia Jazz band, much to the horror my roommate who has to endure my endless practicing.

I am currently in pursuit of medical school, in hopes of one day contributing to the area of pediatric neurology.

I hope to share useful advice and funny stories in the areas of work-finding (as someone who speaks only English in this competitive bilingual city), volunteering, research, and anything else that may pop up into my mind that remotely relates to career and personal development! Reach me at sharon_yang034@hotmail.com if you want to have a chat (especially if topics include badminton and anything related to brains)!




2013-2014 Bloggers

Annie Liang 


I’m a fourth year undergraduate student completing a B.Sc. in Pharmacology (Honours), with a minor in International Development Studies. Originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, I am a tea and coffee addict, I love photography (Team Canon!), and I follow MSF’s Access Campaign a bit too religiously. My future aspiration is to work in the field of global health, with a specific focus on neglected tropical diseases. 

There is a sense of both excitement and vulnerability associated with the last year of university, and I hope to take you through my struggles as I apply for graduate studies, juggle school and extracurriculars, attend conferences, and various other things that inspire me through this year. I also currently co-produce Health on Earth, CKUT’s global health radio show. You can catch me on CKUT 90.3 FM on Tuesdays at 8:30 pm, or shoot me an email at health@ckut.ca if you’d like to get involved!




Octavio Cardenas


Want to learn all about the online tools available to successfully find a job? Then you are in the right place.

I am an online marketing consultant with over 5 years experience in social media optimization, search advertising and media strategies. I have a
degree in Marketing, a certificate in PR from McGill University, a certificate in Advertising and a Diploma in Sales and Entrepreneurship. Through this blog, I am going to help you on your quest to finding the right job by giving you tips on how to navigate the job market online. To do that, I only need two things from you: your time and your attention.

Join me on LinkedIn


Samantha Padilla-Torres

samHi there! I just graduated last May from McGill with a BA majoring in Psychology and minoring in Communication Studies. I am now beginning another exciting chapter in my life by starting a graduate program in Human Resources Management here at McGill as well. I was born and raised in Quito, Ecuador and moved to the fabulous, yet colder, city of Montreal for university. I love fashion, music, pilates, running, and just about anything that makes me laugh really.

The life of aMcGill student is that of a professional juggler: you are expected to excel in school, extracurricular activities, potentially a job, while also trying your hardest to maintain a healthy social life…all at the same time; and lets be honest, the transition from university to the real/professional world can be intimidating (aka terrifying from time to time), so I would really like to share some past experiences and some current ones of how I personally cope with some of these challenges and hopefully get to help someone in similar situations along the way. I have previously worked in Human Resources as a Recruitment Consultant so I guess I now have a dual perspective from the student and also from the hiring point of view.  Thus, my entries will probably involve some HR insider tips mixed with the art of balancing life, work, and studies here at McGill. Fingers crossed for both of us!



Fanny Girod


Hi everyone! I am a U2 management student, studying International Business and Organizational Behaviour. I grew up in South of France before coming last year for my studies to the awesome city that Montreal is. I love traveling and going out with friends to the movies or just chilling!

I will be writing about my past experiences as a first year (Yep, I made it alive!), but also about upcoming exciting things for this year such as going on exchange (Oh yeah, Australia’s waiting for me!), having a mentor, finding a job/an internship and how to balance all that with a social life, because let’s face it, with all of that, we really need some fun!




Former CaPS Bloggers

Scott Whitley (2012-2013)

Hey folks! I am a fourth year student at Mcgill majoring in IDS with minors in Economics and English Lit. The plan as of now is to finish my BA and put my degree to work by getting a position with a development organization. After that I intend on enrolling in Law School. I spent last semester abroad in Australia and it was truly eye opening, I fully recommend going on exchange. I met so many awesome people and had so many great adventures, traveling is truly an outstanding experience.

As a fourth year student I’ll be constantly on the look out for jobs in the coming year, so in blogging for CaPS, I hope to share my experiences on the great job hunt and hopefully people can learn from my mistakes and share in my successes.


Barbara Testa Gabaud (2012-2013)

I’ve been in school since forever, everyone who knows me can agree to that. I have completed a BA in sociology with a minor in Women’s studies at Concordia. I also studied at UQAM, I was enrolled in their certificate program in corporate law. Finally I found a passion for Public Relations therefore, I am now completing a diploma in PR/Management at McGill. Music, hair and shoes are my obsession, in my spare time I love to sing and study anything that is jazz related and also love doing yoga. When I’m not singing or doing yoga I enjoy catching up with my friends or working at my public library as an assistant librarian. In my blog posts you will find topics such as women in the workforce, volunteering, networking and my personal experiences, hopefully these blog posts will help you throughout your journey.


Kateryna Sherysheva (2012-2013)

I am a U3 student studying Political Science and International Development Studies.   Many ask, “Are you going to be a politician?” Or, “Do you want to be a diplomat?”  Possibly.  As idealistic as this might sound, I want to help people and make the world a better place.  I still have some time left to figure out which profession will let me play out my altruistic goals.  This year I will be applying to grad schools, looking for a part-time job, and writing my honours thesis.   If all fails, my back up plan is to be a dancer.  I love salsa.  You can find me dancing at Gerts every Wednesday at the Latin Socials.  Come say hi and we can discuss the best places to eat at in Vancouver, the fabrics and colours that are in this season, or how Vampire Diaries’ Elena should be with Damon, not Stefan.  Otherwise, read my blogs, which may reveal my best and worst interview moments, reflections on being on the exec for a McGill club, tips on finding interesting internships, and advice on figuring your life out.

Swathi Sadagopan (2012-2013)

Nine months ago, I made a split second decision to make a home for myself half way across the world while researching and studying something I was passionate about. That choice led me to criss cross hemispheres and here I am in the ‘City of Festivals’*. As I try and figure out how to optimize motors of hybrid electric vehicles while picking the right furniture, doing groceries and discovering Montreal, I hope to give you little peaks into my experience working in the “real” world. These would include convincing the Editor of a national daily to hire a naïve sophomore engineer based on her zeal for writing (and of course, some journalistic experience in school), backpacking across India lobbying support for a Food Security Bill, interning in a research lab analyzing the Minkowski metric and trekking the Himalayas while volunteering with the Tibetan community-in-exile. While I believe that formulaic success strangles the human creativity out of a task, learning from an experience may be beneficial once in a while. If not, well, you always can take a break from hectic school work with a little entertainment, right?

*An orientation coordinator called Montreal this and it kind of stuck like glue!


Wahaaj Ud Din (2012-2013)

Hey guys! I am a 3rd year undergrad student pursuing a degree in honors Economics and Finance with a minor in Maths.  I am originally from Pakistan and only got to experience this multicultural city of Montreal in 2010 when I first arrived for studies. The journey, so far, has been absolutely wonderful and I am hoping it’ll stay the same for the coming years. My hobbies include listening to a lot of progressive + psychedelic rock bands like Tame Impala or Pink Floyd so yeah you may find a lot of hidden Roger Waters’ lyrics in my blog posts. Other than this, I enjoy tracking and appreciating creative short films or novels. At McGill, I’ve been involved in swimming, water polo and a bit of soccer and golf. Also, a student-run charity organization has selected me as one of its execs this year so I’ll make sure to give you run-throughs of my experiences there.



Divya Pahwa (2012-2013)

Currently a 4th year McGill student studying Sociology Honours with a minor in marketing. Her field of expertise has been studying women in the workplace. Divya examines the academic stance on “getting women in to the C-Suite,” comparing it to what’s being done and what can be done. Divya writes about young-lady career advice in the weekly series Pursuit, here on the McGill CaPS Blog.






Galen Ostermann (2012-2013)

Born and raised between Vancouver and Toronto, I’ve now had the opportunity to explore Quebec as I enter my third year of Honours History and International Relations. My studies have been major points of personal interest ever since I’ve been tall enough to reach dust covered copies of Locke and Aristotle from my mother’s bookshelf. More specifically, my academic interests cover topics including ethno-nationalism, political economy, historical interpretation, human rights, international law and educational & economic development. Now at the ripe age of twenty, I have begun work into the launching of a political organization at McGill and am taking my first steps towards that infamous suicide mission known as the thesis. Readers can expect to see me discuss a plethora of themes in coming months, ranging from job searching to networking, CV building and extra-curricular involvement. As I begin to form my law school applications I will also be exploring topics which are of particular interest to other aspiring lawyers, diplomats and politicians!
Happy reading!

Tracey Regimbal (former blogger)

Hey! I am a 23 year old who seems to have made a bit of a career out of McGill, since I did my undergrad here and now I’m in my Masters. I graduated in International Development with minors in Education and Geography and am currently in a Masters of Librarianship and Information Studies (#geek). I live half my time in Sydney, Australia, where I became involved with the Project Futures foundation (who I also blog for) and also have my own blog ( http://www.traceybee.tumblr.com). I love long walks beach and getting overly stressed about small things, so I hope I can give you some tricks to avoid my mistakes.


Andrew Stevenson (former blogger)

About me:  Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, I moved to Montreal two years ago to attend McGill University and fell in love with the city.  I’m pursuing a double major in Environment and Economics in the faculty of Arts, which is only natural since I am an environmentalist at heart.   I really love to bike around the city and think that a bicycle is one of the best fashion accessories someone can have.

I hope to one day work in the environmental field and have a career that I find meaningful and rewarding.  Seemingly always on the job hunt, whether it is a summer job, or a part-time job during school I am here to share my stories and insights based on my experiences as well as the experiences of my peers.  I don’t know if my blog posts will help anyone find a job but I hope that I can provide solid advice that you and I can both follow!


Corina Tudose (former blogger)

Program:   MBA Finance and Marketing

Hometown:  Bucharest, Romania

About me:  I was born and raised in Bucharest, Romania. In 2004 I decided to take a leap of faith and moved to the New Jersey/New York area in order to start my Bachelor’s degree. I completely changed and challenged everything that I knew about life and it has been the best decision of my life. After getting my Bachelor’s of Science in Finance and working in the Hedge Fund Operations industry for 3 years I decided to relocate to Montreal and start my MBA, and here I am.

As an undergraduate student I had the opportunity to work in many offices on campus, held two internships and volunteered many times. After graduation, I continued to work in an office environment and I started my own e-commerce business, as well as volunteered once a week at the local library, as an ESL tutor. All of these opportunities were thoroughly researched and were the outcome of interviews, career fairs, and networking. I am very excited to share these experiences, as well as disclosing my current challenges as an MBA student.


Stacy Dikareva (former blogger)

I hail from the rainy west coast of Canada- Vancouver to be exact. Well actually, I was born in Ukraine and immigrated to Canada in 1996 as a quirky kid with bizarre eastern European family dynamics. After completing my undergraduate degree at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, B.C., I relocated to Montreal to pursue a Graduate Diploma in Clinical Research program in the department of Experimental Medicine. My transition to Montreal was rather impromptu as I applied to McGill on a whim and received my acceptance two weeks later. Several more weeks later, I sold my car and belongings and landed in Montreal with two suitcases. I have since completed my Graduate Diploma and am currently applying to the Master of Science program in the Kinesiology and Physical Education department and am looking to start my studies in January. Yes, I have happily accepted the next few years of fiscal restraint.

When I am not perusing a piece of scientific literature, I can be found day-dreaming about my travels, discovering all the things Montreal has to offer, jogging, drinking coffee, attempting to learn French and working. Occasionally, I do all of the above concurrently. It keeps my multi-tasking skills acute. Admittedly, I am new to the blogging realm, and am apparently among some very talented and accomplished co-bloggers! This is both very exciting and intimidating for me. My only hope in this endeavour is that I can offer some novel advice by drawing on some of my own experience, be it searching for jobs, getting involved in the community, moving across the country, picking out your interview outfit, or packing your suitcase.


Ryan MacDowell (former blogger)

Program:   BA, Psychology, Behavioral Science, World Religions

Hometown:  Scituate, MA, USA

About me: People often ask me, “Psych and Religion…hmm interesting, so what are you going to do with that?” For lack of time and energy for an all-night conversation, I might reply “Well, I actually really want to be a pirate, but dealing drugs has its perks too. Worst comes to worst, I’ll try for Pope.” Needless to say, I’m extremely excited to delve into my actual response in this blog. I’ve also tested out a few career paths myself: getting my professional Life Coach license at 20, becoming a certified practitioner of a more esoteric field called Neurolinguistic Programming, designing trainings and training the trainers of the trainers for McGill’s Leadership Training Program, and also gaining some pretty extensive event planning experience working as Project Assistant for the First-Year Office this past summer. For me, though, what it really comes down to about careers is: how do we get so clear on what we genuinely value that our career paths just fall into place? This is where I want to start, and I hope that from there I can expand and offer my own experiences and some worthwhile resources to support you along the way.


Linnea Osterberg (former blogger)

I am a U2 student currently studying German and Psychology. I am hugely addicted to British television, especially Doctor Who, and love curling up with a good book or oldie movie. Most of my free time is spent either doing something active (walks, sprints, and yoga are special favorites) or something creative – I sketch and photograph quite a bit. Originally from the US I have also spent a lot of time in Sweden, the UK, and Australia. Expect posts that cover the search for jobs, volunteer openings and other CV boosting positions with an eye to the challenges and opportunities that being an international student at McGill presents. I’ll also be posting about choosing the right major, being productive in your study habits, and how to make sure that your time at university is truly life-enriching, not just a crazy mix of work hard, party harder.


Former Blogger:

Vicky Tobianah
Program:   B.A. Honours Political Science and English Literature

Hometown:  Richmond Hill, Ontario

About me:   Since beginning my studies at McGill, I have discovered my passion for politics and re-ignited my love for writing.  Whether it’s writing articles for newspapers,  my column in the McGill Tribune, my personal blog or blogging for CaPS, I love engaging others and creating constructive dialogue across a diverse spectrum.  I hope this blog helps other McGill students learn about the ups and downs of the job hunt and enhances their own searches as well.   When I’m not studying or writing, I love catching up on current affairs, volunteering on political campaigns and encouraging my friends to get involved in the things they love.



Former Blogger:

Elizabeth Lenz

Originally I’m from Texas.  I was born and raised there, but now that I’ve completed my B.Sc. degree in Computer Science (with a minor in History) I’m seeking a permanent job in Montreal.  I’m passionate about international education and communication, so any job that allows me to spread knowledge through websites, publications, libraries, or museums would be ideal.   Over the next months I’ll be on the job hunt full-time and I intend to document my struggles, successes, revelations, and interactions with CaPS through this blog. Wish me luck.



Former Blogger:

JaeHyung Sheen

My name is Jae. I am a UO student.   I currently live in McGill, but I am originally from the States (as a matter of fact…I’ve lived in San Francisco for much of my childhood and I moved all over the place).   I am currently studying towards – more or less – a BSc with a major in Psychology and Cell Biology and Anatomy.   As for my future, it is more or less speculation of med school (who hasn’t had thought of that), but then again the future is variable and subject to change. I hope this blog will inform you of the things I did and the things I shouldn’t have done, whether it be an action at an interview or something simple as doing something wrong at a job.   Whether it be from the poor test that will be affecting my future career to that poor decision that I regret dearly, to that awesome medical opportunity that came by to the even better times of good-deal alcohol.   This blog will surely (hopefully) inform people of the “do”s and “dont”s.   Whatever you may pull from my blog, I hope it helps in any way possible.   Write a comment if you have any questions and I’ll read it and answer it (if I can).   If I can’t answer it, I’ll be honest and tell you that I have no idea.   Anyway…Welcome to my thoughts and best of luck to those who read this.    Haha.


Former Blogger:

Virginie Crouy

Actuellement en 3ème année de mon bac en sciences infirmières (BSc.) à McGill, je suis née à Paris, avant d’émigrer au Canada il y a 10 ans. Je suis actuellement en contact avec l’hôpital neurologique de Montréal pour travailler dans l’unité de soins intensifs. Mon expérience de professeur de yoga teinte aussi mon regard sur la santé et je pourrais même fournir quelques trucs pour rester en forme durant les examens!  Par ailleurs, mère de 3 enfants, j’ai réussi à mener de front une vie familiale occupée avec des études à temps plein, en bonne partie grâce au soutien de mon conjoint. J’occupe le reste de mon temps libre entre la méditation, le yoga, l’écriture et des voyages sur le voilier familial.

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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.