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How did I join 5 labs in 2 years?

The title may appear to be an impossible feat, but it is achievable. Let’s start from an email.

Writing an email:

Two years ago, in U1, I emailed multiple professors to forage an available lab. However, I got ignored. It turned out the titles of the emails I had sent, such as “Volunteering in a lab” and “Paid research assistant position”, had a problem.

If I could go back, I would title the emails as such: “BIOL396 Research Course Supervisor”.

To start off, the chance of getting paid as an undergraduate student is essentially nil unless you could code proficiently. So, let’s forget about the money.

A research course such as BIOL396 spans across multiple departments to tailor to whatever the department your supervisor is affiliated. For example, if your supervisor is in the Pharmacology Department, take PHAR396. For a professor, instead of pointlessly having students volunteering in a lab once a week, offering students a project is more sensible. A project could require students to commit 20-40 hours a week in a lab. McGill has designed research courses to confer undergraduate students an independent research project, which reciprocally grants a professor a complete control over a student’s grade. This leaves students with no choice but to commit to their projects. Taking a research course during the summer is also allowed. Most people get A- or A from a research course.

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3 Steps to Striving Through Uncertain Times – Living your Questions

The feeling of uncertainty is hard to describe, but we have all felt it. It can be the doubt that inhibits action, the lack of conviction in a particular choice, or the ambiguity surrounding the future. We will all go through phases when everything familiar seems to change – starting a new career, moving to a new city, losing a loved one, starting a new relationship. For some people, graduating from university is one of those times, specifically graduating without any specific plans.

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How to Negotiate a Job Offer – Workshop Overview

Life is full of negotiations and compromises. However, when we think about negotiating a job offer, the stereotypes of greedy, bossy and uncommitted people quickly surface. Many people fear that negotiating a job offer will lead to tension in the workplace, or even cause them to lose an offer*. Consequently, many people shy away from negotiating and from asking for a better work experience for themselves. To help us navigate the complexities of negotiating a job offer, McGill’s Career Planning Services (CaPS) hosted a workshop called “Negotiating Your Academic Job Offer” on March 30th, presented by Dr. Niem Huynh, as part of the Academic Career Week. Here, I summarize the main strategies for negotiating a job offer.

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Bloggers for 2017

toblogA new year means we have new bloggers joining us!

Check out their bios in the Who Are We section and come back often to read their posts on campus life and getting ready for their future careers.

“This is the year I’m going to-“: Advice for Building a Balanced Semester

school-life-balanceWe’re back in the thick of it now. The school semester is as follows (monthly); Septry-anything-out-and-apply-for-everything, Octotally-in-over-your-head-with-work, Novacate-life-and-camp-in-the-library, Decearnestly-study-for-exams-and-wait-for-Chrsitmas.

It can seem like all too much at once. You want to get better grades this year and find an internship and be an executive while also penning your early memoir and inventing the time machine.

Sometimes it’s best to take a second and slow down. Here’s some info and advice for those of us (myself included) that need a pre-break to pre-manage our prospects.

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Interviews, Editors, News and Networking

friends-coffee-workLooking back, I think I stumbled into journalism with more curiosity than career drive. I’m the kind of person that always needs to ask, and runs up a phone bill because I crave talking. Journalism began as a way to keep myself busy and my writing sharp but evolved into a love of storytelling. When my boss found out about this, she raced over to my desk and told me that she was going to connect me to the McGill News Editor, Daniel McCabe.

She emailed, I emailed, he accepted, and I was genuinely impressed at how it all happened so quickly.

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Behind the Screen: Seeing McGill Social Media from the Inside

socialmedia (1)Recently, my boss did something saintly. It really hit her one afternoon that I love writing and social media…and she knows social media writers. To be honest, I was incredibly flattered that she read any of my pieces at all. She ended up contacting major social media McGill staff to see if they would like to meet with a humble, young blogger. Much to my appreciation, they accepted.

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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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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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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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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.