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Doing the Research

Whether you’re writing a new version of your CV or getting ready for an interview, it’s always worth preparing yourself by doing research or seeing an advisor. McGill has a wide set of resources to help students present themselves in an ideal way to employers or anyone else. If you need to write a cover letter or efficiently search for jobs, McGill resources—like CaPS or faculty-specific resources and advisors—can help you get where you need to be. Here are the resources that I’ve found most helpful.

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Getting Work Done in the Summer

Whether you’re working on personal projects, applying for scholarships, or preparing for applications in the fall, getting things accomplished in the summer can be a difficult task. With the sun finally coming out and festivals left and right, distractions often act as roadblocks between you and your work goal. Here’s how I try to keep on top of things, despite sometimes giving in to the summer temptations (more…)

Starting a Relationship with a Mentor

Having the chance to build a relationship with someone in your desired field is an opportunity that can’t be missed. Whether it’s for perspective, knowledge, contacts, or a sounding board, building a connection with an approachable, experienced professional can equip you to make the right decisions in starting your career. Learning about your prospective profession on a personal level can give you less of an abstract view of your future. By participating in one of McGill’s mentorship programs, I have had the opportunity to be connected with an accomplished and generous mentor. Here are my tips for establishing a relationship with an assigned mentor.

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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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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…)

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…)

A Balancing Act Between Prestige and Preference

There is nothing wrong with being career driven, in fact it is admirable and encouraged to have a goal that you are actively working towards achieving. Taking every opportunity that you come across and seeking out ways to make yourself stand out as a candidate when applying for positions, through your education and experience demonstrates an immense amount of motivation and dedication. However, while this “do whatever to be successful” mindset can be very productive it can also be detrimental, as one may become too robotically focused on what will “look good” on their resume, resulting in an unintentional ignorance towards equally beneficial opportunities.

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How did I join 5 labs in 2 years?

laboratory

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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Becoming More Comfortable Networking


Whether it’s through power posing or positive self-talk, becoming a more comfortable networker can be a helpful step towards starting your career. Networking events allow you to put a face to the professions we learn about in textbooks. While reading the personality profile of an accountant or lawyer may be a helpful way to learn about your dream career path, meeting professionals in the workforce can help you develop a clearer image of your potential future. Not only does networking allow you to gain insight, but it also provides you with the opportunity to connect with experienced professionals, giving you an edge when it comes to recruitment. While the benefits of networking are endless, the process can be stressful and uncomfortable at first. After participating in a handful of pre-recruitment accounting events, I’ve learned how to make the most of networking.
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