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Interview with a Civil Engineer – Part 2

It is without question very intimidating to have to decide what you want to do for the rest of your life, even for those who may have just earned a degree. Last week, I had the chance to sit down with a civil engineer to discuss what this career is like in more depth. If you are still on the fence regarding what you want to study or have just begun your new journey as a university student, and especially if you are leaning towards a career in engineering, you may find his responses to be useful. This is the second part of the interview; the first part can be found here.

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Stages of the Post-Undergrad Life

Post-undergrad life can be confusing for everyone, especially until you at least know what you want to do next. As a recent graduate who completed her program in December and got the diploma to prove it just last week, I’ve had time do some research and self-reflection since December. I’ve come to the realization that post-undergrad life consists of different stages until you find your way, especially if you are stepping into the real world a little uncertain as to what you want to do with the rest of your life. If you already have a plan or a job lined up, then that’s amazing! The truth is, though, about two-thirds of college grads struggle to launch their careers, making life after graduation very disorienting, confusing, and even disappointing. I can assure you, looking at not just me but also what my friends are going through, everyone is more or less experiencing the same thing. (more…)

Interview with a Civil Engineer – Part 1

Many career options are often presented broadly, but offer much more specific branches to choose from. For aspiring engineers, the options are plenty: chemical, mechanical, electrical, computer, civil, software; the list goes on. When you first decide to pursue a degree in one of these, it can be a challenge to feel confident that you’ve made the right decision until you are well into your studies. I recently had the chance to sit down with a civil engineer of over 30 years to discuss what this career is like in more depth. You may find this helpful if you are just embarking on your new journey as a university student or contemplating whether this is the right path for you.

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Science Jobs Away From Research

McGill is a research-intensive university. To be able to attend a school that places importance on research and study in the field, is a privilege. It offers countless opportunities to students and can be a rewarding and career-changing experience. It’s a pivotal part of your education, especially if you plan on going into academia. But… what if that’s not something you’re interested in? If after your studies, the lab bench or research team is not for you, or maybe you just want a break, here are other job paths in science that you may want to take. Note that some require additional education.

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From First Year to Second Year

So I’m a third year student. Now I was never really fond of math, but I believe that means I’ve been through two years of university. Looking back, there were many differences between my first year and second year. Some of those differences were actual changes of something that I did in first year. Not all of these were good things, but they did help me learn a lot about how to survive a year’s worth of university (technically it’s only 8 months, but it feels longer). Hopefully they can prove useful to you! (more…)

STEMinine – A Supportive Community for Women and Femmes in STEM

Source: https://thenib.com/women-in-stem-speak-up

Jessica Droujko, McGill BEng 2015, retells the story of how she sat next to a rocket scientist on a plane, and how he convinced her that she too can be a rocket scientist. Now, years after that fateful encounter, Jessica is completing her Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, more commonly known as ETH Zurich. As a woman engineer, Jessica saw a lack of exposure of women and femmes in STEM fields (i.e. science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), which in turn indirectly discourage young girls from pursuing those fields. Jessica wants high school and university students to be able to ask whatever they want and to find support in their search. Her project, STEMinine, does aims to do exactly that — showcases women and femmes in STEM. (more…)

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…)

Now That You’re an Alumni – Ways to Stay Connected

Congratulations on completing this chapter of your life! It might feel like a small eternity ago since you first received that acceptance letter in the mail. Now, years after taking the leap of moving to a new city, or even just immersing in a new environment, the McGill community that once seemed so vast and unexplored has now become a comforting bubble. With an undergraduate degree now under your belt, remember to stay connected to your McGill roots as you go out into the world.

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My Take on Interviews and How to Kill Them

I am going to start by saying that interviews are horrible. I believe that they are a terrible way to judge someone’s character and ability to work well. It is understandable that no one would hire a stranger without having met them first, but interviews have become mortifying interrogations that are as stressful as exams. They require tremendous skill and so much practice. That being said, becoming good at interviews is in everyone’s reach as long as time and effort are invested. I have been both lucky and unlucky to have been called into quite a few interviews in the last 4 months, since graduation, and here are a few tips that I would like to share about the process.

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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…)

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