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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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Competition and Our View of Success – Exploring the Effects of Social Darwinism

I studied earth system science in my undergraduate. It’s a small program in which we learn about how the earth behaves as one single system. Learning about the earth has many perks, such as traveling to different places around the world with the excuse of studying diverse landscapes and ecosystems. (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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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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What We Talk About When We Talk About Writing

MakeMeWriteWhat We Talk About When We Talk About Love is a collection of short stories by Raymond Carver. Brilliantly written and critically acclaimed, it’s been mentioned by dozens of famous followers and quoted in many -many- movies. In Stuck in Love (2010), the character William Borgens quotes the “human noise” that Carver describes at the end of the book. Borgens says that, as writers, it is our job to decipher that human noise to the best of our ability and create from it great works. The whole movie actually focuses on this family of writers and make it look so easy, deciphering the world and creating an opinion. I’m here to say that in many ways it’s much more difficult than that, and lend a few tried and true pieces of advice from my own experience.

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What I Wish I Knew When I was a Freshman

GradSchool2So tomorrow I’m doing a retreat for Service Point, the administrative office at McGill. They invited me to come and give suggestions about what could be improved in their office. Service Point is the face of McGill. It’s where students go to first when they arrive here. And, even though it has nothing to do with student affairs and personal problems, most people end up going there because it’s the only place that they can think of reaching out to. Therefore, this blog post is me outlining a little bit of what I wish I had known when I entered McGill.

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My (Academic) New Year’s Resolutions

shutterstock_62795851Welcome to 2016! This post comes a bit tardy of January 1st, but better late than never. Similar to others, I like to make resolutions to myself in order to make each year as wonderful and full of potential as possible. As we are students here at McGill University, it is important that we make the most of our university career and ensure success so this should most certainly include academic resolutions! I want this semester to be my best and most productive yet, so here are a few of my academic New Year’s resolutions. (more…)

Change is Constant

Every semester, I go through an ‘epiphany’ where I have a sudden realization of where my true passion lies. For that semester, I strut around campus confidently and certain that I have finally decided on my career path, just to experience another change of heart the following semester! It is exhausting to say the least! The uncertainty of not knowing what I want to be or what I will be doing in the future is daunting! However, I am glad that at McGill, I am (almost) able to change majors as much and as often as I want until I find that path I am destined to be on.

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Tunnel Your Way Around Campus

blocking-the-wayBrrr isn’t it cold outside? Temperatures are quickly approaching subzero, and the freezing descent has just started. It’s a hassle to put on winter attire between classes just to take them off a few minutes later. You will be pleasantly surprised there are plenty of ways to get around campus without ever exposing yourself to the chilly air.

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Impacting Your Education – Course Evaluations

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As you all probably have heard and received many reminders about, course evaluations are now open for you to complete. Did you know for the past few years response rate has risen to 48%? Lend us your help to get push through 50%! Visit the McGill Mercury site now to complete your evaluations!

But what’s the big deal about these anyway? Does anyone care enough to read my responses? Fear not, sitting as the SSMU representative with the Course Evaluations Advisory Group is yours truly, and I’m here to say “Yes, your feedback is important!”

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