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The Importance of an Internship

The scariest part about going through higher education is the prospect of not getting a job after you graduate. During convocation, McGill students are generally split into three categories: “I don’t know what to do now”, “I’m off to Grad school!”, or “I just landed my dream job”. This last tier of students are the lucky few, and I am determined to be a part of this group in May 2017. By ‘lucky’, I mean the ‘smart and resourceful’ ones who took advantage of their university career, made use of the lucrative opportunities and network of people, and eventually paved a way to getting a job right out of university. In most of these cases, the most important and valuable initiative they took, was getting an internship.

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How to Start Networking at McGill

Business Communication Duplicate modelWe always hear about networking as students and how important it is, but I know that nobody has ever told me exactly how to do so. This post intends to explain what exactly networking is and why it is valuable to your degree, show you the different networking opportunities available on campus, and how to prepare for them.  (more…)

Summer Blues

 

summers-overOver the past week, I have been fighting to hold onto the last bit of heat and sunshine! Clad in my summer dresses, sandals and sunglasses, I would happily strut to class, all the while convincing myself that the huge gush of cold wind that enveloped my exposed skin was simply a ‘cool’ summer breeze!  Today, I checked the weather forecast, and as I read 8°C, I told myself my phone must be going through another one of its tantrums and forgot to place the number ‘1’ before the ‘8’. Even though September 23rd signaled the official end of summer, I still find it hard to begin my transition into the fall season. As you can tell, I am in strong denial!

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My International Internship Experience

 

LI building

So here’s my first post! I’m incredibly excited to get started on this blog but here’s a little secret – I’ve been struggling to decide what I wanted to write about as my first post. There are so many things that I could choose from but doing an “all about my summer” post (like the ones we used to do in elementary school) seemed the most prudent. I hope to also give some pertinent information that might help and encourage you to participate in an internship, whether it be here in Montreal or halfway across the world. This past summer was, without a doubt, the most influential and important of my life thus far and I owe it all to my internship experience.

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Say, “Cheese”

FeelGood

I finished another teaching assistantship last semester quite happily. I look forward to having the extra time, which perhaps is our most precious resource. I have really enjoyed teaching my students and sharing with them the wonders and in some cases the dangers of the lab. Most of my interactions and relationships with students are positive. I have always wanted to see the students achieve their goals in the course and in their career. As TAs, we are obviously in a position to guide student through a course, but sometimes we may even point student in the direction of obtaining an internship or honors project in a research lab. I am delighted to see that past students are doing well in their new positions in research labs. Even better is to hear what they learned was useful! I find this dynamic between TAs and students interesting. After all, TAs are themselves students. I am sure there are those who may believe the “A” in TA ends six letters short of “assistant”. For those of you trekking on into the new semester here are my two cents about getting along with your TA and forging a positive constructive relationship, which will undoubtedly be of benefit. (more…)

To Cram or Not to Cram?

Exhausted Student Falling Asleep While CrammingWith final exams rolling around the corner, this is about the time when students begin panicking. Without the slightest bit of hesitation, they initiate their ritual late-night cram-sessions and caffeine binges in order to catch up on their schoolwork. This is the time when students tend to revisit or even relearn concepts they should have mastered by now. I am all too familiar with this process; after all, I am a teacher…and yes, we can tell.

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Lessons from the Pumpkin Patch

pumkinThis semester has proven to be full of obstacles and possibilities. This weekend was no exception. One of this weekends adventures was pumpkin picking hosted by PGSS. This was a new experience for me. This turned into more than a relaxing fall outing. This weekend has reminded me of many lessons in succeeding. I have decided to shares a few of the lessons learned while pumpkin picking with you all. (more…)

LinkedIn: How to get endorsements?

Octavio-Cardenas-LinkedINYour Linkedin profile is almost ready to go! However, once you entered soft and hard skills in your profile, there is an important step that needs to be taken: asking for endorsements.

That’s the one most important item that can lead you to obtaining and keeping a very solid reputation on Linkedin. To tell the truth, how many profiles have you visited lately and reading profiles, you have had that feeling that behind those fancy words something is missing?

We build our public image based on trust. That is right! You profile is ready to go but…who will trust you if nobody can back up your skills? The most popular personalities or commercial pages are based on the amount of “likes” on Facebook, correct?  Well, Linkedin’s version of “likes” are endorsements. This feature enables members to endorse each other’s skills and expertise. It works pretty much like the recommendations. It helps members recommend each other and by doing that not only will you get more social proof, but also global branding, exposure and trust. In addition, it will generate more visits to your profile and if your profile shines, then people will want to connect with you.

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A quick look at LinkedIn

based-impressive-workplace-ecard-someecardsNothing compares with your online resume. You own it. You have total control over the information contained in it. It gives you so much exposure within your industry, not to mention the effects on your reputation and credibility.

Lately, some successful platforms such as LinkedIn have developed tremendous SEO tools to keep you on top of the list when you look for new challenges. LinkedIn offers to build up your reputation and contact or be contacted by decision makers with basic and free features, and others, more advanced, at a fee. To pay for some added features is entirely up to you since LinkedIn offers tools that help you manage your information in real time and build up your contacts. The time you spend and accessibility might improve if you take your wallet out.

Personally, I have not paid a cent since I started using it back in 2009 but let me tell you I invested a lot of time!

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Broadcast your resume!

broadcast

The number of hiring managers who use search engines to find the most qualified people in the market place have increased exponentially.  

As mentioned before, Internet is the fastest way to find the right candidate for the right position without having to deal with opening or closing hours or even location. Head hunters use the Internet just like you would: with keywords. These are based on work experience, schools, skills and also your social life.

If you really want to be found, you need to broadcast your resume like any other organization would advertise its product to get customers: via your own website.

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