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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 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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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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Summer Work for Future Rewards

It’s always stressful jumping into something or beginning something new. For so many of my friends they are starting their internships or summer jobs and need to adjust to finally working in the field they’ll be in once theygraduate. Your manager is most likely not someone you share classes with and you probably won’t need a hair net anymore.

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Finally Free

 

freedom-clipart-escapeWell another year has passed and the semester has come to an end! Congratulations everyone on making it through another semester. Finals are the worst part of every year, and even if you don’t ace your exam, grades are NOT all that matter. Jobs and grad schools look at your extracurricular activities and work experience. So don’t worry if you didn’t do as well as you wanted to on an exam.

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What to do this Summer?

empThis is the last week of final exams (hallelujah!) which means that it is basically summer – well not officially, but you know what I mean. It’s time to drop the books, and make plans for the next four months. But what should you do?

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Here Comes the Sun

tumblr_static_cxzfy59e4g00sgsc80wg0cogc_640_v2Today I went to my final classes of second year. Most of them were review, a lot of them let me know of the difficulty of exams to come. I will be writing essays for what feels like a very long time. But this is something everyone can relate to. Rather, I’m excited for my summer.

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Summer 2016 in Montreal – Looking Ahead

3716949038_2484d04998_b-1000x543Ever the planner, I am currently searching for summer opportunities. As I’ve written before, my Summer 2015 was spent interning at Liberal International, a London, UK-based federation of liberal political parties. It was a great experience and I am grateful for everything I learned. Therefore, I am committed to finding an equally career-advancing experience of some sort here in Montreal. (more…)

T-A or Not T-A

TA
As I was lounging around and enjoying my break during the summer, I was suddenly struck by the realization that I should apply for some sort of TA, RA or grading position. I immediately started e-mailing all of the professors whose classes I particularly enjoyed and whose research work I found especially interesting. After a couple of weeks of radio silence, I slowly started receiving responses. To my dismay, none were positive. The bulk of the e-mails informed me that the department was responsible for assigning TA positions and applications had already passed. But one reply, from a professor I had briefly served as a research assistant in the past, explained that while she would not be teaching the course this semester, she would contact me in the winter to discuss a grading position. Thankfully, she forwarded my information to the professor instructing this semester and as it turns out, he was in need of an extra grader, which is how I ended up with the job.

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Start Summer Planning Now

summer-hd-wallpaper-660x330One of the hardest things to do when you’re in undergrad is balance the present with planning the future. But I find that one of the best ways to come up with strategies is to be efficient about your summer planning. The competition for summer jobs and internships starts now and though it may feel like you have a ton of time to figure it out, the reality is that the deadlines are right around the corner.

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