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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…)

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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The Pre-med Summer

MEDVIDEO440x244Welcome, the days of long sunshine. Welcome, the bloom of festivals.

So it’s summer. The perfect time to catch a break from a year of hard work.

For sure! But to a pre-med, there’s plenty to do for a fulfilling summer plan.

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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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My Alternative Spring Break

imagesWell the reading break has passed, and it is time to get back in the school routine. I hope that you all had a good break regardless of what you did or where you went. I, myself, spent it doing something quite different – something I had never done at all. I took part in McGill’s Alternative Spring Break.

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Time to Apply!

applyDid you ever think back to your welcome week at McGill and think that you would gain a lot of experience if you got to help out with it the next year? Well wait no longer, applications have now opened for all of the welcome events taking place in the summer.

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Time to Get Motivated

635837576855041966-1244977572_letters of recommendationIn the past few weeks I’ve been researching psychology graduate programs and seeing what they entail. I honestly wish I would have done this in my first year at McGill, as it would have made my life a lot simpler, but I can’t go back in time unfortunately. It’s now time for me to get serious and start preparing myself for my future.

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Volunteering = Gaining Experience

rea

I know there have been previous posts on finding research positions but I wanted to write another since it is the beginning of the semester and now is the best time to start looking for one if you’re interested. Most labs are always looking for volunteers, and if you’ve never had any past research experience this is the best way to gain some.

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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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Virtues of Volunteering

VolWith the beginning of a new academic year, many of us are thinking of ways to beef up our CVs. We’ll seek part time jobs, internships and positions as research or teaching assistants. Unfortunately, we have a tendency to overlook or discredit volunteering. What a lot of us don’t realize is that volunteering can be equally as valuable as any of the other positions, and a lot more accessible.

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