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Making the Most out of One-Day Volunteering

Last Week, I volunteered for Campus Life & Engagement (CL&E)’s Orientation session for newly admitted CEGEP students. Throughout the day, I signed in registered students, told attendees where their next destination was, helped set up information desks, and answered any McGill-related questions. Although this event only required a one-day commitment on my part (with a short training session a few days prior), the experience was well worth it. Despite walking into a room full of volunteers I didn’t know, I ended up making friends, learning more about McGill and other volunteer opportunities, and snagging myself a cozy volunteer t-shirt. Here’s how I made the most of it.

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Make The Most Of It

There are many words that can be used to describe me. One that I get often is “indecisive”. But I disagree. Well, I don’t disagree (I can see that I’m not helping my case here) but I agree in certain aspects. When it comes to extracurricular experiences though, I do disagree. Yes, I’ve done a little bit of everything, but that wasn’t a result of indecisiveness. That was because I wanted to experience everything. After all, how do you know that you don’t enjoy working in a particular field until you’ve actually worked in said field? In the long run, this logic bode well for me…but I did often find myself in positions that I knew were a little mundane for me after the first couple weeks. And let’s be honest, we’ve probably all been there. So what do you do when you have a month or two left in a position that you’re not enjoying? (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…)

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?

laboratory

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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