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Involved, Not Involved, and “Too Involved”

The start of a new semester is always filled with excitement, nerves, add-drop season, and the dramatic shift from perpetual procrastination to keeping up with classes. For returning students, it’s an opportunity to see friends we haven’t connected with for a while. For new students, it’s the beginning of new friendships and connections at the university. For new and old alike, it’s a period of time where we join new clubs and organizations, both on-campus and within the Montréal community!

When I started my first year at McGill, I was hesitant to join student societies and other groups because hanging out with strangers was terrifying. I wanted to concentrate on my studies, meet people living in my residence, and save enough time to Netflix daily.  (more…)

My Experience Working for a Non-Profit

This summer, I volunteered for la Fondation Jeunes en Tête, a non-profit organization that raises awareness about the well-being and mental health of young people in Quebec. By spending nearly every Wednesday at their head office, I got to experience life working for a non-profit, meet incredibly generous and welcoming people, and contribute to a cause that I care about. Here’s what I learned and what I would have done differently.  (more…)

Taking on More Responsibility

When it comes to teamwork in group projects and papers—which occur in almost every class within the Desautels Faculty of Management—I often take on a leadership role. This might be because I like planning and delegating, or because I like to bring out the value in people by highlighting their ideas and integrating them into a solid plan. Either way, I often find taking on responsibility in a school setting to be instinctive and rewarding. However, undertaking a leadership role in this setting comes naturally and is not accompanied by a specific title or explicit duties. Assuming responsibility in other settings, whether it be in student clubs or volunteer work, is what I’m working towards next. These require applications, interviews, and more thought. Here are my hopes and expectations. (more…)

Finding Extracurricular Activities at McGill

McGill has a plethora of extracurricular activities. From charity organizations to academic clubs, we’ve pretty much got a range of it all – so much so that you should be able to find at LEAST one club that suits your interests. However, a wide range of activities to choose from means a wide range of application methods to go through. Without knowing where to look, you might not be able to find the ideal activity for you – even though it probably does exist. Here are some general platforms that I’ve found helped me discover different extracurricular opportunities.

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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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