Job Hunting Experiences At McGill

There are many places at McGill to find jobs. I have been working at a job since last September under the work study program. I have also worked at SSMU in my second year of university. I would like to talk a little bit about my experiences finding jobs. Work Study accepts applications starting in July for the upcoming year. The earlier you apply, the better because you will be able to apply to job postings earlier than if you submit your application later. It was quite hard to get a job from the work study program because it is quite competitive. I had to send out many emails with my CV, transcript, and sometimes cover letter to as many positions as possible. Many times I got an email back saying that the position was already filled or that I did not pass the initial screening stage. Many times I did not even get a response back.

When the job postings are put up in August, there will be many jobs to apply to. The list will also update frequently. It’s important to check it everyday. Sometimes you won’t get a response back and it’s important to not get discouraged and to keep applying. I eventually got an interview and secured a job luckily. It was a laboratory assistant job. I would be stacking tips, autoclaving, and washing equipment for 3 labs located next to each other. The expected hours were an average of 9 hours per week. In the beginning, autoclaving and washing were easy since all I had to do was put things into a machine. Stacking tips was a bit hard in the beginning as I was quite slow in the beginning. As the year progressed, I began to do the same amount of work in less time and I could be more efficient.

SSMU also hires students to work. The recruitment time is usually around March for the upcoming year. However, when I applied for my job, it was around August. This was probably due to the fact that they still had job openings left over. The application process is straightforward with a required CV and cover letter. You also have the option to provide additional documents such as recommendations letters, transcripts, etc. There is also a lot of competition. However, I feel like I got lucky as when I applied to SSMU, I didn’t have that much work experience. The interview process was a little more comprehensive than the interview for my work study job. There were a lot more questions and you have to do prior research about SSMU.

I enjoyed working at SSMU. It allowed me to take on a role in a completely different field from what I was studying in. I had to be quick to adapt to the environment. I was on the elections team so there were always many things happening. It was also important for me to know the internal regulations and SSMU constitution very well. During elections and referendums, there were many responsibilities for the elections team. From working this job, it increased my attention to detail and my ability to work in a professional environment.

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