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Why You Should Not Get a Job in Your First Year

Moving to university, most of us are expecting to have changes in our life style. And getting a job is one of the most exciting and anticipating thing you probably have in mind, especially if this is your first time working and getting paid. But after a semester long of trying out, couple things crossed my mind which made me reconsidered about going to work early. Here is my story! (more…)

A Love Letter to Montreal

When I arrived in Montreal in fall of 2014, full of hope with a splash of  naïveté, I experienced the effortless beauty of the city around me with a general sense of awe and admiration. Interestingly enough, though it had the potential to be foreboding, this new city wasn’t all that threatening. Instead, Montreal became the personal playground of the incoming class of 2014. I think most of my friends would agree we paraded around Montreal as if was an extension of McGill – often to the dismay of the city’s inhabitants.

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What Can I Do with My Geography Degree?

Oxbow lake meandering river geography comic hipster funny career blog physical Some things don’t have a linear path. A career can be one of those things.

Finding your personal path takes work and reflection. This is especially true for disciplines that cover a wide scope of topics and perspectives, like geography. Luckily, a recent project by the Canadian Association of Geographers aims to do just that — help geography students and recent graduates shape their own path. (more…)

Mental Health Support for Students on Tight Schedules

Thinkladder app mental health student career blog quote insight

Source: Thinkladder.com

Has this happened to you? You know you already have too much on your plate, and you are eager to make the most of every opportunity. In one way or another, you end up setting goals and standards that are beyond your current means. Okay, maybe you can accomplish everything if you take out the time required for sleeping and eating. And being at a competitive university doesn’t help the struggle.

I am like you.

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Why is it so hard to just “do what you want?”

quote thought bubble saying what do you want to be when you grow up mcgill career blogWhat do you want to do? That’s a loaded question.

I remember asking this question during a speed dating study. First, he says “well, I don’t know.” Then he shares a bit about what he’s studying. Eventually, if he feels safe enough, he might share a dream of his. He thinks it’s not practical. I listen as he convinces himself to be interested in something more mainstream and secure. Maybe you’ve had a similar conversation with someone, or with yourself — knowing what you want, but not sure if it’s the ‘right’ thing to pursue

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STEMinine – A Supportive Community for Women and Femmes in STEM

Source: https://thenib.com/women-in-stem-speak-up

Jessica Droujko, McGill BEng 2015, retells the story of how she sat next to a rocket scientist on a plane, and how he convinced her that she too can be a rocket scientist. Now, years after that fateful encounter, Jessica is completing her Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, more commonly known as ETH Zurich. As a woman engineer, Jessica saw a lack of exposure of women and femmes in STEM fields (i.e. science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), which in turn indirectly discourage young girls from pursuing those fields. Jessica wants high school and university students to be able to ask whatever they want and to find support in their search. Her project, STEMinine, does aims to do exactly that — showcases women and femmes in STEM. (more…)

Meet Our New Bloggers

A new school year means we have NEW BLOGGERS joining us!

Check out their bios in the Who We Are section and come back often to read their posts on campus life and getting ready for their future careers.

I am sooo excited!!

 

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 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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An Alternative

It’s a Saturday afternoon, your hair is curled and pinned back, you smell like garden of rosebushes. You feel good. You’re waiting for your friend to catch a bite to eat at a cute, boho cafe right around the corner from your snug studio on the 4th floor where your sister is probably playing the guitar and plastering nail decals on her toes. Nothing is going wrong, you’re in a happy place. You see your friend parking her car near the curb. Wait, you don’t have a car. She walks in wearing a fitted pencil skirt and grey top, you could almost smell the Downy and iron steam. You don’t have an ironing board, it didn’t fit in the closet so you threw it away. Sitting opposite in our booth, we exchange a few words and she then continues to talk about her recent project abroad and the many experiences and perspectives she came across. You stayed home, helped your sister with her music. We all do it or have done it at some point in our lives… (more…)

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