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Book Review: Mind Gym, Part 2

In this post, I am going to cover how different concepts from Mind Gym[1] can be applied by students. You may be familiar with some of them from other ‘self-help’ type books, from workshops on time or stress and anxiety management, or already use them without giving them names. I am going to give overviews of the power of positive thinking, motivation and fear of failure, and SMART goals. All of these contribute to getting ‘in the zone’ and succeed at everyday tasks or activities. (more…)

Book Review: “Mind Gym”, Part 1

You might find Mind Gym: An Athlete’s Guide to Inner Excellence[1] in the sports section or the self-help section, depending on the bookstore. Published in 2001, Mind Gym was written by sports psychologist Gary Mack to show regular people how the mind influences athletic performance. The book is organized into 40 chapters which end with short exercises to improve the mental habits which help performers succeed. Mack demonstrates the impacts of stress and motivation on success using examples from sports. However, his recommendations apply to elite athletes and regular people alike. (more…)

What I Learned from a Summer in Retail

At the end of the winter semester, I found myself in a scramble to find a summer job. In the end, I started working as a sales associate at a popular clothing chain. While it may not be a prestigious internship, the experience has been awesome, from a learning standpoint, but also socially, since I had great coworkers. Notably, this summer I learned a lot about customer service from my experience in retail. Overall, based on the past summer, I have found retail experience to be more valuable than I would have expected. (more…)

Tips for Successful Public Speaking

Public speaking is consistently ranked as a top fear among people.[1] Over the past five years, I have had many public speaking opportunities and then the chance to go back and teach the skills I learned as a teaching assistant in a CEGEP public speaking course and as a training director of McGill’s Model United Nations Delegation Team. Through improving my own speaking skills and helping others improve or overcome their fear, I have developed a number of tips which I hope might help you. (more…)

Tips for a Great Interview

Over the past 4 years, I have had the chance to be an interviewee and an interviewer. Unfortunately, neither seems to be easier. Interviewees face the stress of not knowing how to prepare for an interview or what the interviewers thought. On the other hand, interviewers need to decide on questions to understand the true nature of candidates and often face tough decisions when the selection pool has many qualified candidates. Here’s what I’ve learned about a good interview from sitting on both sides. (more…)

Municipal Elections Matter, Part 3: Women and Municipal Politics

It is commonly thought that women are more successful in municipal politics than federal or provincial politics. This conclusion is reached since municipal elections are typically less competitive and their campaigns presumed to be less costly. [1] At the same time, women may be at a disadvantage because of how the media frames female candidates or if voters perceive politics as ‘male sphere’.[2] Erin Tolley and Mireille Paquette explored to effect of gender in the 2017 race for mayor of Montreal between Denis Coderre and Valérie Plante.[3]With a rising number of women stepping up to run for office in Canada and the United States, it is interesting to understand what barriers exist or are being challenged.

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Summertime Sadness

As summer comes to a close, I can’t help but wonder how to best spend the last month before classes begin. I have been amazed at how quickly this summer has gone by, it seems like just a few days ago that July was beginning. Embarking on the final weeks of summer is a tough task, on the one hand just enjoying the sun and seeing friends is a top priority. However, at the same time, I want to feel prepared for school and finish as much work as possible to reduce the stress come September. (more…)

Academic writing: But what does it really mean?

Have you ever read an article for a class and wondered what exactly the author was talking about? Perhaps situations like this contribute to why so many students don’t bother with readings. If someone understands a subject well enough to publish academic papers, surely they can explain it in plainer language. In fact, there is a movement of academics who are fighting against opaque language.[1]

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Municipal Elections Matter, Part 2: Nationalism and Party Identification

When voting, is your decision something based on a singular issue or is it about how much you identify with the party? Perhaps one issue shapes the entire party landscape? This question is fundamental to many who study political science, but until attending CMES, I had no idea that municipal politics were a field of study. In all my introductory political science courses at McGill, the topic was never touched upon. Thus, I jumped at the opportunity to learn more about the study of municipal politics, which has been studied in Canada for many years. In this post, I will focus on how municipal politics interact with Quebec nationalism, an issue Canada has worked with and around since the British won the Seven Years’ War.[1] (more…)

Municipal Elections Matter, Part 1: An Introduction to CMES and Split-Ticket Voting

Municipal elections are important, however, in the field of political science, they are largely understudied. Notably, little is known about how candidates compete, or how voters make choices at this level. The Canadian Municipal Election Study (CMES) received funding to conduct research based on survey data in eight Canadian cities. This month, seven draft papers focusing on the Montreal and Quebec City elections were presented at a small conference at McGill.[1] I will be writing three broad pieces about split ticket voting, nationalism and party identification, and women in municipal politics based on what I learned at the conference. (more…)

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