The Best Things I Did During My Graduate Studies

This will be my last blog post for CaPS (at least for now :), so I thought I would leave with a short list of the best things I did while completing my master’s and doctoral degrees at McGill.

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Making the Case for Multiple Mentors

Higher education necessitates academic mentorship. At the graduate level, it is often compulsory. But what about mentorship for those on non-academic career paths? As academic mentorship is a cornerstone of academic success, I propose that non-academic mentors are equally as important for career success outside of the academy. Given that less than 20% of PhD holders in Canada will find tenure-track positions (Conference Board of Canada, 2015), I think it’s time to mentor up. (more…)

Happy Academic New Year!

September is my favorite time of year. It’s always hard to say goodbye to summer but the fall season also brings some of my favorite things – crisp autumn leaves, hoodie weather, football, savory pies… and a feeling of fresh beginnings fueled by a recently completed 7 year stint in graduate school.

“New Year” Challenge: How Will You Work Career Planning into Your Schedule? (more…)

PhD to Industry: Transferrable Skills

As the job market landscape for PhDs continues to shift, with more and more PhDs opting for non-academic career paths, there is much work to do in supporting PhDs in honing “core competencies” in a way that makes them employable and competitive for industry positions. I’ve spent the past few years working to identify and translate the skills developed during a PhD in the context of industry and government needs, and found that I have the skills, I just needed to work on communicating them to potential employers. (more…)

Keeping Cool in the Heat… And During the Job Search

Moving on to the next step in your career can be exciting but also painfully long, requiring continuous work, patience, and persistence. In spite of this knowledge, accompanied by a previous job search that took months, I’ve still found myself looking for ways to keep my cool during a job search during the summer vacation season. (more…)

Feeling Like an Imposter? Don’t Let it Ruin Your Job Search

Imposter’s syndrome – that feeling that sooner or later, everyone around us will realize we are a fraud…that we’re not as good at this as everyone thinks…that we are not qualified and don’t belong here…

Many of us have experienced these thoughts and feelings at some point, with research identifying imposter’s syndrome in students, faculty, corporate employees, and management alike. Whether we are just embarking on our career path or stepping-up along the way, experiencing imposter’s syndrome can influence our decision-making process if we’re not careful. (more…)

To Procrastinate or Not To Procrastinate…

I recently attended the doctoral dissertation defense of a friend and fellow colleague whose research focuses on procrastination. I learned a lot, and found that understanding more about the research on procrastination has helped me conquer some of my own. Here is what I learned… (more…)

Coffee – The Perfect Excuse to Grow Your Network

— “Would you like to have a coffee and talk with me about…?”

I call it coffee.

Many call it an informational interview. The formal jargon sounded daunting to me when I first began exploring careers… imagine… “Would you like to have an informational interview with me?”

Really, an informational interview is just coffee with conversation (or a smoothie, or a walk for ice cream, whatever works). Yes, the conversation takes prep work on our part and a little luck in finding the right connections, but it’s one of our best tools in developing our professional identities and broadening our network. (more…)

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