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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…)

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…)

Bucket List

Increase your Worldliness, Save Money, and Check in with Yourself

  • Attend an advance movie screening. Back in December, I sat in on the Montreal premier of On the Basis of Sex. I got my tickets through the History Students’ Association of McGill, but if you keep an eye on this page, it won’t be long before you’ll have experienced viewing a film before its Canadian release date.
  • Send a message/suggestion/opinion/remark to the Mayor of Montreal. Whether this has only been your city for one year or twenty-one years, you can’t not have ANYTHING to say to her. Back in November, I proposed an idea pertaining to our public transport system, and I received a response within a month’s time. Express yourself!

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START LOOKING. NOW.


Last summer, I worked at a retail store. From April to the start of Orientation Week, I held the position of a sales associate at the first location of a chain that had just come to the city.

My favorite aspects about working in retail were the group of people that I worked with — many of whom I eventually become friends with, the fact that I mastered — and ultimately became a pro at using the POS system, but most significantly, the fact that I learned plenty of transferable customer service skills from my daily interactions with clients — skills that, as Marie points out in her post, are not necessarily learned through prestigious internships (but are rather an asset to have when applying for them).

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Studying Abroad

For my first semester of college, I studied at a remote castle in Southern England.

“Bad experiences are good experiences too,” was literally the only thought that kept me going throughout the year following my return to Montreal — yup, it took me a FULL YEAR to finally stop listening to that voice inside my head saying “Tessa, you shouldn’t have went.”

Although I no longer regret my decision to study abroad, (in fact I probably learned more that semester than I will learn during all my years at McGill), I wanted to share the factors I wish I would have paid a little more attention to prior to saying yes to what seemed to be, (and what I guess was), an opportunity of a lifetime. ✈

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I Bet Half of You Haven’t Heard of…

They’ll match you up with a student who has mastered the course you’re currently in. Think you’re acing the class and the idea of someone helping you for $18 is silly? Think again. The mere act of sitting down to discuss and review even the material that you feel comfortable with is exactly what you’ll thank yourself for when you get to your final exam.

*Newly admitted undergraduate students have their first session free.

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To Do Before the Dreadful 7th of January

And head into the new year with this commercial in mind. Like seriously, was it made especially for students like us who have “no time for anything” yet spend hours mindlessly scrolling on our phones?

  • Subscribe to a new podcast.

Get hooked! Find one you’ll want listen to on your way to class or on your way home from that long day. You’d be surprised how relaxing it could be and how it could give you the ability to say “Hey, I really didn’t know that!” on a weekly basis.

My personal favorite: Past Present

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Do You Fear Learning?

What happens when you meet someone, or work with someone who just never sees eye-to-eye with you? You probably learn to avoid conversations with them, right? Have you ever seen that colleague alone in the break-room and said to yourself “I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life” and decide not to go in? Or maybe you’re not the type to avoid…Maybe you keep having conversations with them, but you find yourself getting frustrated and later ask yourself why you still bother making the effort. But why do we really react this way to people around us?

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Fear, Confusion, and Change- A Search for Answers

It’s hard to think that your choice of study may have been the wrong choice. Some common thoughts are: “maybe I’ve enrolled myself into a program that I thought would give me a good shot at a well-paying job” or “maybe I enrolled into a program for the passion I have for the subject despite knowing the job opportunities are slim”. Sometimes we only realize that we may have made a mistake only after receiving our degrees and entering the work-force. If you’re in one of these places right now you’re probably feeling trapped or anxious. But hey, a semester just came to an end and you owe it to yourself to search for some clarity in all this… (more…)

Report is due, but don’t panic!

Credit to: Calvin and Hobbes (Scientific Setbacks)

As graduate students, we are often assigned teaching jobs, most commonly lab and course TAs. I really enjoyed my time with students when we did lab work together (I’m a lab TA), and we chitchatted about life, study, weather, or  future. My colleagues have various working styles, but in general we are a bunch of cooperative ants focusing on our tasks. On the other hand, grading several dozens of lab reports is the most painful moment at the end of every experiment cycle – we are sad to see people forgetting what we emphasized during the experiment, not double-checking the formatting, giving us blah-blahs without even reading the background information… (more…)

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