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Volunteering Abroad

Before coming to McGill, I lived in Asia. While I was there, I was a part of several volunteer groups through my school, most notability an after-school program that offered English classes to children from displaced communities. My experiences volunteering with these kids were some of the most rewarding and valuable ones from my time living there. Volunteering is often overlooked during the school year when students are busy with their courses and during the summer when students gravitate towards jobs and internships. However, volunteering is truly a remarkable experience, and doing so abroad is bound to be unforgettable.

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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…)

Research in Industry vs. Academic Research

Credit to: Japan Chemical Daily

It is not that easy to get an internship in a company, especially when there are more restrictions on international students. As I wrote in my very first blog, I went to an interview to get an R&D internship in a renowned enterprise in the fine chemical industry. It was a hard interview but fortunately I nailed it. Without this experience, I would not decide to do a PhD after a master, and it was so different from doing academic research. (more…)

Wake up before the semester starts!

It is the time! We are either coming or returning to the McGill campus, and I hope everyone has enjoyed a great summer no matter you were studying, travelling, working, volunteering, or just snoozing with some chill drinks at the backyard. However, I would like to remind you something before we sit in the lecture room. (more…)

Looking Back at Two Years of University

Going to college was one of the big worries of high school. Where was I going to go and to study what? How would I settle into a life very different from everything I had ever known? At the time it seemed very intimidating and something I apprehended greatly just because of the uncertainty of it all. There was so much doubt, worry and confusion going into my first year, but looking back now, halfway through my undergraduate degree, my attitudes and thoughts have changed. These might be helpful to any first year students going through a similar experience.

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Exploring The Gap Year

https://www.rei.com

Today, many students and young professionals all over the world take gap years. Gap years could be highly beneficial as, for most people, it’s time to figure out what they love and are passionate about and add that to their CVs. While gap years mostly mean travelling, volunteering, or working abroad, a gap year is really whatever you make out of it.

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Volunteering in Montreal

https://the-peak.ca

As the summer is coming to an end and the new school year is approaching, you may be thinking about this year’s extracurricular activities and student clubs you would want to participate in. This year, instead of opting for on-campus clubs and activities, why don’t you step out of the McGill bubble to contribute to the Montreal community? Here is a list of organizations you can volunteer at or can at least help you find other places you can volunteer at, no matter what your interests and majors are:

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Celebrating the Smaller Achievements

When you get into a university like McGill, chances are you’re a pretty good student. Maybe you’re one of the best. Your grades are consistently high, you’re always engaged in class, you’ve never missed a day of school and you’ve never failed even the smallest of assignments. You probably expect the same out of college, but by the time first semester ends, you realize this is not the case at all. I know, I’ve been there. The first year is hard and to be completely honest, it wasn’t at all like what I’d heard and thought it was supposed to be. There are bumps along the way and not everything you do will turn out perfect, but learning to recognize, appreciate, and celebrate your smaller achievements will prove to be beneficial.

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The Value of Personal Projects

It’s the middle of the summer – yay! Some of us are still very busy with jobs and internships, and others may be taking a very well-deserved break. The four months in between the winter and fall semesters gives students plenty of time to work on other things besides classes and coursework. For some, keeping yourself busy during this time can be a little hard to do! The competition for summer positions is very real and sometimes entry-level jobs asking for less than a few years of experience are a challenge to find. Getting started is not easy. It may be a good idea to consider working on some personal projects.

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My first scientific conference

credit to: PHD Comics (www.phdcomics.com)

As I told you from my last post, I was preparing an oral presentation for a national conference that took place at the end of May. Now I am going to share my experience during that exciting week, and I have learned so much from it. (more…)

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