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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…)

Summer: working a job vs. taking a break

McGill’s winter term ends in late April and the fall term starts early September, which leaves 4 months of “summer vacation”. Obviously, this is the ideal and most convenient time to gain work experience, do an internship, volunteer, take classes, etc. Most people with whom I’ve talked have found the four months to be long, so without a task to keep them busy, they would quickly feel bored and underwhelmed. The great thing about having several months between terms is that there is both the time to gain valuable work experience and enjoy the warmer months.

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Summer is coming: how to do your science research?

source: blog.accepted.com

As many science students have done, so did I – undergraduate students usually choose to spend at least one summer to stay on campus (or somewhere) and get their hands on real-life lab work. It can be honours project, research course (396 courses), work-study, or just volunteering. Depending on which lab you are in, you can make molecules, tune robots, culture cells, purify proteins, do interviews, and so on. (more…)

2018: Starting the Year Off Right for Your Career

For me personally, the holiday season is primarily a time to be surrounded by family, to celebrate Christmas with the people you love, and take the time to recover and relax from the bustle of the past year. For this reason, I tend not to think too much about looking for career-related opportunities during late December. However, as everyone knows, New Year’s is a time to begin new goals and make new resolutions (that can be kept!). It is also perfect occasion to start fresh and get back into looking at volunteering, extra-curricular, and job-related activities that will be sure to boost your CV and enhance the skills that will make you an adept professional in the working world.

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First Winter in Montreal as an International Student

For students coming from across oceans, winter in Montreal can be very brisk, long, and harsh. I know – I’ve been there. Before moving to Canada, I lived in Malaysia, where the days started at 7:00 a.m. and ended at 7:00 p.m. every day and the temperature was 30ºC year-long. I knew nothing of the sun setting before 5 p.m. and had only seen snow once or twice in my life. Coming to study in Montreal also meant that I would experience a real winter season, which was very exciting, but it soon began to look like spring and summer would never come.

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Interview: a story

Since it is the time for On-Campus Recruiting (OCR) and career fairs, it is always good to be prepared than looking for stuff at the last minute. This is not a tutorial, nor a checklist before you set off for an interview – just a story that happened to myself.

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