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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…)

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…)

A Vote of Confidence for the Humanities

In recent years, there has been an increasing push for students to study STEM subjects, including science, technology, engineering and math. As someone who has always been interested in humanities and social sciences, I have found myself from time to time regretting that I did not take a shine to STEM. It seems students who pursue STEM are promised more certainty in their job prospects, the potential for higher salaries, and overall the allure of a more “prestigious” career. Undoubtedly, with general advances in research and technology, the STEM field is rapidly growing. However, this does not undermine the value of studying humanities. In a reflection of common attributes of the company’s top employees, Google discovered some interesting characteristics among its most successful team members. These noteworthy findings are discussed in an article featured in The Washington Post.
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Finding, Creating, and Taking Opportunities

I’m fortunate enough to be able to say that I’ve had many wonderful opportunities growing up. Chances to learn, rediscover, try again, travel, explore, grow. At the time, they didn’t seem like such a big deal as I was still too young to appreciate them. Now, more than ever, I keep my eyes peeled for them – waiting for the next opportunity to present itself so I can take it and hoping that I’d be lucky enough to have similar chances as those around me. But one of the most important things I have taken away from doing this is that opportunities don’t always magically appear; it’s not just about “luck”. Sometimes you have to find them where you least expect them, and sometimes you need to go searching for them.

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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…)

What Does Self-Care Look Like at University?

Nearly five minutes into every discussion I’ve had with an adult about my post-secondary plans has contained the two following phrases: “University is the best time of your life!” and “University is the hardest time of your life.” The fact is, they’re both right. University life is definitely distinct in how it is a time of newfound independence, freedoms, hardships, and distractions. For many, the post-secondary period is a combination of new commitments, a lower disposable income, as well as more sources of stress; this combination may only be sustainable through the practice of self-care. (more…)

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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Constructing a To-Do List That You’ll Actually Do

I love being organized. I’m the first of my friends to start a group chat for Friday night plans, and I adore a good Powerpoint presentation. My favourite means of organizing my thoughts is the classic to-do list. Classic they may be, to-do lists are often misused. There is the assumption that simply writing a to-do list will result in the completion of tasks. However, because they are often not well-constructed, to-do lists can result in procrastination. Here, I will share a tried and true method of to-do list making that I have devised after my personal failed list attempts. (more…)

Shining like a star: the art of presentation

LinkedIn Slideshare: 8 Psychological Principles to Make a Memorable Presentation

It is the conference season, and I am lucky enough to get an opportunity to present my research in a national conference this month. Both excited and nervous, I know that a perfect presentation would be a great plus, but no one can be perfect. Instead, I am trying to improve myself as much as possible before the big moment. So far, I have learned a ton, and I would like to share them with you as tips.

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