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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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Academic Integrity – whatever you do, obey the rules

donutcheat

Resource: http://www.fsu.ca/academic-integrity.php

Since I am a graduate student, I have the responsibility to teach undergraduate students and help them with their work. So far, my students have given mostly positive feedbacks, and I have tried my best to reply to their emails as soon as possible, to give them tutorials on the knowledge they should get familiar with to write a good report, and to calm them down when small accidents happen (yes there are risks but generally you are safe in an undergraduate teaching lab). Our job description also includes one important thing: grading. Therefore, we need to go through dozens of reports on the same topic. It is exhausting, and not fun at all. We don’t want to give a hard time on our dear students, so most of the time we try to give marks instead of deducting them. I admit that I am quite lenient, but when I deduct marks, I always give the reason. (more…)

Cafés: the Newest Study Spaces

For me personally, the perfect study space is in the comfort of my own room, where I’m free to follow my own routine and get up whenever needed without having to worry about leaving my things out on the table, all while not getting distracted by others passing by or loud conversations. I know for many of my friends, however, that it is quite the contrary for them. Unable to stay focused at home, other settings give them the motivation to study and keep on track. Once you’re in your final year, you know what works best for you, but in the meantime, there are plenty of spaces to go to if you’re in need of a change in environment while you review your notes for that upcoming midterm.

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Your CV: the first window

Michael Zwahlen / EyeEm / Getty Images

No matter what you are applying for, jobs, volunteers, grad schools, scholarships, etc., usually you are asked to provide the recruiters/committee members with an up-to-date CV. If you are not a professor with hundreds of publications, you usually limit your CV to a few pages maximum. No just the page limit, it is essential to present a version of you that you want people to see and to acknowledge. Here, I would like to share with you my CV-writing trudge since my first year of university. (more…)

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