Happy Summer…and Welcome to the New Blog!

Written by: Clarissa Huffman
Sociology Level III
Anthropology ’14

Hey everyone!!

Sorry I’ve been absent for so long, I promise I haven’t forgotten about you all!! 😛

In my opinion, summer is when exciting things happen. Most of my most significant memories from my university years are remembered by summer, rather than by what ‘year’ of my program I was in. This summer is no different. Summer gives you the chance to refresh, regroup, and make some serious goals for your upcoming year of school. If you start planning early, you might realise you need to enrol in a summer term class or two, and you might even start applying for fall internships through EE!!

Me, I’m over in a little town called Bradford, England completing an opportunity of a lifetime internship at a little family firm called The Mineral Planning group. It’s amazing how much you can learn when you spend your days in a small office with four people. No coffee runs for this intern!! While my internship was self-guided, I know that EE strives for the same goals – they want to secure student internships that are meaningful and educational, with the hopes that if you don’t know where you want to go with your career, maybe an internship through EE will help you figure it out.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Career Networking Breakfast

Written by: Clarissa Huffman
Sociology Level III
Anthropology ’14

Hey all!!

I hope you had a great reading week!! Keeping with my ‘take every chance you get’ mantra, I spent the week doing a geology field course in San Salvador and Rum Cay, Bahamas. There’s nothing quite like getting course credit and soaking up sunshine at the same time!!

Now that it’s back to real life (and cold weather), I’d like to chat with you about some things I learned at the Career Networking Breakfast a few weeks back. This was a very humbling experience because it was a great way to speak to people in a variety of different fields and learn that they got to where they are in so many different ways – no one path is alike. Are you sensing a trend here? I am.

Continue reading

Career Conversations

Written by: Clarissa Huffman
Sociology Level III
Anthropology ’14

As social sciences students, I’m sure you’re all familiar with the Experiential Education office and the emails that they send frequently. One of the recurring things they do for us as students is something called a ‘Career Conversation’, which is exactly what it sounds like – a group of students come to a meeting with an established professional, listen to him/her talk about their position and how they got there, tips and tricks for the field, and students have the opportunity to pick the brains of these professionals who so nicely put aside time to come and give us advice.

One of the things I hear often is this: “But why should I go? He’s not talking about anything I know about, or even anything I’m interested in learning. He’s not even working in my preferred field!!” Last week, I decided to put this statement to the test, to discover if I could learn anything new by listening to someone speak about their experiences in a field VERY different from the career I’d like to pursue. The conversation I went to was with an Associate Director at RBC. If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll know that I’m a geography student, so banking and finance is most DEFINITELY not my thing. But I’ll let you in on a secret – I learned a lot!!

So what did I learn from listening to somebody talk about their experiences in a discipline so very different from mine??

Continue reading

USRA Fun Facts

Written by: Clarissa Huffman
Sociology Level III
Anthropology ’14

Hey Followers!

I hope you didn’t think I forgot about you over exams! I admit, this was a harder exam season than most, but I made it through and hopefully you did too!! And now that its over, I’ve decided to write a special Christmas blog on a topic that’s new and exciting to me: the USRA award. Until this year, I’ve never considered the USRA as an option for me – I’ve always pushed it aside as unattainable, something that only my super intelligent peers who have somehow attained straight 12’s could ever hope to be awarded. But this year, in my year of new adventures, I decided to bridge that gap and attend a USRA information session. In this post, I’d like to share with you the things I learned in that session that I didn’t know before, that make the USRA seem a little less daunting and a little more attainable. Something that even you or I, as regular Social Science students with minds brimming full of amazing ideas, can strive for. I’m hoping to apply for one, and if I do, I will chronicle my journey here, and hopefully you will be inspired to give it a shot!!

Here is my list of little-known USRA facts:

Continue reading

Ambitious City

Written by: Clarissa Huffman
Sociology Level III
Anthropology ’14

What comes to mind when you think about your city? Or any city? Most people think about the bustling streets, busy urban centres, and suburban residential areas. When most people think of urban planning they think of infrastructure and design; city hall professionals working to make our city run smoothly, with cost and (hopefully!) the environment playing large roles in the decisions made.

Since my interests lie in urban development, environmental assessment, and sustainability, listening to the Mayor of Calgary, Naheed Nenshi, speak on his triumphs in transforming his city was absolutely enlightening. His open conversation with Jennifer Keesmaat, the Chief City Planner of Toronto, was equally as fascinating, bringing together two different parts of the country to talk about the strengths and weaknesses from both cities, and how they can learn from each other to grow into the strong, sustainable cities we hope to see in our country’s future.  Continue reading

HIVEX Conference

Written by: Clarissa Huffman
Sociology Level III
Anthropology ’14

Have you ever attended a conference? Until now, I hadn’t. I was extremely shy about this – people around me seemed to be attending all of these amazing conferences and meeting all of these awesome professionals in their field, and gaining this valuable life experience. I sat and watched, thinking to myself, what do they have that I don’t? When I was asked to volunteer at the ‘Business of the Local’ session at the 2014 HIVEX conference, it was just around the time that I had begun collaborating with Experiential Education to start this blog. In deciding to take a leap and accept the volunteer position, I finally, after 5 years, answered my own question. Continue reading

Hey Mac!!

Written by: Clarissa Huffman
Sociology Level III
Anthropology ’14

When I think back to my very first year at McMaster (longer ago than I’d like to admit!!), the one thing that resonates with me is that I wish I had had a mentor. Someone to guide me through the hard parts, tell me when I’m doing a good job, and give me a few tips to make it all easier. Let me tell you a little bit about myself; I’m back at McMaster for a second degree. Currently, I’m enrolled in Sociology level III, but I’m shadowing the Department of Geography and Environmental Science to change programs at the end of this term. My first degree is in Physical Anthropology and Archaeology. I’ve been very active throughout my undergraduate time at McMaster, volunteering extensively for the Society of Off-Campus Students and the McMaster Anthropology Society. I’ll never forget the day after my convocation. I remember sitting in my room, so proud of myself that I was finally done. I could finally move on to bigger and better things. But then I thought to myself – what does that all mean? Where do I go, and what do I do? How do I get there? What does this piece of paper with a fancy stamp actually mean? Continue reading