Do you remember your first McMaster experience?

Written by: Ruthanne Talbot
Programming and Outreach Manager, Experiential Education

This past Saturday I attended Fall Preview – the day when excited, ambitious and sometimes tentative high school students visit Mac. Our job as staff is to help them fall in love with our campus and academic programs and, ultimately, see themselves as part of the McMaster and Social Sciences family. We also want potential students to see the great value in their Social Sciences degree and the benefits of participating in Experiential Education (EE) programming.

20151121_141040We were thrilled learn that one potential Social Sciences student who attended Fall Preview, Felicia, actually wrote a blog post about her visit to Mac. She attended one of the Social Sciences info sessions and is already well on her way to being a member of the Soc Sci and EE family! She’s got a plan for her degree program, she knows about EE internships (we’ll tell her about all of our other great EE stuff when she gets here), and she WANTS to be here at McMaster (who wouldn’t?).

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Did You Know? EE Programs You Need to Participate in!

Written by: Sabrina Douglas
Experiential Education Intern
Social Psychology ’15

EE has so many awesome opportunities for Social Sciences students and some of them you may not even know about! Here are 4 wonderful EE programs that you need to participate in (in no particular order):

1. Career Placements – Did you know that EE has multiple Career Placements per academic year for you to participate in? These job shadow experiences give you the opportunity to explore different career options within a particular field! First year to final year – these career placements are beneficial for everyone! Apply by Friday, November 13 for a career placement with Human Resources Services here at Mac where you will meet with professionals in various departments! Check out our website for full details! You do NOT require SOC SCI 2EL0 to participate.

2. Undergraduate Student Research Awards – Are you thinking about grad school or considering a career that involves research? You need to apply for the 2016 Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA)! As a Social Sciences student, you can apply to receive $6,500 to cover a full-time research experience over the summer. Register now on OSCARplus for the USRA Information Session on November 18 and learn more!

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Valuable Lessons from the Career Networking Breakfast

Written by: Claudia Aparicio
Sociology Level IV

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend the Career Networking Breakfast for the second time as an undergrad. As I had expected, the staff from Experiential Education did a great job at putting the event together and inviting very receptive and experienced professionals from different fields in the Social Sciences. I myself had the chance to visit the Communications and Development, Research and Analysis, Social Services and Graduate Studies tables where I not only learned some of the specifics of the guests’ jobs and fields, but also some general but valuable lessons that I want to share with all of you.

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I learned that if an organization or company calls you for an interview, they already think you have the experience and qualifications for the job. Therefore, the interview is not just meant to assess your skills but whether your values, personality and real-life experiences are a match for the organization.
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Why You Should Take SOC SCI 2EL0 – A Post-Grad Perspective

Written by: Sabrina Douglas
Experiential Education Intern
Social Psychology ’15

Hi SocSci! It’s Sabrina Douglas here – the newest Intern in the EE Office!  I recently graduated in June 2015 with my Honours Bachelor of Arts in Social Psychology from Mac and was fortunate enough to land this internship opportunity. I am looking forward to having an active presence on this blog to share my post-grad thoughts and perspectives on the value of EE programming and activities. My first blog post is dedicated to SOC SCI 2EL0 (Introduction to Career Planning through Experiential Learning), the phenomenal and invaluable course facilitated by the wonderful Cindy Schooley.

As part of my Internship in the EE office, I was given the opportunity to shadow SOC SCI 2EL0. Having not taken the course in my undergrad, I was looking forward to seeing what the course was all about and if I would learn any career planning tips I had not heard before. A common myth about SOC SCI 2EL0 is that it is only for students looking into our internship program as the course is a prerequisite. However, this career planning course is useful for all Soc Sci undergrads – especially for upper level students getting ready to start their careers! Going into my last week of this six-week (tuition free!) course, I can tell you firsthand that I have learned a ton of new and valuable information about effective job searching, tailoring resumes to different positions, writing the perfect cover letter, constructing a learning portfolio, and so much more!

I was quickly inspired to write this blog post because, as a new grad, this is a course that I wish I had taken in my undergrad and I am going to tell you 3 reasons why you should take SOC SCI 2EL0.

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L.R. Wilson Hall – New Building, New Opportunities

Written by: Shaina McDonald
Social Psychology Level IV

As some of you may have heard, McMaster University will soon be home to the new Social Sciences and Humanities building, L.R. Wilson Hall (otherwise known as all the construction by MDCL).  L.R. Wilson Hall will house some really cool facilities for liberal arts students such as: a turtle-shaped Indigenous Studies Program space (how awesome is that?), a 150-seat Black Box Theatre and a 350-seat Concert Hall.  Among these exciting amenities will be anew Experiential Education (EE) office, to be located in the Pathways Institute of L.R. Wilson Hall.Wilson Hall night

This summer, I have had the opportunity to work as a ResearchAssistant for purposes of how to effectively engage students, faculty and the community through the still-to-be-determined interior design of a new EE office space.  I have researched around thirty Canadian and American post-secondary institutes in hopes of either arranging a visit for our EE Director, Dr. Sandra Preston, or at least finding new ideas for our EE ladies to build on.

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Grants and Awards – Why Not?

Written by: Robert Revington
Religious Studies ’15

Sometimes, it’s easy to feel guilty when you take advantage of an Experiential Education opportunity. You ask: is this right? That’s because with some Experiential Education offerings, your university is giving you money to do things that are so enjoyable that they do not seem like school! Student Experience Grants enabled me to travel through the United States and England in consecutive years for academic conferences. Obviously, I got to learn a lot from an academic perspective, but I also got to see a lot of cool places and learn a lot about the world–for these were my first trips outside of Canada alone.

For my first Student Experience Grant, in November 2013 I traveled to a biblical studies conference in Baltimore. It was fascinating to see how professors could take things from popular culture–like Star Wars–and make them the basis for a lesson about an ancient text.

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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.

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