things from around the internet vol. 2

With all the research and group work going on in my last year, this round-up is distinctly presentation-centric. This might be a long overdue post considering I’m 3 weeks away from finishing my undergrad but I’m sure you will be able to make use of these tools at some point in your life!

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best photo locations on campus – self-timer edition

So you’re on campus and you look cute but you have no friends willing to take your fit pic. If this is not a story you are familiar with, then you are very lucky. Or you don’t really care about taking outfit pictures so this post might not be for you.

If you do have pals on campus who love (tolerate) #OOTDs, you can obviously still partake in photography in these locations but you already have the benefit of another human who can hold the camera. The campus is your oyster in that case.

However, if you are like me and you either feel bad about making your friends take the outfit picture or they don’t happen to be around, here are some places you can go to!

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essential apps for your mac

illustriouspowerfulilsamochadegu

Beyond the apps that you should have installed already for general computer usage (Chrome, Drive, Dropbox, VLC, Spotify) I have other favourite apps on my Mac that I use quite a bit. They either make my life easier, or make it easier to procrastinate and be lazy. Either way, I love technology.

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on the quest for motivation

It’s exam season and I’m sick. I thought at first my throat was just blown from going way too hard at The Killers’ set at Wayhome. But now it’s been more than a week and I’m still feeling under the weather (read: coughing fits, phantom smells??, headaches, sore throat) so I don’t think I can blame this one on Brandon Flowers.

Couple that with general dread at the thought of final exams and you have one very unmotivated human who never wants to leave her bed. I’ve taken so many naps in the last week I’ve slowly become quasi-nocturnal. But that’s not conducive to a good finals season so in case you’re anything like me, here are some things I do to help find that elusive motivation.

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excel-ing at organization [hioml pt. 3]

Straight up, this title is a lie. I used Google Sheets instead of Excel but only because of *the cloud*. Sorry Excel, I still love you though.

Being a political science major means that I have stacks of readings to do. Really, we students all have readings to do I just whine about mine. Sometimes it’s straight forward, like ‘read this 60 page chapter’ and sometimes you take a block course (double the workload but half the run time) and you get thrown 10 readings per week. If you couldn’t tell with the previous installments of the HIOML series, I really like making sure I stay organized during school. So last year I created a readings tracker.

Yeah, you read that right – I track all my readings because I’m not even going to try to hide that I’m a neurotic nerd. Nerd-rotic? Oh, that sounds kind of…inappropriate. Disregard.

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calen-do’s! [hioml pt. 2]

HIOML = How I Organize My Life
I know, what a cheesy acronym right?

Part 1 (which I’m going to go an retroactively change the title of right now) is the post from last year about me and my course tracker Excel sheet, which you can read if you still need to do that thing.


Honestly, this post should have been posted closer to the beginning of the term but I needed a couple of weeks to get my own life in order. Okay fine, the truth was that it took me this long to come up with the title. (I’m really kidding here because the title is possibly the worst title I could’ve come up with, but I have almost no regrets about it.)

Being in class is so much crazier than being on a work term, especially since I forgot about the constant stress of ever-present, never-ending assignments and tests. Not that I rely solely on other people to tell me when things are happening, but there is an element of being able to relax knowing that friends will remind each other of upcoming due dates in shared classes. Unfortunately because of my unscheduled 8-month co-op, I have no friends in my program on campus this term. The solution? Google is now my new best friend.

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essential extensions for chrome | productivity edition

This list of extensions are mostly productive, I swear. I can’t help you if you use Firefox or Safari because I’m unfortunately a Google supporter through and through. Watch this post resurface in a couple of decades when Google turns out to have ignored their entire mantra of don’t be evil and have recreated SkyNet.

But in the meantime Chrome is the way to go guys, and there are thousands of extensions that you can download to make your life easier. In this post I go over half a dozen extensions that I use typically when I’m in studies.

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essential apps for your phone: university edition

My phone is my life. I guess in this day and age (very, very sorry I just used this phrase), this sentiment isn’t surprising but seriously I would be lost without it. Not only because I have this need to take pictures of everything in my life, but because I use it to keep track of everything in my life. At one point, I owned a Windows Phone and while I loved the OS, the lack of apps available for the phone was absolutely killing me. Then I smashed the screen on my friend’s floor (completely by accident, I swear to god) and I had to get a new phone. I’m telling you, getting an Android phone felt the way that the people in Plato’s cave must have felt after leaving the cave and seeing that there was so much more to the world. See, I retained some of my philosophy knowledge!

So here is a list of apps that I use to keep myself on track during school, I’ve included links to the Play Store and Apple Store as available.

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spring course load [hioml pt.1]

Note: in May of 2016 I decided I was dorky enough to warrant more posts of this organizational nature so this title has been retroactively changed and now is the first part of a series called How I Organize My Life. You can find parts two and three in the links!

This isn’t the most fun topic that I’ll be writing about here, but I think it’s really important, especially as a university student.

This Spring 2015 term is my first term on campus during the summer and I don’t know why past!Vicky did this to future!Vicky, but I’m sure she was vindictively laughing as she signed up for 6 courses. Okay, I’m being melodramatic, I know exactly why I took 6 courses this term and it has a lot to do with poor planning in my first year. I basically didn’t figure out that I wanted to minor in anything until my 2A term and I didn’t get a good start on those minor requirements. What I did do was knock out all of my breadth requirements for my degree so I guess, win/lose situation for me?

So I plotted out the rest of my courses from now until I graduated and figured that I need to be taking either an online course during a work term to catch up, or slip in a 6th during this term. It helped that this term I already had an online English course so I wouldn’t be spending additional time on campus. It also might have something to do with the fact that taking a 6th course is free, whereas taking a course during a work term will cost me upwards of $600.

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five interview tips

So it’s that time of the term again, when all the co-op students are applying for their next placement and everyone on campus is nicely dressed. I’d like to think that I can impart a little bit of wisdom on you regarding interview preparation, or at least let you know how I handle these things.

  1. Really do your research. There’s nothing worse than showing up to an interview without researching the company, or the position even. My job was at a ministry that funds research and my boss told me about one applicant who walked in and started talking about doing research for the government. Whoops. This feels like a no brainer, if you’re interested in the job why wouldn’t you be looking into the company?
  2. Dress for the part. If anything, err on the side of over-dressed. One of my favourite parts about this whole interview season is that I get to people watch and see what others are wearing to their interviews. What this really means is that I scope out people wearing completely inappropriate outfits for interviews. Tech interviews are one thing, where casual wear is what you’d be wearing to the office anyways and they really just want to see your skills. Every other occasion? Dress to impress. Basically what I’m saying is if your shoes have glitter or are more than 3 inches tall, maybe we wear that to Phil’s and not to an interview. Boys! White socks don’t go with black shoes.
  3. Prepare anecdotes. My last supervisor was amazing and did an interview help session/critique with me before I left. He told me that I should be wrapping my experiences and skills into a handful of anecdotes to tell at the interview. It makes it easy for the interviewer to follow your resume and easy for you to talk about it. I tested this method out on this round of interviews and I have to say that it’s a much more organic way to describe yourself and your strengths and weaknesses.
  4. Have actual questions. There is always space left in the interviews for you to ask the interviewer questions that you have about the company or the job. The interviewer wants to know that you have a genuine interest in the company and this really shows them that you want the job. I always want to know how the team dynamic is at the office and whether or not I’d be working on my own or with others. Don’t be afraid to ask about the pay rate. In fact, you’re encouraged to ask because otherwise you’ll potentially be accepting the job blind.
  5. Don’t overthink things. Even if you want the job desperately, overthinking only leads to nerves which can really affect how you do at interviews. I’ll do my preparation and I’ll look over any notes I make for myself, but what I find to be the most effective way to do well at interviews is to pretend it’s not the job I want the most. It takes the pressure to perform off and I can be more myself.

That’s it, that’s all I’ve got for y’all! It gets easier with time and experience, but I hope this helps you land your next job!