Gaining perspective through interdisciplinary collaboration

Simron Singh, Audrey Chung, Justin Carpenter, George Dixon, and Jeff Casello at GRADtalks

From left to right: Simron Singh, Audrey Chung, Justin Carpenter, George Dixon, and Jeff Casello at GRADtalks Beyond 60: The Promises and Realities of Artificial Intelligence.

The Lake Shift: An interview with Becky and Tariq

Becky Anderson and Tariq Aziz

In July 2018, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs sponsored two PhD students, Becky Anderson and Tariq Aziz, to attend the Lake Shift writing retreat. Hosted by Queen’s University, the Lake Shift is a thesis writing retreat for doctoral students from Ontario universities held at the Queen’s Biology Station on Lake Opinicon. I checked-in with Becky and Tariq to hear about their experience at the Lake Shift:

Tell us a bit about yourself. What program are you in and what is your research focus?

Adding fun to your grad life: Connect to your residence community

Ekin Eray holds a gingerbread house made during a community event.

When I first moved to Waterloo 3 years ago for my PhD studies, I didn’t know much about life in Canada. I decided to stay in residences for a term to be close to campus and to get used to the city, and then look for an off-campus options. But I enjoyed living in Columbia Lake Village (CLV) North so much that I never left after I moved in.

What grad school taught me about startups

Lichen Zhang and Lucas Liepert pose with a $5,000 cheque for PriveHealth

As I work toward the end of my grad studies, it only recently dawned on me how similar the process of building a thesis is to that of starting a startup. If you had told me this two years ago, I couldn't have imagined two paths that I thought were more different.

Research dissemination as an academic ethos: Reflections from a PhD candidate

Jason Lajoie and Caitlin Scott at GRADtalks

I have the unusual distinction of being the first person to be a finalist or selected speaker in all three major graduate research dissemination events at the University of Waterloo: Three Minute Thesis (3MT), GRADtalks, and, most recently, GRADflix. When I was told this, I joked that the University should come up with a name for this category, like the EGOT label used by the American entertainment industry for those who have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony.

Cross-cultural leadership from Canada to France to China and back: My Mitacs journey as a global citizen

Justine Salam with Globalink Research Interns in Niagara Falls

This post originally appeared on the Mitacs blog.

In Summer 2016, I took a three-month paid position as a mentor for Mitacs ... My mentor experience at Mitacs not only shaped me into a leader, emotional supporter, and global citizen, but it also transformed us as we moved from mentor-mentees into peers.

Collective Competition: The Value of (totally platonic and in no way romantic) Academic Life Partners

Paula, Devon, and Becky at congress 2018

Upon my entry to the PhD program three years ago, graduate students were cautioned during orientation that grad school—well, academia in general—can be isolating and therefore a real challenge to one's mental health. [...] Little did I know when sitting through those early fire-and-brimstone orientation sessions, I was also sitting adjacent to someone that I would come to refer to adoringly as my "academic life partner".

GRADventure profile: Justine Salam

Justine Salam

I am a University of Waterloo PhD candidate in Global Governance at the Balsillie School of International Affairs. My research is on oil governance in Alberta, especially the role played by corporate actors, government, NGOs, and civil society groups in making policy. I am also a racket and water sport enthusiast, so I love swimming, kayaking, scuba-diving, and badminton.

Failing to plan? Planning to fail?

"My Plan" writen in a notebook

There are two questions, which out of common courtesy, one should never ask a graduate student: “when will you finish” and “what are your plans after graduation”. The latter is more dreaded (…and trust me, with good reason).

Saying No Can Let You Do So Much

Person Standing on Line

This blog post originally appeared on the University of Waterloo Alumni blog

One of the hardest things to learn is setting boundaries: How often do you say yes to a request, only to walk away, grumbling you should have said no?

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