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Webinar: Quiet Leadership

Last week we attended Faris Khalifeh’s webinar, “Quiet Leadership”, hosted by Alumni UBC

QLeader Webinar: Quiet Leadership

The webinar focused on how introverts can embrace who they are and leverage their natural strengths. 

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Differences Between Introverts and Extroverts

Introverts tend to need more time to think about a problem and arrive at a solution later, while extroverts are able to think and talk at the same time. In order to make communication between personality types more clear, it is important to take into account different needs. Introverts prefer to be given more information prior to a meeting and benefit from more frequent check-ins, compared to their extroverted counterparts who are more likely to reach out and ask questions.

Extroverts feel more comfortable with impromptu and verbal communication. On the other hand, introverts excel at written communication and require more time to “recharge” between interaction, making back-to-back meetings less viable. One of the most important take-aways was that introversion is related to energy management and not shyness, which is a common misconception. If you are an introvert or are managing introverts, this is something to keep in mind since approximately half the population is introverted.

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Book Recommendations

The Full Power of Engagement by James E. Loehr and Tony Schwartz

Good to Great by Jim Collins

Start With Why by Simon Sinek

The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork by John C. Maxwell

The Dynamic Introvert: Leading Quietly with Passion and Purpose by Lesley Taylor

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Find out more about Faris on his website

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Stay tuned for an upcoming podcast episode with Faris!

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For more advice student life and career development, check out our weekly podcast or subscribe to our monthly newsletter.


Both the written and visual content of this post has been created by and is the intellectual property of Lisa Pfau, Patricia Huang and Lisa Meng. Please do not replicate any of the above content without our consent. However, please do feel free to share this post and its authorship widely. 

Careers in the Arts – Teaching: Interview with Andreia Florea

We interviewed Andreia Florea, a grade 1/2 teacher on finding a career in the arts as a recent graduate. We thought it would be helpful for students to hear about potential careers available to Bachelor of Arts graduates.

Andreia Florea 1024x1024 Careers in the Arts   Teaching: Interview with Andreia Florea

Andreia is a grade 1/2 teacher, with 15 years of experience, 8 of which as a Special Education Teacher and school librarian. After working in the corporate world for 5 years, as a programmer, and then, consultant, she transitioned into teaching.

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What do you think was the biggest difference you found between working in the corporate world and becoming a teacher?

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In the corporate world there’s a lot more flexibility working from home, although funnily enough, we’re all working from home now because of the pandemic. With teaching, you have to have people skills because obviously, you need to have a passion and to connect with the kids. I think empathy is also a huge part. You’re modelling behaviour and I have to be super careful with what comes out of my mouth and because I’m influencing them.

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What kind of transferable skills do you think students gain from a B.A.?

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So many people kind of knock the arts degrees, which I actually don’t agree with at all, because I think they teach critical thinking skills. I always say my degree taught me to think because you’re reading so many different perspectives. That helped me in my life when I was doing my consulting job and then it helped me in teaching.

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What kinds of qualities make for a good teacher?

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The number one thing is you have to want to be a teacher. I find any kind of personality can be a teacher. I think you need a lot of patience just to deal with different learning styles and individual characters and such. You also need to be able to be flexible. In the classroom, you might plan a lesson and realize these kids aren’t even understanding what you’re saying. So you have to figure out a better way for them to learn it.

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Do you have any advice for current students who want to pursue teaching?

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I think a good way to actually dip your toe in would be to volunteer in a school. You’re networking, you’re making connections. So then, once you finish school, the principal or other teachers will remember you. You have to stay connected to the world even before you’re in it. Start to learn about it before you get there. Beyond the volunteering, read the newspaper, see what’s going on. There’s a lot of teachers on Twitter. Don’t be afraid to reach out, even to me for instance.

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Thank you, Andreia, for sharing the excellent advice with us and our readers! 

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Missed the episode? Listen here:

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For more advice about arts careers and student life, check out our weekly podcast or subscribe to our monthly newsletter.


Both the written and visual content of this post has been created by and is the intellectual property of Lisa Pfau, Patricia Huang and Lisa Meng. Please do not replicate any of the above content without our consent. However, please do feel free to share this post and its authorship widely. 

Careers in the Arts – Teaching: Podcast Episode Live!

PFAU 16 panel 4 2 300x300 Careers in the Arts   Teaching: Podcast Episode Live!

We discuss finding a career in the arts as a recent graduate with Andreia Florea, a grade 1/2 teacher, with 15 years of teaching experience.

HIGHLIGHTS

Differences between a corporate and teaching career

Transferable skills students gain from a B.A.

Rewards and challenges of being a teacher

Advice for students interested in teaching

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To get more help with your assignments, book a 20 minute consultation with us and start your journey to reaching your full potential on the page, and in life.


Both the written and visual content of this post has been created by and is the intellectual property of Lisa Pfau, Patricia Huang and Lisa Meng. Please do not replicate any of the above content without our consent. However, please do feel free to share this post and its authorship widely. 

Health and Academic Performance: Interview with Dr. Kevin Preston

We interviewed Dr. Kevin Preston on the connection between health and academic performance. We thought this topic would be helpful as a lot of people are struggling with being stuck inside due to COVID-19, a situation that can be taxing on mental, as well as physical health.

%name Health and Academic Performance: Interview with Dr. Kevin Preston

Dr. Kevin Preston is a Chinese Medicine Doctor who lives for creating health and vitality in others. He has been in practice for over a decade at his wellness clinic in Vernon, BC in which wellness is created through a multifaceted approach that balances the mind, body, and spirit. 

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Can you tell us about how meditation benefits one’s health, especially during COVID-19?

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Meditation often gets overlooked. Guided meditations can be really helpful. They give you a direction for the mind to follow. It’s a great place to begin until you get a little bit more practice and you add another minute, and then another and pretty soon you have a deeper focus. I do breath coaching in my practice. You can see when somebody walks in that they haven’t really breathed deeply that day or in months or maybe even years. Their whole system is so tense. You can imagine as a student if you’re not breathing deeply, because of the stress, you’re actually decreasing the amount of oxygen through your body.

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What are some lessons that students can borrow from Chinese medicine to create a more healing space?

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I spent quite a few years in school and there are times where you’re working and going to school and feels like you’re barely treading water. It’s taken all the energy you have to keep up. Those are the moments ironically, that you really need good health practices. Something that’s always been really healing for me is spending a lot of time in the outdoors. Mastering the energy in your body by practising meditation and proper breathing is something students can do cheaply or for free.

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What are your thoughts on how the current school environment interferes with students reaching optimal health?

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In that age bracket, I see this outside of the student population too, everybody’s so taxed and under a lot of strain. People take like less time off now than they used. I think that’s where a lot of anxiety comes from, and especially things like panic or foggy brain. So especially in academics, we’re asked to have our minds and our brains perform really well. I think it’s because we’re just straining our systems a lot and not necessarily supporting them enough.

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What are the first steps that someone could take on their wellness journey?

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Nutrition and hydration are the most important things. The right amount of water varies for each person. I juice and eat lots of green vegetables. Investing in nutrition upfront can prevent costs that come with future illness. Other than meditation and breathwork, Epsom or Himalayan salt foot soaks can be used for relaxation. Cold showers can help relax the nervous system too. Start with the last 30 seconds of your shower and gradually increase the time.

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Thank you, Kevin, for sharing the excellent advice with us and our readers!

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Missed the episode? Listen here:

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For more advice about the application process, check out our weekly podcast or subscribe to our monthly newsletter.


Both the written and visual content of this post has been created by and is the intellectual property of Lisa Pfau, Patricia Huang and Lisa Meng. Please do not replicate any of the above content without our consent. However, please do feel free to share this post and its authorship widely. 

Health and Academic Performance: Podcast Episode Live!
PFAU 19 final Dec 18 1 1024x205 Health and Academic Performance: Podcast Episode Live!

We discuss the connection between health and academic performance with Dr. Kevin Preston, a Chinese medicine doctor and holistic wellness expert.

HIGHLIGHTS

Benefits of meditation during COVID-19

Practical health advice for students

Lessons from Chinese medicine

How the school environment affects health

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To get more help with your assignments, book a 20 minute consultation with us and start your journey to reaching your full potential on the page, and in life.


Both the written and visual content of this post has been created by and is the intellectual property of Lisa Pfau, Patricia Huang and Lisa Meng. Please do not replicate any of the above content without our consent. However, please do feel free to share this post and its authorship widely. 

Finding a Job During COVID-19: Interview with Alif Huq

We interviewed Alif on the challenges and opportunities facing young adults during COVID-19. We thought this topic would be relevant for students looking for summer jobs, as well as recent graduates attempting to enter the already competitive job market.

MG 0902 683x1024 Finding a Job During COVID 19: Interview with Alif Huq

Alif Huq is a digital marketing specialist and job hunting expert. Since the start of the pandemic, Alif has been offering specialized job hunting webinars and tips on social media. He has also helped numerous young adults to learn the art of marketing themselves online.

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What kinds of challenges are you hearing about from young adults engaged in the job search process?

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What I’ve noticed is that there’s a lot of hiring freezes. I have friends who work in the HR space where they probably had five interviews lined up. And unfortunately, due to COVID-19 and hiring freezes, those interviews were basically on pause or cancelled because companies are thinking more about how to sustain their budget and a new hire can be costly.

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What pet peeves when it comes to people using social media ineffectively to get a job?

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So my biggest pet peeve is when people ask “Can you refer me to a job?” or “Alif, do you know any job opportunities?” and I don’t even know them. Being on the receiving end of a lot of these messages does get very annoying, and it feels like I’m being used. Instead of saying, “I noticed there’s a company opening, here’s my resume”, the best way to establish trust and is to ideally get them on a phone call with you.

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How can young adults, who do not have a lot of work experience, present themselves as capable professionals?

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The first thing I would say is, you’ve got to develop a tangible skill set. The way I got hired into my first marketing assistant role, without any marketing experience, or even any connections or education was because I made a YouTube video where I was showcasing my copywriting skills. They saw that video of me and decided to onboard me for the role itself. For example, if you want to go into graphic design, instead of taking just a course on graphic design, you might want to actually create your own graphics and a portfolio. For digital marketing, instead of taking a Google Analytics course, you might want to start your own blog and experiment with SEO and paid advertisements.

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Do you have any books or resources that you recommend?

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So I’ll just list a couple. In terms of productivity or life hacking, you probably know this book, 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. When it comes to personal finance, I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi.

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Thank you, Alif, for sharing the excellent advice with us and our readers! 

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Missed the episode? Listen here:

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For more advice about the job search process, check out our weekly podcast or subscribe to our monthly newsletter.


Both the written and visual content of this post has been created by and is the intellectual property of Lisa Pfau, Patricia Huang and Lisa Meng. Please do not replicate any of the above content without our consent. However, please do feel free to share this post and its authorship widely. 

Finding a Job During COVID-19: Podcast Episode Live!
PFAU 5 FINAL Dec 18 1024x205 Finding a Job During COVID 19: Podcast Episode Live!

We discuss the challenges of finding a job during a pandemic with job search expert and content marketing specialist, Alif Huq.

HIGHLIGHTS

Job market changes during COIVD-19

How to stay motivated when job searching

Social media strategies and what not to do

The art of marketing yourself online

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To get more help with your assignments, book a 20 minute consultation with us and start your journey to reaching your full potential on the page, and in life.


Both the written and visual content of this post has been created by and is the intellectual property of Lisa Pfau, Patricia Huang and Lisa Meng. Please do not replicate any of the above content without our consent. However, please do feel free to share this post and its authorship widely. 

Creating your Virtual Study Space: Interview with Rob Cairns

We interviewed Rob Cairns on how to create an efficient virtual study space. We thought this would be helpful since most people are now studying and working from home. 

Robert Cairns 1 1 971x1024 Creating your Virtual Study Space: Interview with Rob Cairns

Robert Cairns is the CEO of StunningDigitalMarketing, a Toronto-based Digital Marketing firm that serves clients from a variety of sectors about creating an organized and efficient virtual study space. With over 25 years of experience in the technology field, Rob is an expert at using technology to optimize organizational operations and productivity. 

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What are some of the challenges studying from home might pose?

The biggest problem I see students have is that they get distracted. They don’t cope well with interruptions and they don’t teach the people around them, their family members or friends, that studying from home doesn’t mean they’re available.

Could you share some lessons you’ve learned while running your business from home that could apply to students staying organized and focused?

The first one is the night before your day. Set yourself up and get your desk ready. Then when you get up in the morning, stick to the same routine. The other key is to make sure you still take proper breaks. So I typically take a get out of my chair every two hours, whether I need it or not. I manage my day with my calendar and colour code my day, depending on what I have going on. I actually put the time in my calendar, not just for calls with clients, but for actual items and things I have to do.

How can technology help a student studying at home to create a daily routine and efficient workflow?

A couple of things. One, Google calendar to manage it. I put my daily tasks in a programme called Google Keep, which is Google’s note-taking pattern. I just tend not to use an elaborate to-do list. I manage all my project stuff in Trello, which is a project management visual package that a lot of people use. So I use a variety of things and believe it or not, when I’m working on hard tasks, I use an old fashioned egg timer just to count down tasks. I’ll set a timer for 15 minutes and then if I’m doing well, I’ll reset that timer for another 15 minutes. 

What are the benefits and drawbacks of storing documents locally versus on the cloud?

Okay, so for storing stuff on the cloud, you have to choose the service that you trust most. I would tell most people that if you stick with the big services, they do a pretty good job. The problem is storing stuff on a local hard drive. If something happens to the hard drive or the machine dies, then you lose everything. So either way, you should keep a backup of those important essays and those important papers, because things do happen.

If you had to choose three applications that you could not live without, what would they be? 

Okay, the first one for me is Google Calendar. The second one for me is Zoom. I’m kind of lost without that because it lets me stay in touch with people. Then, the third one is probably Trello. 

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Thank you, Rob, for sharing the excellent advice with us and our readers! 

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For more advice about the application process, check out our weekly podcast or subscribe to our monthly newsletter.


Both the written and visual content of this post has been created by and is the intellectual property of Lisa Pfau, Patricia Huang and Lisa Meng. Please do not replicate any of the above content without our consent. However, please do feel free to share this post and its authorship widely. 

Creating your Virtual Study Space: Podcast Episode Live!

PFAU 9 Pfau pfau cartoon icon 01 Creating your Virtual Study Space: Podcast Episode Live!

We discuss the difficulties students face studying from home and some possible solutions, with tech expert Robert Cairns of StunningDigitalMarketing.

Highlights

How to work around distractions

Tips for staying organized and productive

Useful apps and programs

Data storage and cybersafety

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To get more help with your assignments, book a 20 minute consultation with us and start your journey to reaching your full potential on the page, and in life.


Both the written and visual content of this post has been created by and is the intellectual property of Lisa Pfau, Patricia Huang and Lisa Meng. Please do not replicate any of the above content without our consent. However, please do feel free to share this post and its authorship widely. 

Applying to Grad School during COVID-19: Interview with Yiwei Jin

We interviewed Yiwei Jin, a grad school admissions coach at PFAU: Academic Writing, for our podcast, “Breath in, Write out”. We discussed how the grad school application process has been affected by COVID-19 and what prospective students can do to improve their applications.

Yiwei recently graduated with an MA in Political Science from the University of Toronto, specializing in Asian studies and comparative politics, and is currently interning at the Asia Pacific Foundation in Vancouver. He starts Law School at UofT in the Fall. He loves helping students get ahead by identifying areas of improvement and working to enhance their ability to write creative and effective application letters.

Why don’t you tell us a bit about the changes that you’ve noticed in the grad school application process?

Sure. So, in terms of what’s changed for the grad school application process, there’s a couple of things. The first thing is that some grad schools are evaluating students GPA differently now that some students aren’t having the fall or winter term classes graded as, as they were before. Some of the grading in schools has been affected differently. So graduate schools with that in mind, are already changing that.

What does that mean their grading has changed and like why are they doing that?

Right. So, I think schools are cognizant of the fact that students’ grades are going to be affected. Some schools are just giving pass or fail grades. For students during this winter term, other schools are still giving out the grades, but then the students might not be doing as well, because of all that’s happening. You have to check with the schools and see what exactly they’re doing.

What part of the application process is the most difficult that students might want to focus more attention on?

Right. So, I think by the time that you’re applying to grad school, the transcripts are at least partly finished. You can’t really go back in time and change your course grades, but the reference letters and the writing samples or their personal statements are something that the students can do something about at this point. I think the most important thing that can help them stand out among the pool of applicants, is the personal statement or the research proposal.

What do you think can help someone with their personal statement?

I think the first thing with anything is to start early. It’s a really short piece of writing, but then that shouldn’t make you think that you can just maybe spend a day on it and then be done with it. This is going to be a long writing process because writing about yourself is going to be one of the most difficult things. So keep in mind that this writing process is going to take you through many drafts.

What about content?

A personal statement is what the name suggests. It’s supposed to be personal. You’re trying to showcase some other aspects of who you are, other than your grades. You don’t need to say how diligent of the student you are because that shows through your transcript. It’s a place for you to showcase who you are and the qualities that will make you a good applicant. Always think of things that you have done, actual examples. Start from concrete examples, from talking about what you did instead of who you are.

I was wondering if you could just briefly touch upon the basics of references, about how many someone applying would want to have and what kind?

It depends on the school. Some schools ask for two, some schools ask for four. So, first of all, it’s really important that you check with the school. It also depends on what stage of school you’re in. Someone who’s just going through undergrad can have that mentality of I’m going to get some references. For graduates, it’s really about thinking back in terms of who all of your professors are, the level of how familiar you are with them and how familiar they are with you because it really is a two-way street.

I think there are two basic conditions for a good reference source. The first one is that they need to know you, well, you need to have a body of work that they can refer to. Either it’s a research project that you worked on, discussions in class, or if you went to their office hours really frequently. The second thing is that that professor needs to be established. Ideally, they need to have an established record of teaching other students. If you’re starting out, in undergrad, and this is something you’re thinking about, it’s good to get to know more about these professors, but not in a selfish way because they can figure that out, but try to build a relationship with them.

For more advice about the application process, check out our weekly podcast or subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

Both the written and visual content of this post has been created by and is the intellectual property of Lisa Pfau, Patricia Huang and Lisa Meng. Please do not replicate any of the above content without our consent. However, please do feel free to share this post and its authorship widely.