A message from your PGSS Internal Affairs Officer
The key to success during your post-graduate studies at McGill is having a good work-life balance. Balancing your studies and academic work with extra-curricular and social activities will help you reduce stress, build a social network, improve your CV and ultimately, maximize your potential. At McGill, there are hundreds of clubs and services to help you do just that!
Whether you are passionate about the environment or politics, volunteering, or student government, or whether you simply want to get together with people that share the same interests as you, you will find plenty of opportunities on campus waiting for you to discover. My 3 favorite go-to resources for involvement opportunities are PGSS, Activities Night and Campus Life and Engagement (CL&E).
PGSS is my home away from home
The Post-Graduate Students’ Society (PGSS), represents all graduate students and post-doctoral researchers at McGill. PGSS organizes up to 100 social events throughout the year exclusively for post-grads! PGSS also has a large number of committees and caucuses such as Environment Committee, Health and Wellness Committee, Equity Committee, Family Care Caucus and International Students Caucus, which you can join to have a positive impact on grad-life at McGill. If you have a drive to make a difference in the world, PGSS is a great place to start!
Activities Night is where I discovered my true potential
Twice a year, hundreds of student clubs and services table in the SSMU building to recruit new members. If you are looking for a new hobby or you want to join a club specialized in anything ranging from outdoor activities to cultural gatherings, Activities Night is the place to find them. Because of an agreement with PGSS, all SSMU clubs and services are accessible to graduate students at McGill, so you should definitely stop by Activities Night and add a little excitement to your life!
CL&E provided me with the resources I needed to stay connected
With hundreds of resources available to students on campus, sometimes it is hard to decide where to begin. Campus Life and Engagement is your guide to getting involved on campus. Through CL&E, you can find out about all the involvement opportunities available to you as well as valuable information regarding which McGill services to utilize based on your needs!
The best time to establish a healthy work-life balance is now! I found that stepping outside of my study routine to engage in extra-curricular activities not only helped me deal with stress but also helped me develop valuable leadership, communication and time management skills, that I apply to my work every day. My engagement on campus has made me a better student, researcher and activist. I also found that getting involved allowed me to step outside of my department and meet new, interesting people that had an influence on my life.
I strongly urge you to discover the many involvement opportunities available to you on campus and branch out, as these are the most productive years of your life!
Ph.D. Candidate, Neuroscience
PGSS Internal Affairs Officer (2016-2017)
internal.pgss [at] mail.mcgill.ca
Engage McGill website
Visit the Engage McGill website to find an overview of all the ways to get involved at McGill with links to more information. You can also access resources to help you get engaged.
Campus Life & Engagement (CL&E)
One of Campus Life & Engagement’s missions is to promote and support students getting involved. Check out the different programs and workshops we offer.
myInvolvement and the Co-Curricular Record (CCR)
myInvolvement is an online tool offered by Student Services for McGill students to find involvement opportunities on campus. Once there, students can record their involvement in eligible activities, workshops, volunteer opportunities, and leadership positions on their Co-Curricular Record (CCR). The CCR can be a useful addition to your CV/resume or graduate/professional school applications. Use it to showcase your achievements!
GradLife McGill is a social media platform run by a team of graduate students comprised of bloggers and Instagrammers from across McGill. The mission of GradLife McGill is to showcase graduate students’ experiences through their own voice and to foster a sense of community and engagement across departments and disciplines. Posts portray reflections, aspirations, triumphs, and challenges of your graduate journey.
Connect with @GradLifeMcGill on...
This is a must-attend! Activities Night is organized by SSMU and takes place twice a year. It’s a showcase of the hundreds of clubs, services, and groups at McGill that welcome and thrive on student involvement. There will be a long line to get into Activities Night, but all it will take to kick-start your involvement at McGill will be to visit that one special group’s table or pick up that one irresistible brochure.
Because of an agreement with PGSS, SSMU clubs and services are accessible to all graduate students.
The McGill Alumni Association (MAA) brings together a community of engaged, informed alumni and friends to promote and celebrate the achievements of McGill University and support today’s students. The MAA enables alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends of McGill to maintain their contact with the University and each other, for their shared benefit and for the advancement of McGill.
The MAA isn’t just for students who have graduated from McGill – far from it! Many of our services, programs, and events support students like you, as you find your place in the McGill community and build a foundation for future success.
Learn more about getting involved with the MAA.
Post-Graduate Student Associations (PGSAs)
PGSAs are composed of graduate students within the same program of study and are usually the first line of contact between individual students and the McGill community as a whole. They provide graduate students with representation at the departmental or faculty level and send representatives to PGSS Council. Generally, they are the campus organizations with which the majority of students interact the most frequently. Get involved by helping or organize events, attending meetings, or even running for an executive position next year or later into your time here.
Employment opportunities on campus pop up both during the academic year and during the summer. Some — but not all — jobs will be posted on the McGill Career Planning Services (CaPS) myFuture website. There’s no central McGill employment centre, so to maximize your chances of landing a job, you may need to contact specific offices. McGill’s top employers include Athletics, McGill Bookstore, Residences, and Student Services.
The Work Study Program offers students with financial need access jobs on campus or in some of the McGill-affiliated hospitals and organizations.
Community Action Toolkit & Community Engagement Day
SEDE’s Community Action Toolkit (CAT) has everything you need to start volunteering in the Montreal community.
SEDE hosts an annual Community Engagement Day (CED) in the Fall term. Past projects have included community walking tours, urban gardening projects, interactive workshops, and filming a sign-language movie!
The intramural sports program offers all full-time McGill students the opportunity to participate in competitive sport. Sports include soccer, badminton, ice hockey, and Ultimate. Depending on the sport, most intramural games take place on weeknights or weekends. Most sports are divided into three categories: men’s, women’s, and co-recreational. Each league is divided into three levels (divisions) of play: competitive, intermediate, and recreational.
Campus Student Media
McGill doesn’t have a journalism program, so the best way for you to unearth your journalistic skills is to be a part of campus student media. In print, the biggest names here are the McGill Tribune & PGSS Newswire, and the McGill Daily. There’s also the CKUT radio station, as well as TVM: Student Television at McGill.
PGSS offers fun, leisure courses in the laid-back atmosphere of Thomson house. Take advantage of these courses that attract people from all departments and enhance your experience at McGill.
MiniCourses are fun, inexpensive, non-credit courses offered by SSMU and are a great opportunity to explore and develop new skills and hobbies. They offer classes in everything from Languages to Cooking, Dance to Art. Classes take place in the Fall and Winter terms and usually occur once a week. Registration for courses will begin early each term.
One Sunday a month, PGSS will host a free event where children can play and will be supervised by trained babysitters while their parents get much needed time to study! This event takes place in Thomson House.
For more information info.pgss [at] mail.mcgill.ca (contact PGSS).