Tuesday, March 16th, 2021...1:04 pm

Some thoughts on our Grad Week

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By: Georgia Maxwell, Gradlife Ambassador

zoom screenshot of smiling students with their thumbs up
Our Friday Night finale: virtual speed networking for Grads!

About the week

Last week was Gradlife’s annual grad student week where we host a ton of events for grad students across departments. Our theme this year was “Optimize Your Grad Student Experience: Connect and Thrive as You Work Remotely” and our 7 fantastic events all centred around having students connect, learn new skills, and share their knowledge. As the Gradlife Ambassador, I had the pleasure of helping to design grad week and co-facilitate a few of our events.

My favourite parts

I think my favourite part about Grad Week was the wide range of fun, creative events that were available.  We had a poetry workshop, a session on Indigenous perspectives on self-care and wellness, a leadership seminar, and many more events devoted to talking to new people, finding community, and other interesting topics. Finally, to cap our week off, we hosted a virtual speed-networking event that was not only super fun, but made me a zoom breakout room aficionado!

After each event I attended, I was always so impressed not only by how many cool Grad students there are at U of T—I loved hearing about people’s research—but also just by how kind everyone is. All the students who attended our Grad Week (and Gradlife events in general) are always so friendly, nice, and open to connecting with new people. It’s so refreshing to meet people who are so willing to create a positive and fun environment, and it makes me feel very lucky that I get to help run these events.

The other highlight of Grad Week for me was that I got to meet so many new grad students, and also see some familiar faces. At this point in the semester, everyone who has been attending our Gradlife events have really gotten to know each other, and it was really nice to see the “Gradlife squad” (I just came up with this but maybe it will catch on?) show up to our events. It was also really fun to meet some new graduate students, and I hope to see them at the rest of the events we’re running this semester! This also extends to anyone reading this blog—want to come check out our next Coffee and Crafts? Or how about Trivia Night? We’d love to have you!

Special thanks

As the Gradlife Ambassador, I got to see behind the scenes at the amount of tireless effort that goes into something like a Grad Week. A ton of professionals across U of T came together to facilitate some truly exciting events, and this was all thanks to the amazing work of Gradlife’s Student Life Coordinator, Graduate Programs and Outreach, Jennifer Pinker. Although Grad Week took months of planning, I think everyone involved would say that all the work was worth it, and this is all because of the wonderful Grad students who came out and made the week such a successful!

For those who participated in our Grad Week, I hope you learned some new skills and met some great people—I know I did!

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