Why you should get involved...
We get it; it’s only your first year! You have lots to think about and good grades to get, and joining a club or program may not be high on your list. But we would urge you to think differently. Getting involved can decrease stress, expand your social networks, strengthen the learning you’re doing in class, open yourself up to new experiences, develop new or burgeoning skills, and increase your employability (assuming you want a job when this is all over). When we talk to upper-year students, their number-one regret is that they didn’t get involved earlier – or at all! So, we feel it’s almost our duty to pass on that message to you. Getting involved at McGill as a first-year student doesn’t need to be time-consuming or all-encompassing.
There’s so much to do and be a part of here that surely something will interest you and become your gateway into unforgettable experiences and networks. What’s more, many of your experiences on campus may be eligible for inclusion on your Co-Curricular Record, which is a great tool for helping you reflect on your outside-of-the-classroom experiences and prepare for applying for internships, graduate studies, jobs, and more.
To help you out a bit, we’ve compiled some great ways to help you get involved at McGill.
Engage McGill Website
At Engage McGill, access resources and find an overview of all the ways to get involved at McGill with links to more information.
One of Campus Life & Engagement’s missions is to promote and support students getting involved. You can check out the different programs and workshops we offer.
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!
This is a must-attend! Activities Night is organized by the Students' Society of McGill University (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.
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. For information on how to get involved with the MAA, visit their website.
There are a number of campus-wide, faculty-specific, and living area-specific councils serving first-year students at McGill. SSMU’s First-Year Council (FYC) and Residences’ Inter-Residence Council (IRC) are two of the biggest. Consult the list of councils.
Every student is represented by a Faculty/School Association. On top of many of them offering first-year councils, you can also get involved by helping to organize events, attending meetings, and more. You might also then consider running for an executive position next year or later into your time here. Stay tuned to your emails from them to know more about what they have coming up.
CAT: Community Action Toolkit & Community Engagement Day
The Social Equity and Diversity Education Office's (SEDE) Community Action Toolkit (CAT) has everything you need to start volunteering in the Montreal community.
The intramural sports program offers all full-time McGill students the opportunity to participate in competitive intramural leagues including, but not limited to, soccer, badminton, ice hockey, and Ultimate. Depending on the sport, most intramural games take place on weeknights or weekends and 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, the McGill Daily, and the Bull & Bear. There’s also the CKUT radio station, as well as TVM: Student Television 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.
Study Abroad / Exchanges
Don’t just leave the country yet, but do consider doing it at some point. Consider going on exchange to one of McGill’s partner universities around the world while earning credit at McGill and paying tuition to McGill. Awards and financial aid may be available to you if you meet certain conditions.
Jobs & Internships
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, Student Services, and SSMU. Check out the SSMU job postings list for opportunities.
The Work Study Program offers students with financial need access jobs on campus or in some of the McGill-affiliated hospitals and organizations.
Internships allow you to gain valuable on-the-job knowledge in your field on campus and beyond.