#7 is ironically more common than you think.

Photo by Mathilde LMD on Unsplash

For job seekers, LinkedIn can be intimidating. Or so I thought.

In univeristy, one of my professors somehow arranged a guest lecture from one of LinkedIn’s top recruiters and marketing specialists in Canada.

Like seagulls in a Walmart parking lot, I assembled with other eager, caffeine-induced seniors looking to land internships for the following semester. All of us had LinkedIn profiles, but the majority had no idea how we were supposed to leverage them to find, let alone, land a position.

Currently, 90% of recruiters use LinkedIn. …


No, Canada is not “better” at this than the US.

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Author and historian Howard Zinn said: “You can’t be neutral on a moving train.”

The BLM movement has shown us the strength of these words.

On Tuesday, June 2, the world took over Instagram to participate in #BlackoutTuesday. Nearly 30 million users woke up to find their news feed flooded with black squares and blindly reposted to share their solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

But was that enough?

Discourse from the black community quickly shut down the initiative’s performative draw. The hashtag, created by Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang, was intended to influence the music industry and uplift…


There’s invisible privilege behind social distancing.

Photo by United Nations COVID-19 Response on Unsplash

As a wave of sun peeks over the North Shore mountains, throngs of Vancouverites flood into Stanley Park and beyond. Around here, cloudless skies in May are rare. When we get one, we take advantage any way we can. Across the globe, similar scenes unfold as warmer weather brings a longing for the outdoors.

But things are different these days. These days you can’t leave your house without someone telling you you’re doing something wrong.

Those who dare step outside for gulps of fresh air are subject to finger-pointing and humiliation from “social distance shamers.” Joggers have been accused of…


And 6 reasons why you should.

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Do you remember “The Lazy Song” by Bruno Mars?

Back in the day, we would all post renditions of the iconic music video on Facebook only to be embarrassed by it every year, thanks to Facebook’s timely reminders. The bane of my existence. Despite being nearly ten years old, the song’s message of “not doing anything” is more relevant than ever.

Since the dawn of time, humans have been wrapped up in the pursuit of productivity. While physically distancing, it’s important — and healthy — to pause and just do nothing. Trust me. …


4 ways group work in school can prepare you for the ‘real world’

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Group work isn’t for everyone. Ask anyone, and they’ll tell you it comes down to your team.

In university, there are standard team archetypes we’re all familiar with. You’ve got the lazy one, the no-show, the procrastinator, the one who’s always too busy to meet, the one who didn’t read the assignment, and, of course, the more-often-than-not-slightly-controlling group leader.

In university, I was that controlling group leader. For better or worse, I habitually had topics chosen, a group chat made, and a complete list of fonts downloaded and installed for the PowerPoint all before our professor could wrap up class.


To the spring convocation that never was.

Photo: Seyi Ariyo/Unsplash

It’s not exactly what I imagined for the class of 2020.

We should have had our last lectures, award galas, capstone projects, and of course, convocation ceremonies. But this year, things feel a lot different.

June was supposed to be a celebratory time. My family was set to fly out and watch their oldest daughter walk, and hopefully not trip, across the stage. I had plans to study abroad in May, then go backpacking in Europe with my best friend. Like some, I had job leads I was excited about. Everything was unfolding nicely.

Enter COVID-19.

I remember first hearing…

Alena Blanes

Fond of long hikes and reusable produce bags. Vancouver and Toronto, but never in between. alenablanes@outlook.com | @alenablanes

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