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How would you describe the workload and work-life balance?

Are there many research opportunities?

Yes! PNB is great for research. We have a course called QQ which you can join a lab and get course credit for it. Many people do this year-long or throughout their 3 years in PNB. I was a research assistant second 

QUESTIONS

For a Mac PNB Student...

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Why did you choose your program? What makes it unique to you?

I first started Life Sciences at Mac in my first year. Going into my first year, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but I thought it would be biology or chemistry-related. However, it turned out that I was not very passionate about biology or chemistry like I thought I was. I also took psychology courses during first year and I realized it was psychology that I wanted to pursue. I then made the bold decision to drop chemistry in the second semester, in hopes that my grades would be high enough to get accepted into PNB. PNB is a limited program that only accepts a 

I don’t think I was fully prepared to go into PNB. I quickly realized that my study habits from the first year were not working in PNB. There were a lot more readings and homework than I had anticipated. But I quickly adapted and learned how to organize my time so I was also enjoying my life as well as studying as hard as I could. PNB is great because they have so many extracurricular activities throughout the year, such as wine and cheese night, where you can talk to professors outside of class. I had also learned this year that I needed to take time for myself, so I made time for clubs, the gym or to hang out with friends. I would like to say that most students in PNB are involved with extra circulars so we all have to organize our work-life balance.  But we manage to have interests outside of school so a work-life balance is definitely doable.

Is there lots of collaborative work or group presentations? 

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There are some collaborative work and group presentations, although the majority of it is individual work. There is a course about presenting where you work with a group. Despite many of the courses having individual work, I felt like I never worked alone. I was always collaborating with friends or other students. Working with others helped me to be successful in PNB by helping me to learn the content. 

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If you could go back in time, knowing what you know now, what would you tell your former self upon preparing to apply to PNB?

McMaster allows you to go into a different program in second year. I was definitely very nervous getting into PNB. I was very passionate about psychology. neuroscience and behaviour and had felt that this was the program for me. I had ruled out going to other science programs to get into PNB. I wish I had the ability to tell my past self that it will work out. That not only I will get into PNB, but into the mental health specialization. I also wish I would have told my past self to explore other courses that aren’t in science. I wish I would have taken more social sciences courses that could help me prepare for PNB. Overall, I am glad how everything turned out. I was grateful to be able to figure out my passions and go into a program more appropriate for me.

semester of my second year and it was an amazing opportunity. I also have obtained another lab research position this year, in second semester. Furthermore, PNB offers a thesis that you can take in your fourth year. PNB allows students to get research experience if they want it. I am very proud to be a program that offers such opportunities to students at the undergraduate level.

certain number of students. I had also applied to the PNB mental health specialization, which had an even higher acceptance rate and accepts about 20 students; and to my surprise, I had gotten into the PNB Mental Health Specialization. I love the content and my program. I have finally found my passion. PNB is not only a small program with a super close cohort, but it offers so many opportunities. During my second year, I joined the PNB Mental Health Committee, got a research assistant position and met some of my best friends.

A very special thank you to our interviewee...

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ABIGAIL FISHER

Hi, I’m Abby Fisher and I’m entering my third year at McMaster University studying Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour: Mental Health Specialization. I love to dance, read and watch Netflix. As for school, I am currently interested in educational psychology and how humans learn. 

My goal is to help others in any way that I can. I am currently a mentor and running an organization to help empower young females. If you are reading this and want to reach out to me please feel free to.

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