Yuvraj's MITACS Experience

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DISCLAIMER : if you can’t cook, please learn !


Hey My name is Yuvraj Aseri. I am a former Mitacs’23 GRI intern at University of Waterloo. Let me walk you through my personal experience and process involved.

Application Process :

The MITACS Globalink Research Internship (GRI) application process is straightforward. Unlike other research internship applications, you don't need to email professors for project opportunities. The MITACS portal displays all available projects hosted by professors from various Canadian universities and colleges. You're required to select and rank up to seven projects. However, there are restrictions, such as choosing a maximum of three projects from a single province.

In addition to project selection, you must write a Statement of Purpose (SoP) and highlight your academic achievements, including awards from notable hackathons or other technical accomplishments. These elements are crucial for a successful application. Moreover, you need at least one referee to provide a recommendation letter, which plays a significant role in gaining admission to top universities. The recommendation letter is considered a key factor in the application process, so it's essential to focus on securing a strong reference.

Selection Process:

1. Application Review:

  - After submitting your application to MITACS, it undergoes a review process.

  - You'll be categorized as either:

    - Under Consideration

    - Waitlisted

    - Rejected

2. Under Consideration:

  - Congratulations if you're placed in this category! Your application is forwarded to professors.

  - Professors rank candidates based on their preferences and may choose to conduct interviews or have Ph.D. students handle the process.

  - Evaluation criteria may include GPA, courses taken, research experience, recommendation letters, and extracurricular activities.

  - MITACS announces the first wave of results after this phase.

3. Waitlisted Students:

  - Some students may reject offers due to various reasons after the first wave of results.

  - Waitlisted students and those below in the professor's rank list get a second chance.

  - Professors submit a new ranked list to MITACS, and the organization allocates projects accordingly.

  - MITACS may release additional waves of results until all available seats are filled.

  - For example, My buddy snagged ETS, Montreal in the third wave – talk about a comeback!

This organized process ensures fair consideration for all applicants and doesn't accommodate changes in preferences or availability throughout the selection phases.

After results :

Big congrats! You nailed it. Now, kick back and chill. Just keep an eye out for instructions coming your way from your mentor and the OG globalink fellows. They've got your back, walking you through the whole visa hustle until you touch down in Canada. Easy peasy!

Quick tip – the moment those results hit, dive into the dorm hunt ASAP. Some off-campus spots might have caps, and you don't wanna miss out. Get on it, and secure your spot before it's all snapped up!

Diving into my experience at UWaterloo -

Research Marvels in Canada: Unveiling a Surprising Hub

So, let's spill the beans about my stint as a GRI (Graduate Research and Innovation) fellow at the University of Waterloo. Canada might not be the first place that pops into your mind when you think about top-notch research, but trust me, this university has some tricks up its sleeve. Their labs are like the hidden gems, boasting cutting-edge facilities that could give any top-tier institution a run for its money. What's more intriguing is their approach – it's not just about one field. They thrive on an interdisciplinary vibe, with students and scholars from all walks of academia coming together.

Now, here's the jaw-dropper – they're not just dabbling; they're deeply into agriculture research. I'm talking about pushing the boundaries to improve food production and make energy sustainability a reality. And guess what? They've got their eyes set on growing food in space-like environments. Yes, you heard it right – space farming. It's not just groundbreaking; it's a bit crazy, in the most awe-inspiring way.

My Rollercoaster of Experiences: From Computing to BBQ

Alright, now onto my personal saga. Life's mantra? You guessed it – WORK HARD, PLAY HARD!

First things first, let's talk about the universal obsession – food. Landing in a new country, your thoughts immediately gravitate towards what and where to eat. Lucky for me, the Indian community in Canada, particularly the extended Punjab and Gujarat family, made sure I didn't miss home too much. Dorm life turned into a culinary exchange program, with neighbors doubling as cooking mentors. A simple "bhaiya kese krna h" opened doors to a buffet of options, each dish rated based on their culinary adventures. Indians abroad, let me tell you, are unsung heroes.

Now, let's talk about my professor – not just a scientist but also a barbecue maestro. His teachings went beyond the binary world into the sizzling realms of grilling. He was a constant pillar of support, always there when I needed guidance. Though, when it came to research, punctuality was the name of the game.

Balancing the academic grind, Fridays were all about exploring the city, hopping from one club to another, or planning the next weekend adventure. While there were plenty of fellow interns around, I occasionally ventured solo. In just three months, I ticked off Niagara Falls, Montreal, Quebec, and Saskatchewan from my travel checklist. Toronto became my Sunday night retreat, blending fun and relaxation seamlessly.

My Research Group

Learning from the Trenches: Advice for Future Fellows

Now, for the real talk – the mistakes, the lessons, and the advice for future GRI fellows. First up, connect with an ex-intern; it's like getting the treasure map before you set sail. They've been through the grad school maze and can be your academic GPS.

In a nutshell, my GRI stint at the University of Waterloo wasn't just about research and academics. It was a blend of cutting-edge exploration, culinary camaraderie, and a dash of adventurous escapades. The university's multifaceted allure and my commitment to a holistic academic experience made it a ride worth remembering.

By Yuvraj aseri