Stella could not have grown in 2020 without the support you give us. If this year has proven anything it is that solidarity is what helps us through the tough times, and we have always felt the spirit of solidarity in you.
In this trying year, solidarity and your support is what we are most grateful for, and what has created the inspiring stories built by the collective efforts of our mentors and mentees.
Happy holidays to you all, and we hope to keep growing together in the new year.
Online interviews are not something new for the people who have applied for international masters or international employment, however in the spirit of the new Covid-19 influenced normality, the online interviews have become a replacement for ‘’real ones’’ due to safety reasons. We offer you a few tips on how to use online interviews in your advantage.
First and foremost, treat this as a regular interview, while the new reality might influence how we react to things and our perceptions, this interview is probably a great opportunity which needs to be taken with seriousness. After the initial shock and excitement, here are some main steps you need to take:
- Send a response and say thank you for the opportunity. Maybe this goes without saying, but always send an email that you have received the invitation, or you have received their email with specification about the online interview.
- By now you are probably more familiar with the position for which you are applying or the master program, however, make sure that you are aware of each of the requirements, tasks, responsibilities, and expectations.
- Dress as you are going to an interview, keep it formal.
- Make sure that the background of your surrounding is not too distracting and place the camera on a frontal angle.
- Make sure that your internet connection is working, but also prepare your phone if necessary, to jump in with your personal hotspot.
- Prepare your questions, this is always appreciated and your interest can be seen as an advantage.
- Practice your interview and do a test of the technology before starting.
- Be yourself.
Moreover, if you have any more questions on how you can ace your online interview, feel free to ask guidance and support by seeking mentorship through Stella womentors.
Being organized is a necessary skill for any kind of work-related improvement or academic environment, yet everyone fails at it sometimes. Some people are lucky enough to have developed their organizational skills as a habit, while for the others, there is still hope. There are so many online tools nowadays, our job is only to find and utilize them.
During our brainstorming stages, while studying for exams or preparing applications for work or a masters degree, we tend to have too many things on our mind. However, managing our tasks, action items for the day, or for a week can be done in a different yet useful manner. While some of the suggestions below are used by Stella members to organize their goals and research, some of the online tools and applications are suggested by popular demand.
Here are a few tools which we have selected:
Some people prefer using notebooks or planners, but for those who want to go digital, there is the good old Excel Microsoft. Regardless of being considered as the thing people lie often that they’re good at on their resume, Excel can be and should be used efficiently as a tool which can help you track your progress. Some of the interesting ways it can be used include:
- Organize data in an easy-to-navigate way
- Do basic and complex mathematical functions so you do not have to
- Turn piles of data into helpful graphics and charts
- Analyze data and make forecasting predictions
- Create, build, and edit pixelated images (yes, creatives use it, too!)
- Goal setting and planning process involves white paper, time, and the immense pressure of calculations, but with the use of MS Excel, this process can become more efficient, quick, easy and environmentally friendly.
- Career Development revolves around career management. The tasks such as learning management, time management, work and life management, and goal-focused habits are very important and can be effectively practised on MS excel.
For personal use, you should take advantage of Trello’s free trial.
Trello has earned a strong reputation as a tool teams can use to manage shared projects. In fact, it works just as well for individuals and families, because part of Trello’s appeal is its flexibility which you can adapt it for a variety of purposes.
This service offers mobile and web apps, and both work the same way: You create a variety of digital “cards” and arrange them in columns. Each card might represent a household chore, an item on your to-do list or a looming calendar event. The columns can represent categories of tasks, priority levels, specific dates, or any other factor you might use to arrange your cards.
You can invite teams to work with and use the calendar feature. It is a great way to make sure you’re getting things done.
For example, Stella’s team members are using Trello, or as we call it, Stello, for organizing project-related tasks, keeping track of the progress of the mentoring process, and brainstorming for future ideas.
EverNote is a note-taking app which keeps track of to-do lists, lengthy research, web clippings, photos and drawings, and pretty much anything else. You can also save it on all of your devices (like Google Calendar, Google Drive or Dropbox), allows collaboration both in-app and web browser form, and presents all of your data in one easy-to-navigate digital workspace so is easy for task management. (Other good option: Slack).
The online equivalent of an office whiteboard is MIRO and it is a great way for personal organization, if you are a visual person, meaning you prefer visualizing your goals and tasks. Simply sign up with your email address, and you can start inviting team members if necessary to collaborate right away.
Well if all of this does not help; you can always try freedom. https://freedom.to/, literally. As written on their website: If you need to focus on your work, break a habit, or simply improve your relationship with technology, by blocking distracting websites and apps, you’ll be more focused and productive. You will develop healthier, more intentional digital habits, that give you control over your time and attention.
We hope some of these suggestions will help, however, there is a chance online tools might overcomplicate your approach to organization, that is why it is important first to take time to set out your goals. That process can be done much better with the help of an actual personal connection which supports you in setting the goals and vision for the future. Organizational skills can definitely be developed through the mentorship process. Lastly, always remember, someone else was on the same spot as you, with the same insecurities about the future, so it is for the best to seek advice, and we have plenty of womentors which are more than glad to support you.
Your CV is your story. How you tell your story matters and it especially matters who your audience is.
A common mistake we make is having the same CV for different job applications. Another thing we often get wrong is to list chronologically what we’ve done rather than focusing on what is most important to a particular employer or university in case you are looking to continue your education.
We also tend to write everything we have ever done – after all, we put time and effort into these activities and we want to acknowledge them. But your future employer only needs to know she has the ‘right’ person in front of them for the job; they are not interested in reading a report card of life activities for each candidate.
Here are some quick tips of how to write a good CV:
- Keep it short: stick to 2 pages, write in a clear font and no smaller than 11 font-size.
- Read, re-read, read aloud: grammatical mistakes or odd sentences can happen to the best of us but it’s a guaranteed way of not getting the job.
- Contact details: Make sure you have given correct contact details and provide a professional email address. For example, Tina_tigerlover_3#[email protected] is a no-go. Open a new email account if you have to.
- Good match: You must show you are up for the job so select only achievements and activities that make you a good match to the profile the employer is seeking. If you only have modest previous experiences, you can include them by linking to how that background matters in the current job. For example, if you are applying for a project coordinator position but you have only a few previous jobs as shop assistant or event organiser, you can add a short description of your tasks and responsibilities such as how you can work under pressure, you are good with people skills and you can plan long-term. It is the qualities and experiences that will make you the right choice.
- Don’t lie, don’t exaggerate: If you were not the top of your class, don’t say you were; if you only got a passing score, don’t say you were excellent, etc. When we really want a job we can get carried away with ‘polishing’ a few facts. But not only is this a mistake, it is fraud. You can and should focus on positive achievements, but stay true to what you have done.
Writing a good CV is also about having support. Stella Mentors provide one-on-one support to girls and women seeking their next educational or career step. If you want to be a mentor or a mentee, simply sign up for free at Stella.mk
Stella Network is thrilled to announce that its first STEM E Talks will be held on Friday, April 24, 2020. Event will begin promptly at 4 p.m. CEST and run through 5:30 p.m..
Our mission is to stimulate and sustain the interest of youth in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The event includes a range of speakers covering different STEM topics and connections to exciting STEM careers.
STEM E-TALKS is a FREE event for all. Pre-register for STEM E-Talks by clicking the link below https://bit.ly/STEAM-ETALKS . Anyone who submitted a request will receive an email regarding acceptance within 48 hours. Two days before the event we will send a zoom link to your mail in order to be able to join the discussion.
Stella’s First STEM E-Talk
Egzona Morina (Stella mentor) is interested in figuring out the neural circuitry of sensory guided motor learning.She completed her MSc in Neuroscience and Education from Columbia University in 2015. She joined the Murray lab in September 2017 and is currently working on developing a behavioural task that will provide more information about how anticipatory postural adjustments occur in motor movements, after multisensory integration. Eventually she would like to develop an anatomical map of the neural circuitry that enables these adjustments.
Marta Huelin Gorriz investigates the role of cortico-hippocampal interactions underlying memory consolidation. By using large-scale electrophysiological recording methods combined with optogenetics, she will study the circuitry underlying the spatio-temporal flow of information between the auditory cortex and hippocampus during replay.
Sarah Olesen has a broad interest in understanding the circuits underlying learning and decision-making. She is currently in her first year on the SWC PhD programme, where she will rotate in different labs in line with these research interests.(https://www.sainsburywellcome.org/web/people/sarah-olesen)
Oriol Pavon Arocas is an alumnus from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, where he obtained a BSc in Biomedical Sciences, and from the Graduate School of Systemic Neurosciences at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, where he completed an MSc in Neurosciences. In 2016 he moved to London to join the Wellcome Trust 4-Year PhD in Neuroscience at UCL and completed a first year of rotations. For his PhD project in the Branco group, he is combining whole-cell patch-clamp recordings and single-cell RNA. (https://www.sainsburywellcome.org/web/people/oriol-pavon-arocas)
Daniel Regester moved to the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre as a PhD student after gaining his undergraduate MSci degree in Neuroscience from University College London. At the SWC Daniel is continuing his interest in social behaviour in the lab of Yoh Isogai. He is focused on the precise neural circuit and computational mechanism that underlie the processing of social sensory information within the brain. (https://www.sainsburywellcome.org/web/people/daniel-regester)
Federico Claudi is a PhD student in the Branco Lab where he aims to combine innate threat responses with spatial navigation to investigate decision making strategy in rodents. Federico’s novel behavioural task aims to facilitate the detailed description of how environmental factors influence decision making strategy selection at a behavioural level. This, in turn, will lead to the formulation of specific testable hypotheses about the neuronal and computational mechanisms underlying this complex behaviour.(https://www.sainsburywellcome.org/web/people/federico-claudi)
Dr Vigjilenca Abazi One of the co-founders of Stella and a firm believer that a good mentor can contribute to positive life-changing decisions and attaining our own potential. She is an Assistant Professor at Maastricht University, does research on whistleblower protection and teaches EU law. In her latest book, Vigjilenca shows how government secrets impact democratic oversight and fundamental rights in the European Union (you can find a book copy here: https://bit.ly/2VGcXlz).
Stella starts a new project “Together We Rise: Entrepreneurship by Girls and Women in Lifting Rural Communities” that will offer training and mentorship support for women and girls from the rural communities who have ideas for starting their own businesses.
The project will focus on rural and marginalised communities and will be implemented in different regions of the country. Stella Network will provide personal mentorship through the existing Women Mentorship Network, as well as trainings and networking opportunities aiming to strengthen the entrepreneurial skills and develop the business ideas of women and girls in these communities.
Stella Network will collaborate with different ministries, municipalities, civil society organisations, and professional networks in the country in the realisation of this project.
The project will be implemented over a period of 13 months and is funded by the US Embassy in Skopje.
Stella’s 10th Town Hall Discussion was held in the Municipality of Centar, in the hall of the Brakja Miladinovci Library in Skopje.
There were three key speakers — Dragana Karovska Čemerska, a lawyer who has worked for more than 15 years in the non-governmental sector, Mersiha Smailovic, a co-owner of a financial and legal consulting company and a human right activist, and Lura Polozani, one of Stella co-founders.
Dragana focused on the issue of discrimination in the everyday life and discrimination that women face in their careers. She emphasized the systemic problems that single mothers face because the institutions are not ready to support them and they are left alone to fight for their careers, but also to be present for their children. ‘Discrimination and sexual harassment of women in our society is already accepted as the social norm,’ she pointed out.
Mersiha Smailovic pointed to the discrimination and stereotypes that people have based on the look of the women and the way they are dressed. She spoke of many experiences where she was discriminated against only because she was wearing a burqa. She talked about the ethnic discrimination of women in the society, as well as the sexual harassment in the workplace that a lot of women in the country face.
Lura Pollozhani spoke about the need for women to unite and fight for their rights and the ways in which they can oppose and defend themselves from the sexual harassment, as well as the legal ways to do that in our country. She noted how even if the legal system in the country was not responsive enough, women should remain strong and pursue these cases through judicial means. ‘Women should have solidarity with the other women that work with them, especially if they have a case of sexsual or any kind of other harassment at their workplace,’ she pointed out.
The discussion continued with stories that touched the question of sexual harassment in the workplace. ’I was going through a very difficult time during my studies and my previous three workplaces. I was sexually harassed during my education, by a university professor, and I could not past the exam for years. My boss blackmailed me to go out with him for a dinner if I want to advance in my career or get a higher salary,’ shared one of the participants. ’I have never had support from my colleagues, so I could not take any of these cases to court,’ she explained.
Another story was shared by a girl that was on a work-and-travel in another country, and she worked at a café. The owner of the café constantly harassed her and yelled at her for months. She talked with his wife mostly about the harassment, but she did not get any support from her; in fact, she even blamed her for the harassment. This verbal harassment was so unbearable that she left the job after only a month.
Оваа студија е обид да се мапираат пречките и предизвиците со кои се соочуваат жените и девојките во Северна Македонија во академскиот и професионалниот живот.
Наодите и заклучоците се засновани на податоци прибрани преку онлајн прашалник и во рамките на 14-те јавни дискусии организирани во различни делови од земјата.
Во првиот дел студијата се фокусира на предизвиците во образовниот процес, а во вториот дел, на пречките за вклучување на пазарот на трудот и напредокот на девојките и жените.
Првиот дел е воден од потребата да се анализираат искуствата и перцепциите во образовниот процес, со цел подобрување на условите за воспоставување родова еднаквост. Вториот дел, пак, укажува на пречките со кои се соочуваат жените и девојките при вклучување на пазарот на трудот, како што се пречки поврзани со институциите и пречки поврзани со патријархалните норми кои сè уште доминираат во општеството. Врз основа на наодите, студијата нуди и неколку препораки за различни општествени актери