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Post Archive
2014 (0)2010 (39)
December (3)

It's not "goodbye," it's...
Friday, December 17, 2010

I can haz music warz?
Thursday, December 2, 2010

Two weeks
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
November (10)

Interviews, for reals!
Thursday, November 18, 2010

Can I get a pdf of this?
Thursday, November 18, 2010

SfN 2010 Day 5: A video featuring Tideliar and Dr Becca
Wednesday, November 17, 2010

SfN 2010 Day 3: A video featuring Tideliar and Dr Becca
Monday, November 15, 2010

SfN Day 2 (better late than never)
Monday, November 15, 2010

SfN 2010, Day 1: a video blog featuring Tideliar and Dr Becca
Saturday, November 13, 2010

30,000 people is not actually that many people
Wednesday, November 10, 2010

We have a winner, and a cocktail!
Sunday, November 7, 2010

You. Immortalized. In a cocktail.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Time for BANTER!!!
Monday, November 1, 2010
October (8)

Your PowerPoint and You
Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Have I told you lately that I love you?
Thursday, October 21, 2010

So I have an Interview.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It's bribe time
Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Research Blogging: The Postpartum Brain
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It's Business Time
Friday, October 8, 2010

That time I was on TV
Thursday, October 7, 2010

What?! Only 300 thread-count and no robe? Two stars!
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
September (5)

SABOTAGE!!!
Thursday, September 30, 2010

Let me give you my card
Thursday, September 23, 2010

I gotta have some of your attention, give it to me!
Saturday, September 18, 2010

My Science Enemy
Monday, September 13, 2010

What I wish I knew before...I moved to New York City
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
August (9)July (4)
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Blogger Profile

Dr Becca, Ph.D.

Dr Becca can now be found at http://scientopia.org/blogs/drbecca .

My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.

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Recent Comments
Comment by marguerite in SABOTAGE!!!

So nice to know I'm not the only paranoid one. :-) But sad to know that sometimes "just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean their not after you". :-( **Off to go check prices for tiny cam. . .Read More
Jan 10, 2011, 8:39pm
Comment by Lab Mom in It's not "goodbye," it's...

Best of luck over in your new digs! We'll miss you! . . .Read More
Dec 17, 2010, 9:32pm
Comment by JaySeeDub in It's not "goodbye," it's...

Awww...does this mean no ex-scientist restaurant? Google reader has been updated! . . .Read More
Dec 17, 2010, 8:41pm
Comment by NatC in It's not "goodbye," it's...

It's been an exciting few weeks for you! Congrats on this (and surviving your first TT interview), I'll definitely be commuting over to continue following your adventures! . . .Read More
Dec 17, 2010, 1:07pm
Comment by Tideliar in It's not "goodbye," it's...

Wow! Congratulations Becca! . . .Read More
Dec 17, 2010, 12:37pm
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Banner design by Zen Faulkes

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Do you belong to a gym? If so, do you have "gym friends?" I have a couple of gym friends, but our friendship is strictly limited to the gym. We chat in the locker room or while we're waiting for Abs class to start, but that's it. I mean, let's face it--any friend you make at the gym is a friend you make while sweaty and/or half-naked--it'd be a little awkward if I actually knew their last names or saw them in other contexts. But apparently that's just me, because I overheard two gym friends talking in the locker room today, and they decided to kick their friendship up a notch, to Facebook level. Big move! 

Of course, in order to be friends on Facebook with someone you need some sort of personal information--full name, email, what have you, and so to facilitate the transition, one girl offered the other her card. I found this both awesome and fascinating, because I have never in my life had a card to hand out to strangers while we're both in our underwear. But I kind of want one! 

Every year as the Society for Neuroscience meeting approaches I think that I should maybe have some cards made, and I never do. But this year, when the chances of me genuinely needing a job during the meeting are pretty darn high, I'm thinking a little more seriously about really making it all happen. But what goes on an unemployed neuroscientist's business card?

I likely won't have a work address or phone number, just my email and cell. And what do I put as my title? Post-post-doc? Neuroscientist? Do I list my areas of interest? Talents? And most importantly, do I go for Eggshell or Pale Nimbus? 

 

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Doctor Zen
The University of Texas-Pan American
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Simple answer: Don't put a title if you don't have one.

As a job seeker, a strategy you might want to think about is to be working not to give your information, but to get theirs. That is, you want to establish a rapport to the point where you feel you can be comfortable to email, or maybe even phone, rather than you waiting to call them. Because you could be waiting a long time.

Namnezia
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Eggshell, definitely. Matte finish.
Just write:

Becca, PhD
tel. xxxxxx
email. xxxxxx

(Don't write both Dr. and PhD), you only need one, and Dr. always sounds creepy. Especially when followed by a telephone number and email address and no other explanation.

I had a box of card made when I started my faculty position, and I can tell you I have NEVER used them. It was cool to carry them around for a while but always felt weird giving them away - to who? Recently I took out a bunch of ratty old ones from my wallet because they were taking up space.

biochem belle
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Several weeks ago, Alan at Benchfly wrote about the utility of business cards for scientists and what should go on them. It's worth a look. For mine in grad school, I listed 2 major areas of interest, as "biochemist" is a vague term. I think having business cards for a meeting is great because it often prompts the recipient to hand you theirs.

Dr Becca, Ph.D.
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Dr Zen, I like your keep-the-ball-in-my-court approach!

Namnezia, great advice. And re: Dr/PhD, I agree wholeheartedly (it's a joke in my name here, promise!).

BB, thanks for the link! I'd read that, but completely forgot about it. Lots of good stuff in there.

chall
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I agree on the whole "let us swap cards" - but it will probably be up to you to email afterwards and connect again... but then you might get a magic card with "personal information" rather than a generic one. Mind you, I think most people I have collected cards from have been in industry or maybe something governmental (like a uni with a mission) ;)

Now, I don't have any cards anymore and I will see if I get some "personal" ones written up since it is an easy thing. Like you said "change cards in underwear" :)

(And yeah, I don't socialize too much with my gym friends. We chat at the gym, exchange food stories and exercise but once out the door, we're on our own...)

Nikkilina
Washington University School of Medicine
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If you need business cards, Vistaprint.com frequently will print you 100 for only the price of shipping. They are awesome quality, so that's where I get mine.
yellowfish

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I think they're good to have even if you barely ever use them- I was at a conference at one point when I was an early post-doc and literally had to rip a square piece of paper out of my program and write my name and email on it for someone while he stood there and watched, which was humiliating and made me feel like I was about 12 years old. After that I've always had one, even if I only use it every 6 months.

Staples actually makes pretty decent ones- you can design it on their website, and if you pick nice card stock they look good- plus its really fast (although there is enough time before SFN to order them somewhere real, I'm sure).

Genomic Repairman
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My business cards are from Vista print, they were way cheaper than the institutional press shop. All I did was lift the logo and posted it on there. Another nice thing I doe, is print my field specialty and protein of interest on the back, so people can quickly remember why they might have crossed paths with me.

Dr Becca, Ph.D.
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OK so here's a question: Let's say I want a cool old sciency picture on my card, kind of in the vein of Namnezia's avatar. Are there copyright issues I need to deal with?

biochem belle
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Don't know about copyright, though it seems to me it shouldn't be a big deal.

On another note, if you're presenting a poster, you might try out Doctor Zen' tip to promote your poster by printing the title, time, and board number on the back of your business card.

Brian Krueger, PhD
Duke University
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I say you make your business card something functional. Like a laser cut eppie tube waterbath floaty in the shape of a neuron or something like that.

Dr Becca, Ph.D.
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Ooh, BB (and Zen), this is a great idea!! My poster is in the very last session (of the 5-day conference), so provided anyone is actually still there, I'll have lots of time to spread the word. I'm totally doing this!
Kyrsten

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I think it's paramount for anyone to have business cards. I've actually got two styles ;) I have my standard biotech business card, which I give out at meetings or conferences or whenever I want to connect with someone on a business level.

I've got a personal networking business card where I put my name, phone #, email address, LinkedIn profile link (which I keep updated), as well as my professional Twitter account. This is the one I hand out if I meet people at parties or networking events and they want to connect via facebook or twitter. I try to network at local events at least once or twice a month, but depending on the time of year, I might be out at several events a week. I don't discriminate on who I network with - I've met some great connections that have helped my company by having drinks with someone random who happens to be a printer, or a videographer, etc. You never know when you need someone in your circle with expertise. I got these cards from Moo - included my own photography on the back. They were free because they were with a coupon (Moo prints free coupon codes on their free cards along the bottom - easy fix - cut off the coupon on each card along the bottom and you have professional looking cards). VistaPrint is excellent too, but their free cards don't have the nice card stock that Moo uses.

Now, I used to be in academia, where I never used any cards. But I also never knew anyone then either. My life in the city and my work career has been made a lot easier by making myself a person who networks. I can't stress that enough. Even if you are in academia, you have lots to offer, and others may have lots to offer you. You don't know where your next job offer comes from. I once was offered a job based on a random Tweetup event at a pub, after a few months of chatting. If I hadn't made an effort to learn more about their business, they wouldn't have pitched to me (I love my current job too much to leave, but it was nice to have the offer).

Genomic Repairman
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Dr. B, VistaPrint isn't in the business of checking images, just upload it and certify it and they'll print it. Its not legal but neither is rolling through a stop sign. And before everyone starts getting all fucking preachy on me, I email folks to see if I can use their image and most are amenable to my request.

AmoebaMike
Independence Science
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Doc Becca,
I would suggest finding someone who knows a decent amount of design to help out. Even if it costs you a six-pack or a twenty, you might be able to make the jump from amateur to professional.

Namnezia
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To find an old-timey science-y image do a google image search for something like "brain antique print" and you'll get all sorts of stuff.

I have an idea - make a blank card with only a cool image on it. When you meet someone, pull it out and pull out some kick-ass looking writing implement, and write your contact info on the back as your potential contact is amazed at your cool demeanor, minimalistic approach and fine taste in writing implements. He or she will definitely not lose your card after that.

Namnezia
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...plus most of these images are already out of copyright...

Dr Becca, Ph.D.
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Oh Namnezia, your idea is BAD ASS. I'd totally do that, too, if my handwriting weren't decidedly un-sexy.

Also, I already had an image in mind. I have to say, I think my VistaPrint card is looking mighty fine! Perhaps when it's all finished I'll put it up, personal details blurred, of course!

Prodigal Academic
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I have cards, and had them at National Lab. National Lab was lame, so I used Vista Print for my cards there. I don't use them much, but when I need them, I am glad to have them.

When I get cards at meetings, I write on the back the context at night in my room so I can remember the person who gave it to me. I find that very helpful in getting the most out of networking, since I have a brain like a sieve for social things when I am stressed and tired.

Tideliar
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GET CARDS. GET CARDS. GET CARDS.

Although Dr. Zen is right, you want to be collecting, you better ave something to give back. It's partly the act of exchange.

I have two sets; my 'official' work ones, all nice and embossed with logos and shit. And then i have my 'tideliar' (writing gigs) cards. I made these myself using a $10 pack of Office Depot business card stock, Adobe Photoshop & MS Word (they have a business card template).

Tideliar
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Why, yes you may!

Damn Good Technician
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..um...

Etsy.com? They have about a million different shops of handmade stuff, and I've found all of their paper products to be awesome. You may find business cards under "calling cards" in the search, and you'll often find people happy to do little batches, rather than hundreds of cards.

My business cards are Big Pharma sponsored, obviously. I've found them handy as a lab manager, when trying to coordinate repair of equipment or dealing with sales reps. They may also come in handy if I ever go to a meeting.

Dr Becca, Ph.D.
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It is done!

As you can see, it's extremely simple, which I like. I'd much prefer to err on the side of too simple than too fussy. Still, I think it's unique and not too stuffy, either. This is obviously a no-personal-info mock up; in the real one my name is longer, so the green extends past the edge of the bottom text. For my non-neuro readers, the image is a Purkinje cell drawn around 100 years ago by the grandfather of neuroscience himself, Santiago Ramón y Cajal!

I used VistaPrint, which gave me a special Twitter discount after I tweeted that I was using them (discount link here. Their 40 or so "free" templates are all pretty ugly and you can't customize them at all; you just have to type your info in. Being a complete control freak, this would not do, and I was going to pay $10 to customize a free one. But with their discount it was just $4 and I could customize any of their Premium cards. Of course, it made no difference since I wiped the slate clean either way, but if you like one of their Premium templates, $4 is 80% off!!! Having print on the back was another $4.50. Oh! This is for 250 cards, the smallest amount you can get!


Nikkilina
Washington University School of Medicine
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I like that, Dr. Becca. The image is really cool too!

Lady Scientist
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That looks good. I really like the image, too.

Thomas Joseph
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I'd like to have my next business card to be a barcode. Then people can scan it and have it bring them to my website.

Thomas Joseph
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QR Code The first image in the Wiki article is what I'm thinking of.

Nikkilina
Washington University School of Medicine
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I like that idea, TJ. That's pretty clever.

biochem belle
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I like, Dr. Becca. I might suggest adding a LinkedIn profile URL or something similar (if you have one). That basically lets someone see your CV without having to request it.

Dr Becca, Ph.D.
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Thanks, guys! BB, I was thinking about that, but I recently deleted my LinkedIn profile. I wasn't really getting anything out of it, plus I realized it made me instantly findable by my blog readers. (Not to imply that any of you are anything but absolutely lovely!)

Tideliar
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Google & WhoIs - a cyberstalker's best friend :)

Dr. B, those cards are awesome and I think $4 for 250 is a pretty good investment. I reckon there'll be some new Tiddles cards coming soon

Prof-like Substance
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Dr. Becca, I like the card you put together. I have to say that I have never been asked for, or asked for, a card in my life. But if I did what one from someone, I think yours would make an impression.

Thomas Joseph said: I'd like to have my next business card to be a barcode. Then people can scan it and have it bring them to my website.


hmmmm, I must be strange in that my computer is not hooked up to a bar code scanner....

Thomas Joseph
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Prof-like Substance said:
hmmmm, I must be strange in that my computer is not hooked up to a bar code scanner....


There's an app for that.

Almost all smartphones come with barcode reading software nowadays (works through the camera), and you can find software that will work through a webcam to do the same thing on a desktop. If you have none of the above, you're obviously one of the ludites who I don't want accessing my information anyways. ;)

darchole
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Off-topic, for those on LinkedIn, what do you put on your profile? Everything, including all the technical terms for what you do?

Gerty-Z
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Great card! I must be in a different field than PLS, though-almost every meeting I go to I get at least 3-5 new cards. My postdoc inst. was very concerned about keeping their "branding" uniform, so they provided free cards for postdocs. The first time I took them to a meeting I was amazed at how many I traded! I also would clip 10 or so onto my poster in case anyone wanted to take my contact info with them.

Side note for the Linked In, I found that when I was on the job market I got a LOT of traffic to my personal website from my Linked In page. I had my CV, etc. But also I used it as a way to expand on my research statement and link in some sweet pics and even movies. Probably if you were better at tricking Google you could get that traffic even without the Linked In, but I think the more ways to be found the better. In retrospect, every place I got an interview hit my website (based on the Google Analytics).

Tideliar
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"They" say everyone should have a facepage on the internet (you can do it for free w Google.)m That could be a good thing to put on your card.

Dr Becca, Ph.D.
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OK, I am now convinced that I need a website. 'Scuse me while I go cancel my biz card order so I can add this in! Thanks for all the suggestions, guys!

Evie
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You should totally get cards! Cards are awesome! I used to give them out to the hot boys I met at the bars, that was fun. 'Hi, Im a rocket scientist. What are you doing later?' That usually worked. Actaully I think one of the coolest times I gave my card out was at warped tour one year. My friend got VIP passes from her job, and we go to be on stage while Pennywise were performing. When they were done we hung out w the band a lil bit, and got pix w the lead singer. I was like 'Hey man, awesome show. If you ever wanna go to space, give me a call, I'll hook you up' as I passed my card over to him and walked away in style. Yuuup. Cards rock.

Dr Becca, Ph.D.
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Just got my cards, and they are so MONEY!!! Watch out, SfN--I'm coming for you.


JanedeLartigue
UC Davis
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Totally cool, you should take a pic and post it on here!


Dr Becca, Ph.D.
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Jane, if you scroll up to the middle of the comments here, I posted a mock-up of the design. The real ones have personal information, so I can't show you those!


Nikkilina
Washington University School of Medicine
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I just ordered a set from them too. I love VistaPrint!

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