Friday, 21 June 2013

Can Science Be Cool?

Is it possible to have science extend out to people in the "non-science" world and for them to be interested in it? This is a question I ask myself often and was one of the reasons I started this blog. I wanted to make science more attainable and help broaden the knowledge of general science and medical laboratory science within the general public. But where is the hook? How is it possible to get people excited about how why their blood sugar is collect and why this is imported to their results?

I am the first person in my family and extended family to get a science degree and stay within the scientific field. I often wonder if they really understand what I do and if I can convey how interesting and "cool" science and healthcare can be. I think, in general, most people understand that they go to the doctor and a bunch of tests happen but I think compared to something like art or music, the learning curve can be steep to truly appreciate what is done.

I don't really know the purpose of this post but I mostly wanted to put my thoughts out there and say I'm open to conversations with anyone and everyone about what I do and how something might be the way it is. I know it can seem scary if you don't have a science background but I want to help you understand and spark that curiosity in the scientific world. Ask questions. Be curious. Be brave. I know that some scientists can give science a bad reputation being condescending or unreachable due to their supposed "smarts", but we are really losing out on the support of the non-science community and keeping science from reaching a broader audience.

I love what I do and I am incredibly passionate about reaching out to help make science something anyone can understand, even if it's just a small part. You always have to start somewhere.


Monday, 10 June 2013

BlackBerry Scholars - STEM Scholarships for Women

BlackBerry Scholars just launched a new program that awards full scholarships to women heading into their first year of university/college in a STEM field.

What's a STEM Field?

STEM is anything in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics 

As someone who is educated in a STEM field, I am a huge advocate for supporting women who want to pursue an education and I commend BlackBerry for being active in supporting this. I was interested in science at a young age and I am thankful my parents and educators fostered that spark and allowed me to pursue my desire to be in science. Too often, that spark fades and women feel they are inadequate or can't compete in a male-centered profession.

I highly encourage any woman thinking about pursuing science at a higher level of education to not only apply for this scholarship, but to continue to purse their passion and pave the way for future generations of women in STEM careers.
BlackBerry Scholars:

The BlackBerry® Scholars Program is a global four-year scholarship program for outstanding women entering their first year of undergraduate study at an accredited college or university. The Program is designed to help increase the number of women studying and influencing the future of mobile computing, including Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, and particularly those with an interest and/or aptitude in the mobile computing space.

Women who will be entering their first year of study in the 2013-2014 academic year and are interested in this scholarship may apply for the Program by 5pm EST on the June 26th, 2013 application deadline.

And Sometimes You Need More LinkedIn Links...

Since I am not an "expert" in the field of LinkedIn, I felt it was necessary to follow-up my last post with some other articles about how to manage your LinkedIn profile as a new grad. LinkedIn can be a scary thing to dive into and I know for myself, I always find it helpful to have more resources available!

Where to start - at LinkedIn University! Links to presentations, notes and slides on how to get started.

From the LinkedIn Blog: "Three Ways Recent Grads Can Leverage LinkedIn for Long-Term Success"

The Undercover Recruiter talks about how College students can use LinkedIn

And after you've made that connection on LinkedIn: How do you keep in touch with someone when you don't really have news to share?

If you've made your LinkedIn profile since my last post, let me know how it went! I've also recently added my blog to bloglovin' where you can follow me along with your favourite fashion/food blogs. I feel like the lone science blog there!


Tuesday, 4 June 2013

What to means to be a powerful woman...

Approaching and befriending women who I identify as smart and powerful (sometimes actively pursuing them, as with any other crush) has been a major revelation of my adult life. First, there’s the associative property of awesomeness: People know you by the company you keep. I like knowing that my friends are so professionally supportive that when they get a promotion, it’s like a boost for my résumé, too, because we share a network and don’t compete for contacts. Also, it’s just plain tough out there — for all the aforementioned reasons about the economy and the dating scene and body-image pressures. I want the strongest, happiest, smartest women in my corner, pushing me to negotiate for more money, telling me to drop men who make me feel bad about myself, and responding to my outfit selfies from a place of love and stylishness, not competition and body-snarking.

-Excerpt from Shine Theory: Why Powerful Women Make Great Friends from

This quote is tacked to my wall and will serve as some inspiration for what I want in life. Do not be afraid to be powerful ladies!

Monday, 3 June 2013

LinkedIn: The Hows and Whys

Being the social media ~*Queen*~ I am, I jumped on the LinkedIn train right from the start. I saw the potential in it to be a great networking tool for new grads as well as current professionals to connect and collaborate.

I've had a few people ask me - Why should I sign up? It's just another social media fad!

Answer: Even if it does turn out to be a fad (unlikely), it will take you maybe 30 minutes to create a great profile you can use to network and explore. Another benefit is if you have a recognizable name you can have help "control" what is found about you. Creating a LinkedIn profile will push that link to the top when you are searched so they will see your professional profile instead of possible other less desirable links.

Here are some tips for creating your own LinkedIn Profile:

1. Pick a Recognizable Tag Line

This is a key to what people will see if they search your name. Pick something that you want associated with your name right now. If you're a student in clinical - mention that. If you're working in a doctor's office - mention that. Whatever you choose, make sure it's something that will draw people to your profile. I am currently (only for a few more months) the President of our Student Society, so I mentioned that.


2. A Clear Photo!

Do not use photos of you at a bar, club, playing soccer (unless you are looking to be recruited for a soccer team?) etc. Pick something clear and professional that shows your face. It does not have to be perfect or professionally taken but try to pick something that you like. and wouldn't mind someone seeing. People like to see that this text profile/resume belongs to a real person! (you can see my photo I use in the above point).

3. Select Carefully

You don't have to put every.single.job. that you've ever worked on your LinkedIn. Select the important ones or ones you found valuable. It's just like creating a resume - you don't want it so long that people have to put aside an afternoon to read it. I selected jobs I worked at for a long period of time (at least 1 year) or where I had significant responsibility that would carry over to another position.

4. Brag

What's nice about LinkedIn is you have the opportunity to brag about your qualifications more as well as explain things more in-depth than you would on a resume. Take the space to highlight your experiences in school or at your job and how that would carry forward. You won an award? Talk about how special you are for winning it! You did some amazing volunteering? Talk about what you did to improve that after school program/workflow/project.

5. Create a Custom URL

You can edit the long number/letter URL you receive when you first start your profile to make it a short custom one you can attach to emails, business cards or tweet. Click edit on your profile page and a tiny blue edit should show up next to your current URL:

Screen Shot 2013-06-03 at 9.19.18 PM

Click this button and you should be brought to what your public page looks like. If you scroll down on the right hand side there will be a "Your Public Profile URL" banner where you can edit your URL To something more customized. Use something like "FIRSTNAME.LASTNAME" or "INITIALFULLLASTNAME". Do not use "Sugarbabyx0123" or "scienceluverxxx"....

6. Keep Your Profile Updated

Spend a few minutes every week to check in your profile, see who has visited and tweak anything you might have noticed while browsing other profiles. I got a lot of my inspiration looking at other LinkedIn user's profiles so I recommend connecting with users and seeing how they have their info laid out!

7. Connect to relevent Groups

There are tons of groups for every profession on the planet. Find some relevant to your selected profession and connect. They often have job postings, news on the field, free conferences or scholarships you can be a part of. If you're looking for some for Med Lab Science I would recommend checking out: MLO - Medical Laboratory Observer, ASCP - American Society for Clinical Pathology and American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science.

You can also connect with companies directly such as Gamma-Dynacare, St.Michael's Hospital, Alpha Labs etc. Just search them and select "Follow".

Hope these tips help you out and feel free to send me an email at if you want to connect on LinkedIn!