This is sort of a spin off post from the one on Monday about Updating your CV. While having a CV ready and available is great if you get asked for one, I find more often that people just need an easy way to remember how to contact you. Which is where business cards come in.
I know a lot of grad students have business cards. I don’t. But I wish I did. And I’ve been talking to my supervisor about them for a while. It turns out, that at my university, you can only put the university logo and information on cards that are for staff and faculty. So a grad student could technically get a card that says teaching assistant, but not one that says grad student. Which is really unfortunate, because I think a university should be wanting it’s grad students to be advertising that they’re from there.
So for me to get business cards, I’m going to need to design them myself. Or convince someone with more artistic talent to do so for me (which would be a better plan). And it’s really something I should get on. I usually start to think about them as I get ready to go to a conference, at which point it’s too late to get everything sorted out before I actually leave. And then I forget about them until the next conference.
I don’t actually have much information I want to put on the card. Pretty much my name, university and email. I’d probably add that I’m a PhD student. If you search my name, most of the links on the first page of google results point to me. Not the first one (which is someone else’s Facebook page) but the next three are me.
I know a lot of people don’t like business cards, because they get lost, they’re another thing to carry, they don’t provide any information about where/when you met the person and so on. And I don’t disagree with people on many of those points. But, there are people I’ve talked to at conferences, that later I’ve realized I’d really like to get in touch with them more but I can’t remember their name. If I had a (stack of) business cards, seeing the name written down might remind me of who I was thinking about. Also, a business card (depending on the design) can be a great place to jot a note about a person you just met, that will help you remember who they are (and why you want to keep in contact) when you look at the card later.
Does your university provide business cards? If not, have you made your own set? What information do you include?