Thursday, January 23, 2014

Leaps and bounds

When I was at Gregg's before Christmas I applied to a new career mentoring program for female PhD students at the university of Basel. It's called "Antelope" after the graceful but watch-out-she's-got-horns ungulates that are distinguished primarily in that they are "neither cattlesheepbuffalobison, nor goats," according to Wikipedia. Flattering! Wikipedia also notes, in regards to domesticity, that "Domestication...requires certain traits...that antelope do not typically display." That part might be a good description for most female PhD students.

But I digress. This week I heard that I've been selected for the program, which "helps female doctoral students systematically plan their careers [and] prepares participants for future leadership and management tasks, [and] is exclusive, concise and free of charge." Hurray for being a girl! As my brothers like to point out, a major side benefit to being a girl is free stuff. In this case, free advice, lunches, and a career mentor who is a senior executive at Novartis. I don't know who it is yet, but I hope it's someone sensible. 

This is all a big improvement over Tuesday, even considering the comparison to a goat.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

She knows there's no success like failure, and failure's no success at all

I had an interview today. Woke up grumpier than a wet hen--literally before I was out of bed I was fightin' mad at the world and a few men too-- which is no frame of mind for an interview. It got worse. I realized my best interview britches were too long for all my shoes...I was walking around on my cuffs and looked six years old. Hardly suitable for an interview! Also, the (only) problem with never wearing socks or nylons is it turned out I either didn't have any nylons, or they are stuffed in a dark corner of my attic...I think its the latter. This contributed to me looking six. So I went to the store to buy safety pins to pin up my pants, and nylons to look grown up, and I came out of the store with five pairs of nylons, two pairs of shoes, lunch and no safety pins. Safety pins are on the third floor. Shoes are on the second floor, right next to the you can imagine what happened. I was on the escalator, going up, thinking, "right, so I'll get the safety pins, then back down for stockings, and then--wait, Italian-made suede heels on sale?! That will save me the 4.- CHF in safety pins!" 
Are these shoes stunning or what? They didn't match my shirt at all, but I decided they were so fabulous no one would notice.

And I don't think they did. Turns out me and my peculiar american visa status are a heck of a challenge for HR in Switzerland. Even when they like me, and it seemed they did, the chances of a legal hire are slim...grr. So, I had m&ms for dinner. Also, I decided to go to Scotland with Valda in two weeks to see Laura my friend and Laura valda's sister, because if you can't get a job, you might as well go dance a jig in Glasgow with some Lauras.