Saturday, September 01, 2007

SellING Out

Are you familiar with the ING Bank? They have a high-interest online savings account. It's not as good as HSBC's or EmigrantDirect, but you wouldn't know it from all of the marketing ING does. Well, call me shallow, but I fell for one of their gimmicks. Last month, they ran a promotion called "Adventures on the Road to Happiness," and I decided to enter. Sure, there were probably thousands of entries, but I am guessing none are as nerdy as mine. One $10K prize and 25 $1K prizes will be given out, so I figured as long as I had fun with it, there's nothing to loose. Boy did I have fun with this one! To enter, you needed a 250 word entry about why you save money, and a photograph representing that goal. Your representation had to include the color orange. Here is my essay:

As an MD/PhD student, I am training for a career in which I convert scientific discoveries into solutions for better health care. It’s not enough for me to toil away in a laboratory. My dream is to found a non-profit organization that connects universities and technology companies to the public using innovative mechanisms that go beyond science journalism, museum exhibits and corporate lobbying. I want to translate scientific knowledge and medical care into accessible ideas that society can use to solve problems of energy use, hunger and disease. To do this, I will expand on the techniques of a student group I started and have led for the past three years called the Forum on Science Ethics and Policy (see I see the potential for nationwide impact of interactive techniques we use in Seattle, including informal science conversations in coffee shops. My experience suggests I will need about $10,000 in personal seed money to build an infrastructure to initiate partnerships and raise additional support. Why personal money? Science outreach is my passion. My plan is to save using INGDirect’s high-interest savings account over the next 5 years while I finish medical residency. My salary will increase as I progress in my training, so I will be able to save more per month. Along the way, I may use some of the money saved to that point to pursue appropriate educational and networking opportunities. Eventually, I hope to work half-time as a physician and full-time as a citizen scientist.
And here is my photo:

Those who know me from my days at Pitt are not surprised about the painted head. Yes, I was one of those fans...

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