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Snappy Days – Adele’s Moo cards

If you’ve been following our blog you’ll know the story behind the photos on our business cards so I won’t repeat it – here are mine:


I live a minute’s walk away from Richmond Park, and when it snowed this year it was the busiest I’ve ever seen it. Loads of people had obviously bunked off work to enjoy it (not me I hasten to add) and everyone was ridiculously happy! It was as if everything was right with the world…at least until the snow started to melt anyway.


I met these orangutans in Borneo on my honeymoon. It was humbling to be so close to them and scary how similar they are to us.  Save the orangutans!


Marrakesh 2006. A party-party weekend with some of my favourite people in the world and we even found time to visit the souks.

Chihuly 1

I took this photo of an amazing glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly – ‘The Sun’ – when he exhibited at Kew Gardens in 2004. It’s one of my favourite pics because his art is genuinely awe-inspiring. This doesn’t show the scale of the piece – check it out here.


And finally, this is me aged three-ish. It pretty much sums up 70s interior design and the brown flowery wallpaper was soon to be replaced by woodchip painted in a delightful deep brown mud colour (I’m being kind calling it that). I look like I’ve got ear-muffs made of hair stuck on the side of my head.

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Mat’s Moo Cards Explained

So here at Ruder Finn UK we decided within the Corp/Tech team to personalise our business cards with photos and pics that mean something to us as individuals. Included were, favourite place, pet, best pic taken, pic of baby me,  and something funny. So far they have been well received with some people taking a long hard minute to decide which one they want, so I guess that’s positive.

Here are mine explained;

Favourite Place

Favourite Place - Queenstown

I went to Queenstown in 2003 during my gap year and had the best time ever. There is so much to do such as bungee jumping, paragliding, snowboarding etc and then there is the nightlife and parties which were all great. Plus the views aren’t too shabby either!


pet - george

This is George when he was a kitten. This little lad is a legend and enough said!

Best Picture taken


This is by the best picture I have taken. Again it was during my gap year of 2003 and the rocks near Krabi are some of the best in the world. If only the bloke to right wasn’t in it. But it reminds me of good times and a stunning place in Thailand.

Baby me


Me aged two-ish – Not much changed but I’m no longer blonde so does that mean I am having less fun?



Evil eye baby – Possibly the funniest thing ever

This baby loves to give people the evil eye look and then cracks up laughing afterwards. Cute and comical!

So there you have it a few shots that make up my life and things that make me laugh.

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Why I like to Moo

In the Ruder Finn UK Corporate and Technology division we love Moo cards and we’ve been blogging about the images we use on the back of ours. Next in line is me.

Portsmouth's magnificant Spinnaker Tower

This shot above is of the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth. Hugely controversial at the time – should public money be spent on more worthy causes? – and only open to the public in 2005, it has swiftly become a Portsmouth icon. Like many people I have mixed feelings about the town where I grew up and I guess if I loved it that much I wouldn’t have moved out at the first opportunity. But the Spinnaker Tower does give me a sense of pride about Pompey, with its incredible design and the breath-taking views it provides.

Me in 1978

Next up is the obligatory childhood shot. I chose this one because, well, I think I look cool – resplendent in 70s knitwear and rocking my grandad’s hat, quite a look. I particularly like this because I can see the similarities between me and both of my daughters, it is quite uncanny.


This next shot looks about as close to paradise as you can get and the reality was the same. This is Mauritius, one of the most relaxing and beautiful places I have ever been. Its also where I proposed to my wife so its a hugely significant place to me, as well being one of the best holidays I’ve ever had.

The ten pounds I've ever spent...

This final one is very topical, with England having just beaten Australia in the Lord’s test match. This is my ticket from the final day of the Oval test in 2005, aka the day England finally won the ashes. As a cricket fan during the 80s and 90s I watched England suffer defeat after defeat against Australia, so this win was all the sweeter for the long wait. And the ticket was cheap too – far and away the best tenner I have ever spent!

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Hannah Smith – a snapshot

At our team kick-off team meeting in January, we decided that the pictures on our new Moo cards should be personal to us rather than business focused to reflect the diversity of our team. We were given a pretty open remit, so we wanted to provide a few insights into the snaps that we chose.

A favourite place pic
In 2007, I was lucky enough to spend three months on secondment to our New York office. It was a truly amazing experience both for my career and personally. This was taken from the top of the Rockefeller Centre soon after I arrived. The big apple is definitely one of my favourite places in the world.

Fave place
Two home pics
Home for me is Southend-on-Sea in Essex. Nick, our Managing Director, doesn’t believe that these snaps are taken on the beach by my house but its true – they are! Now you know why the Eastenders crowd come to Southend for their summer holidays; long sweeping beaches (a few stones and a bit of seaweed never hurt anyone) and a beautiful sunset – all only an hour’s train journey from London. It works for me!
Southend by night

Southend by day

A kid pic
Loving my 80s retro reins and pink jump suit, which I’m sure my mum still has somewhere in the loft. Look at my sticking-out little ears.  I’m still growing into them.
Me as a boo

A pet pic
A rather sweet shot of my cat Amanda when she was a little kitten. Her brother Charles wouldn’t sit still for long enough to let me take a picture so he missed out. They are the most ridiculous and spoilt cats in the world.
A fav pic
I am not really known for my photography skills but have always loved this picture. It was taken a few years ago somewhere in Majorca in late March. This was one of the only times that it stopped raining during the week we were there. You can just about see the rain clouds threatening above. I’m a sucker for a sunset.
Fave pic
So that’s me. And that’s your lot. X

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How to successfully negotiate your business networking date

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

I’ve always admired the quote above from Abraham Lincoln and I’ve long been a critic of small talk, but a few weeks ago I was thrust into an environment where small talk, and lots of it, was the name of the game. Welcome to the world of networking.

Many shiver at the thought of networking, but I believe that the word itself is what sends a jolt of fear through people.

When you think about what networking actually is – essentially talking to another human being in hope of attaining a beneficial business relationship – it isn’t so scary after all. It could easily be the business equivalent of dating.

Lonely Hearts

This isn’t to say that networking is the easiest task in the world. Just as there are rules that govern the social activity of dating, there are a few things to remember when networking. Lessons from the pursuit of love can just as easily be translated to the world of finding a beneficial business contact.

Do not forget your business card

Although this seems to be an obvious tip, the number of people that told me that they had forgotten to take along their business cards means that this isn’t so uncommon.

Often used as a parting gift (for want of a better word), the business card is the perfect way to end an encounter with the person you’ve been chatting to.

Akin to a profile on a personal advert, the business card is a truncated version of the ‘professional you’, with your name, title and contact details. How else is the person meant to follow up with you in the future?

Don’t just talk about yourself

Often the pitfall of any social encounter is an individual that only talks about themselves. It’s annoying at best and quite rude at worst.

Would you want to be on the receiving end of a boaster that wouldn’t stop talking about they’re looking for? No. So remember to keep the encounter as a dialogue and not a Shakespearean monologue

Be yourself

You don’t have to be a completely different person in order to share your story. Instead of putting on a mask, be the best version of yourself. Just because networking is seen as an exercise in what you can get out of it doesn’t mean it has to be a fake affair.

Networking is essential in many walks of life and not just business. From the shrinking violets to the chatty and outgoing, making sure that you approach networking with a positive attitude will, more often than not, connect you with the right people.

Before you know it, networking will become a breeze and hopefully you’ll shoot straight into the upper strata of schmoozing.

What are your top tips for networking?

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Becky McMichael – a snapshot

When we decided to move our business cards to Moo (green) cards earlier this year, we decided rather than a company logo or a set of pictures we all had to adhere too, we’d choose 6 designs each that represented our lives so far.  From baby photos to pets, favourite shots to where we grew up, the team has all selected designs based around their own personal story. Here are mine:

Me aged about 8 and looking cheeky.


A view from the French Alps in Tignes, the place that reminds me of my husband and a place we both love.


Our cat. the first addition to the family, now aged 6 and the size of a small dog.


A Thai fertility shrine off Raileigh beach, where we spent our honeymoon in 2003.


My favourite view – a beach in Cornwall, near Godrevy lighthouse, at sunset.


On a day off, I walked to Loe Bar in Cornwall with my two year old and someone had carefully created a mini Stonehenge on the beach. It was about knee height on my daughter.

I love this shot.


A random collection of shots but explaining them in meetings is always fun!

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