Stepping out of my comfort zone by moving here to work for CERN is without a doubt one of the best choices I have ever made: meet Jorgen

Few organisations come close to what CERN can offer in terms of both competence and technology

 

 Hi Jørgen, tell us a little about yourself and what brought you to CERN?
Hi, my name is Jørgen Andreas Mo, I am 20 years old, and I currently work as a TTE in the Beam Transfer Group’s controls team here at CERN. I was born and brought up in a small valley in western Norway, and at the age of fifteen, I moved from home to start a special high school programme directed at young people with ambitions of becoming engineers. In this programme, the theoretical studies were heavily intertwined with practical work in industry, so despite the fact that I am still quite young, I have already acquired quite a bit of hands-on experience within my field.
During my last year in high school, my physics and mathematics teachers arranged an outing to Geneva, giving us the chance to see CERN and its immense infrastructure first-hand. Even though I was quite familiar with the extent of the laboratory upon my arrival, seeing it with my own eyes made a huge impact. Working as an electrician back in Norway was a great experience, and I truly learnt a lot there, but very few organisations come close to what CERN can offer in terms of both competence and technology, so when the possibility presented itself, it really was the right choice for me.
 
Can you tell us some more about your experience here?
Starting here at CERN was a big step up for me, both because of the complexity of the systems we work on, but also because the position I have here is quite different from what I did before. Arriving at CERN at the age of 20 with the expectation of working as an electrician, but being given the responsibility of planning and developing control systems for the world’s largest particle accelerator complex was quite overwhelming in the beginning. Nevertheless, I got used to the thought quite fast, and the fear of not being able to deliver what was expected of me gradually turned into the joy of knowing people put trust in my ability to do a good job. Being surrounded by highly competent colleagues who only wants to see me succeed has given me a huge motivation boost.
 
What has working at CERN been like for you so far?
The first couple of weeks were of course overwhelming and the learning curve was steep, but as I have become more and more integrated in my team, and have gotten increased control of my projects, the work just gets more and more interesting. It is often challenging, and I often have to analyse the problem deeply to find a good solution, but then again, I feel that I learn new things every day! Stepping out of my comfort zone by moving here to work for CERN is without a doubt one of the best choices I have ever made. Being able to work with highly skilled people on the edge of technology is truly a great experience.
The people who come to CERN are usually very good at what they do, and they more than often have a genuine interest in their field of work. However, even at CERN, people don't spend all their time working, and in addition to being a great arena for personal and professional evolution, CERN is also a unique place to get to know people with all kinds of cultural and academical backgrounds. With so many different people gathered in one organisation, you are bound to find people who share the same interests as you, and even though you have moved to the region quite recently, it is easy to get in touch with the people you share interests with.
 
 
You recently won the Norwegian Electricians Championship (Worldskills Norway). Can you tell us a little more about this competition and what it means for you?
It is true that I recently won Worldskills Norway in the field of Electrical Installations, and I have to admit that winning that gold medal was one of my proudest moments! Out of 120 participants, only six of us made it to the finals, and it truly was a close race from the beginning until the end. The other five candidates did a tremendous job as well, and I can’t imagine that there were many points separating us!
As I won the Norwegian finals, I have now qualified to Worldskills in Kazan, Russia in August 2019, and there, I will be competing against the best electricians in the world. I know I will have to put down a huge effort in order to prepare myself for this competition, and even though I might not get as much practical training as the other contestants because of my current position here at CERN, I hope that I will have an advantage when it comes to the programming. No matter how it turns out, I am sure that it will be a great experience!
 
What are your key ‘take aways’ and what advice would you give potential applicants?
Apply! I can of course only speak on behalf of the TTE programme, but in my opinion there is no better start to you professional career that a stay at CERN. You get to work in an international environment, learn new languages, meet interesting people and work on systems that very few people get the opportunity to work on. Nevertheless, it is crucial to have a genuine interest in the things you do, in order to make it here at CERN. If you have no ambitions of learning anything during your stay, you might as well apply for a “normal” job. However, if you want to learn more than you would in any other company, CERN is without a doubt the best place. If you show that you are interested and eager to obtain new knowledge, you will get the training and courses you want, as well as all the help you need from highly skilled colleagues. But again, it all depends on you! CERN will without a doubt help you grow, but it cannot do the job for you.
 

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