Data Management Support Engineer
"Всяко дълго пътуване започва с една единствена стъпка, направи тази стъпка опитвайки."
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step and you can make that step trying."
I studied audio engineering and management at Rotterdam university in the Netherlands and I am now studying for an MBA with the open university. I initially wanted to become a music producer but as it’s such a tough sector to get into, I started working in the computing industry, In Hewlett Packard, first in a call centre and then with third line support teams.
My studies may seem unusual for CERN’s context, but in fact, audio engineering is a lot like computer science, everything is digitalised and it’s of a similar mindset and approach.
How did I come to work at CERN? Honestly, CERN to me was like NASA, you see it on TV, and you never imagine you can actually work there. One day I was doing research on the internet, I googled CERN out of interest and saw some jobs advertised and I thought ‘why not?’. I tried, persevered and here I am!
My job here is consultancy, training and user support for our engineering database management system, which we call EDMS for short. I am a liaison between developers and users, ensuring I understand users’ needs and translate them for developers to turn into reality.
After just over two years in the private sector, I would say the highlight of working at CERN is that you’re not working or delivering for profit or productivity. You’re encouraged to understand in-depth what you’re doing in its widest context, which motivates you to do it in the best way and you really feel your opinion counts and is valued.
The challenges, and it’s a positive challenge, is the sheer diversity of nationalities and cultures. Having worked in one country, coming here feels like working in many countries at the same time, it takes getting used to; with such diversity, you learn to communicate perfectly and get along with people from all over the place.
I love living here, everything is beautiful, Geneva in the summer is terrific with the lake, the parks, so much going on. Finding accommodation is a challenge, but there is help at hand. What’s worth noting is that you must manage your own expectations.
Working at CERN for me is a matter of pride. When I first got the offer to work here, I couldn’t believe it was real. Every day I feel good about myself and that is brilliant.
What would encourage people to think about working at CERN rather than anywhere else? That your opinion counts and is valued, and that you’re working at the borderline of knowledge. You can’t find better than that.
So my parting words are “try”. Don’t assume it’s impossible or that only nobel laureates work at CERN. You can too, just give it a try!