Meet Ashley, technician at CERN

"It’s a great opportunity for your career but it also provides a very rewarding life experience." 


Technicians are an essential and vital part of CERN’s workforce to fulfil its mission to provide a unique range of particle accelerator facilities that enable research at the forefront of human knowledge, to perform world-class research in fundamental physics. Whether in electronics, electricity, mechanics, IT, vacuum, cooling and ventilation, safety, radioprotection, survey engineering, to name but a few, the Organization relies on this expertise and is constantly looking to hire new technicians from all Member and Associate Member States (link is external). The Technician Training Experience programme (TTE) (link is external) is aimed at technicians who are looking to get a first, great professional experience to further their career, or before they embark on advanced study programmes.

What could be a better boost for your career than a 2 year contract in a hi-tech Organization?

Meet Ashley, technician in the Beams Department at CERN to find out about how he found his way to the TTE programme.


Ashley, tell us about yourself and your first encounter with CERN.
I am a mechanical technician from the UK. During my apprenticeship with STFC I was given the opportunity to work for the ILL , ESRF and CERN. These were great opportunities for me because I was able to work with people from all over the world and compare work methods and cultures. At the end of my apprenticeship I knew that I wanted to continue pushing myself and gain valuable work experience. I was thrilled to hear about the Technician training Experience (TTE) scheme and the opportunity to work in an environment that challenges me and tests my existing knowledge and skills. I applied and got the post.


What are your personal experience, challenges and highlights of working at CERN?
One of the obvious challenges with working in an international environment like CERN is the language barrier. However, this is also one of the highlights for me as it is an opportunity to learn and use a new language on a daily basis. After completing an initial French course I have been undertaking language tandems in order to improve my level of French and help colleagues with their English. Clearly the technical challenges and facilities at CERN are a major highlight, and these keeps me challenged and constantly learning and growing. During my apprenticeship I spent a lot of time promoting STEM careers by attending job fairs and giving talks at local schools and universities in a bid to inspire future generations of apprentices and show them the rewards and benefits of this path. I was very proud to continue this work recently by representing CERN at New Scientist Live in London on the Technicians Making it Happen initiative stand, and speak to the public about the benefits of pursuing a technical career, as well as promoting the CERN Technician Training Experience programme.


What advice would you have for other candidates out there?
My advice to other candidates would be to keep an open mind and just go for it! You have to put yourself out there. It’s a great opportunity for your career but it also provides a very rewarding life experience. Inspired? Get your first work experience at CERN! Take part and apply now for your opportunity!

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