"There is a collaborative spirit throughout, making it easy being a newcomer.": Meet Ebba, CERN Junior Fellow from Sweden

Motivation and passion about your field of expertise will take you far!

Meet Ebba, who works as a Junior Fellow in communications in CERN's Health, Safety and Environment Unit, HSE. We have fellowships (CERN's graduate programme) in a wide variety of disciplines, mostly engineering and technical and also some in the administrative domain. If you're inspired, find out more and apply now.

Hello Ebba, tell us a little about yourself and what brought you to CERN

My name is Ebba Jakobsson and I work as a junior communications fellow in CERN’s Occupational Health, Safety and Environmental Protection Unit, HSE. I am Swedish and I came to CERN in September 2019 as an administrative student. I have a bachelor’s degree in strategic communication from Lund University in south of Sweden. At CERN I’ve had the opportunity to further hone my interest and passion in communicating on complex matters. 

Before coming to CERN, I was mostly excited to spread my wings in an international and scientific setting, especially in the important field of sustainability communication. All I can say is that I have not been disappointed!

What do you do at CERN today?

After the administrative students programme, I started working as a junior fellow. I am still in the HSE Unit and I am continuing my journey within the same field. As a student, I was working on CERN’s first public environment report, covering the years 2017-2018. I was a part of a multidisciplinary team with experts on CERN and the environment, sustainability reporting, and communications. I got to take part in the writing, editing and proof-reading of the report, as well as building a website and working on other communications activities.

Today, I am working on the next environment report that will be released later this year (2021). I am also part of a newly established group within the HSE Unit where I will be working with general HSE communications, something that I really look forward to!

What is working at CERN like for you?

I love working at CERN. It’s a huge organisation, something that I hadn't fully grasped until I came on site. Despite the fact that CERN is such a big organisation, it feels very warm and caring. There is a collaborative spirit throughout, making it easy being a newcomer. I’ve had the opportunity to make some really good friends, both amongst colleagues and outside of work. My French has already improved a ton, which is definitely a plus.

What have been the main hurdles or challenges you encountered along the way?

It can be hard moving away from everything you know: friends, family, hobbies etc. Some days I miss it more than others, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when it’s hard to meet people.

A more work-related challenge has been to familiarise myself with the field of physics and the big scope of CERN’s activities. It’s an impossible task to know everything, but thanks to my kind colleagues and the vast media resources at hand I’m learning something new every week.

What advice would you give potential applicants?

I was doubting myself a lot when first applying for the administrative students programme. I didn’t think that there was a place for a social scientist like myself in the physics community. But thankfully, here I am, and I am very happy that I applied. CERN is a diverse workplace when it comes to professions, it’s not only physicists that work here. Motivation and passion about your field of expertise will take you far!

NB: the photograph below was taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic