“Working at CERN for me is being part of "something bigger" - a truly meaningful initiative": meet Iga, admin. student from Poland

CERN is full of challenges and also offers great learning opportunities!

Hello Iga! Tell us a little about yourself and what brought you to CERN.

Hi! My name is Iga Krautsztrung, I come from Lodz, Poland, and I recently joined CERN as an Administrative Student supporting the Engineering Department. I have a multidisciplinary academic background in Management and Production Engineering from Lodz University of Technology (Poland) as well as in International Business Administration from Excelia La Rochelle Business School (France). 
I am passionate about project management and I have always wanted to combine both my technical and business skills while working in an international environment, so being offered an Administrative Student position at CERN in the Engineering Department was a perfect fit!
At work, it is always the mission that matters the most to me. During my previous professional engagement, I worked on a project which aimed to improve the national security of Poland. Supporting CERN’s mission to push the understanding of science and transfer the knowledge to society was definitely my greatest motivation to apply for a position at CERN.

How would you describe your first few days at CERN, the welcome and integration?

I found the onboarding at CERN to be a very enjoyable and exciting experience. I was lucky enough to start my studentship on site (just before the safe mode was introduced again due to the COVID-19 situation) which means I had the great pleasure to meet my team in person and was able to get familiar with the “small city” that is the CERN Meyrin site 😊. Even though the Welcome Session on the first day was held online, multiple casual coffee chats were organized so that all the newcomers could better integrate. 
At CERN, everybody is very helpful and friendly, so I felt well taken care of!

What do you do at CERN today?

I am supporting the EN Department Administrative Office, which includes providing administrative support, as well as project management and coordination assistance. Currently, I am involved in documenting and optimizing the EN Department’s most important business processes and procedures. By creating descriptions and diagrams, we make the procedures more transparent and accessible to everybody, which ensures their better understanding and increases the Department’s overall performance. 
In my next project I will be responsible for the User Experience design and creation of the DAO website – thanks to my e-commerce background and my accomplished Drupal training (Drupal being the content management framework used at CERN), I am all set to go!

What is working at CERN like for you?

Working at CERN for me is being part of "something bigger" - a truly meaningful initiative. By contributing to CERN’s goal of discovering the fundamental structure of the universe, I can make an impact, which is exceptionally rewarding. I see every challenge I encounter as a possibility to learn something new and further develop my skills, as CERN is full of challenges and also offers great learning opportunities! Moreover, I find CERN’s environment highly inspiring as it embodies work beyond cultural boundaries towards the benefit of everyone.

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

Thanks to my colleagues being very supportive and open to share their knowledge with me, the process of getting familiar with my new responsibilities, with department-specific procedures or with upcoming projects was an exciting journey rather than a “rough road”. As I have started my internship at CERN during the coronavirus pandemic, what I am missing the most are all the social activities that have been temporarily suspended. I cannot wait to join multiple CERN clubs and fully integrate in CERN’s wonderful community, which I believe is one of the greatest and most unique aspects of the whole experience!

What advice would you give to potential applicants?

If you feel hesitant in applying for a position because you are not sure your skills as a person at the very beginning of professional career are sufficient to contribute to CERN’s mission, my advice is: go for it! If you are motivated, eager to learn and passionate about your field of expertise, at CERN you will find a perfect environment to grow professionally!

If you're inspired by Iga's story and would like to take part in CERN's student programmes, check them out on this link