CERN makes you feel unique. It makes you feel valued.
Meet Anastasiia, junior fellow in CERN IT communications
Hi Anastasiia, tell us a little about yourself and what brought you to CERN?
Hey there! My name is Anastasiia. Coming originally from Ukraine, I moved to Austria right after finishing school, to study Mass Media and Communication Science at the University of Vienna. While doing my Bachelor’s Degree, I was constantly looking for internship opportunities in the communications field, and one day came across a call for students at CERN in the framework of the Administrative Student Programme. Going through the eligibility criteria and potential tasks, I immediately thought: “This is just me”. A less optimistic thought followed right after: “How can you ever get there? This is CERN we are talking about”. And so, despite my doubts as to whether to apply or not, I followed my brother’s advice (thank you, brother) and just “went for it”.
A long and thorough preparation of the application began. Passing gradually through each stage of the selection process already felt like a milestone, and even if the time after the last interview seemed to have stopped, the D-day finally came: being in the airport, almost entering the flight and about to lose the connection, I got an e-mail about the positive outcome of my application! Can one even try to describe the feelings at that moment? I will only say that it was my Birthday, and yes: no better gift could have ever been thought of!
What do you do at CERN today?
In my first year at CERN, I had the privilege to work in a wonderful team of CERN openlab, supporting the communications office while collaborating with the world’s leading ICT companies like Google, Intel, Oracle and many more. Now, I am a junior fellow, working together with the CERN IT Department communications officer on various projects and activities. In particular, I am responsible for the communications around the CERN Quantum Technology Initiative (development and maintenance of the website, social media communications, preparation of newsletters, articles, press releases, reports etc.).
What is working at CERN like for you?
Working at CERN is a life-changing experience for me. It is an enormous knowledge and self-development boost. Not only did I grow in my initial field of interest and expertise, but also developed many skills in other fields, like web development, graphic design, science writing, project coordination (all my hidden passions, as it seems :)).
At CERN, you really get a chance to implement your ideas, share the experience gained before, but most importantly - learn from the high-profile experts and try out new things. All of this while contributing to the core mission of the Organization: joint research, fostering science and innovation.
CERN makes you feel unique. It makes you feel valued. Once here, you can be sure you will be surrounded by the most incredible, helpful, friendly and supportive people you have ever met. Coming from different parts of the world, they all share a great degree of respect for one another, which makes the daily work in an international environment a real enrichment.
What have been the main hurdles or challenges you encountered along the way?
The main fear I had before applying was the lack of a scientific background. I had a great interest in science and communication but was definitely not an expert in physics or engineering, for example. As it turned out, CERN is open to so many disciplines and fields of expertise. There are people with IT, HR, administrative, communications, management backgrounds needed, and this diversity is exactly what makes it so special to work at CERN. The doors are open to everyone. It is just about the courage to step through them.
What advice would you give potential applicants?
Never think that you are not good enough! Be passionate about what you are doing, build up your skills, grow in your knowledge. Accept the challenges and learn to overcome them. You will never know what you are capable of unless you try things that seem to be unrealistic or too ambitious at first sight. Good luck!!!