"I like that I work with so many diverse teams with all their challenges and that I can collaborate with so many different people on all different levels"
Hi Lieven, tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Lieven, I am 31 years old, from Belgium and I enjoy all different kind of sports, reading and going out for drinks and dinner with my friends (like every Belgium I consider myself a “bon vivant” as we say in French). I only arrived two months ago in Geneva so I am still discovering the area. First impression so far is really nice, Geneva is beautiful, I live close to the lake and have the Alps and Jura mountains as my backyard.
What is your background and what brought you to CERN?
I always envied people who always know what they want but for me, it has never been like that. My interests are just too broad and doing as much as I can gives me loads of energy. So I studied so many different things (architecture, psychology, criminology, ICT, Chinese…). In general you can say that I am eager to learn and so to find out what I really want, I explored.
The first time I heard about CERN was around 15 years ago when somebody told me about this unique place on earth where the world wide web was created. Over the years I heard several times about CERN in the news and I was always intrigued about this place. Then last year I heard that a friend of mine started working as an intellectual property specialist for the legal department at CERN. He told me that CERN was the best organisation he had ever worked for and that I definitely should check out the vacancies on their website.
So I followed his advice, went through the selection process and a few months ago I got the phone call that I could start at CERN! You can imagine that moving to Switzerland is not an easy decision but I just knew this is the place for me to continue my journey.
Even now it still feels a bit unreal to me. On several mornings I have walked on to CERN premises and looked at the mountains and this beautiful place, and wanted to pinch myself.
Can you tell us some more about your work at CERN?
I am involved in everything around professional staff recruitment. I collaborate specifically with the Engineering department (EN) and the Occupational Health and Safety and Environmental Protection department (what a name, right?). My job includes workforce planning, employer branding, candidate experience, sourcing and besides this I get to time to work on different projects.
The departments I work for are really interesting. Obviously safety is a big issue in an institution like CERN and Environmental Protection has always been important to me but it goes further than I could imagine. Thanks to EN I was already able to follow a robotics-workshops, a VR-workshop and I even went underground to visit ATLAS.
What are the challenges of your role?
I started not so long ago so I am still discovering the Organization. I like that I work with so many diverse teams with all their challenges and that I can collaborate with so many different people on all different levels. At the moment I am discovering so many new aspects about engineering and safety. Our accelerator complex is so unique that a lot of equipment and installations are custom-made right here. This makes things even more interesting. I believe I am in the best spot to get an overview of this complex organization.
What is your personal experience about CERN?
Other than the fact that everybody is really motivated, very interesting and working for the common goal, I find that CERN is also a really social place. There are many sports and activity clubs for personnel members and their families. I have only been here for two months and there has been a barbecue, a party, a boat trip, a wakeboard session and Friday night drinks. I heard from my colleagues that the summers or far more lively than winter but then we can go skiing in the mountains, right?
Are there any further comments you would like to add?
Recent events reminded me of the importance of life and what an impact we all have on the world. That is why I try to be the best me I can for each and every day. Every organization I ever worked for had something special, something meaningful to me and to the world. CERN’s mission is about probing the fundamental structure of the universe and about uniting people all over the world in the research of science and technology in the benefit for all. What more can one want? I always was a technology enthusiast and CERN is just the forefront of science. I am very excited that my values match CERN's and that I can take part.
Interested? check out our professional staff opportunities on https://careers.cern/professionals. Take part!
In the picture, Lieven and his colleagues from the Staff recruitment team of CERN's Talent Acquisition group (clockwise from left): Lieven, Anne (team leader), Rob, Muriel, Monica, Prathi, Elaine, Rocio, Maria & Virginie