"The diversity of jobs at CERN is much greater than I imagined": meet Katarzyna, RF engineer at CERN.

Added: 13th June 2019 by CERN

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I am surrounded by open, talented people who want to share their knowledge and make the workplace a fun place to be.

Hi Katarzyna, tell us a little about yourself and what brought you to CERN?

My name is Katarzyna, I’m 29 years old and an engineer from Poland. Honestly, I am still very surprised that I work at CERN, probably because I was always a very shy person, so moving abroad, away from my family, from my comfort zone for me was a very big deal! Fortunately, during my master studies in Poland, I got an opportunity to work at CERN during the Long Shutdown 1 as a Project Associate. This experience encouraged me to continue my adventure with CERN. I applied for a fellowship, and happily, I was chosen to work in the Radiofrequency group (RF) group of the Beams Department and have styed on as a staff member now.

Can you tell us some more about your work at CERN?

This is a very dynamic place and I certainly cannot complain about the routine of my tasks.

I started as a Junior Fellow in SC RF Technology cavity (SRF) section responsible for the construction and testing of Superconducting RF components and related infrastructure. I was involved in the testing of the bulk niobium cavities and improving the quench location system.
Currently, my main tasks have undergone minor changes and now I am responsible for the LHC cavities and cryomodules. I take care of their preparation for the physics run and I am also involved in testing new cavities.

I remember when I saw the RF system in the LHC machine for the first time, I was completely blown away so when a year later I was asked to be involved in the operation of the RF cavities, their planning and coordination I was a little scared, but I also considered it a great distinction.
My work here is often very demanding, in particular with constantly changing conditions. I am surrounded by open, talented people who want to share their knowledge and make the workplace a fun place to be.

What has working at CERN been like for you?

During my work at CERN, I learned that thanks to asking many questions and to the kindness of people around me we can meet any challenge. We must remember to be open to suggestions, advice and new ideas.

What are your key ‘take aways’ and what advice would you give potential applicants?

CERN is not only a place for physicists and the diversity of jobs needed here is much greater than I thought. You will have the opportunity to collaborate with the best scientists and engineers in a unique, multicultural place. You will see how people can work side by side, regardless of race, ethnicity and religion. While working here, I am expanding my knowledge of RF engineering, but I also broadening my interpersonal and communication skills.

So don’t hesitate! Fill out the application form as best as possible and take part!

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Tagged as: Careers Advice