Graduate Trainee

"CERN is a place to thrive and use your talents in this versatile Organisation that will challenge you to the furthest extent."

One of the first things I did when I arrived at CERN was to rent a bike. One of the second things I did was to fall off that bike the first time I used it to cycle to work.

With the risk of harming the reputation of the Dutch, I will be honest with you: I did indeed fall off my bike the first week at CERN. Cut me some slack, we do not have any mountains in the Netherlands, I was going downhill and I was only braking with my front wheel. It was a good lesson, and far from the only obstacle that I overcame to be able to work for CERN.

Long before I actually got the chance to be part of CERN, I had already set my mind on going abroad to gain experience in an international organisation. After obtaining my Master’s degree in Occupational and Social Psychology, building up work experience, following French courses, and applying several times to various programs and positions at CERN, I got the opportunity to start as a VI in the HR department, last September. Now, I work as a data analyst, and I extract and analyse data that we store in our HR systems to make informed decisions on a plethora of subjects.

Although I just started at CERN, I have already had the chance to meet so many people and collaborate with a huge amount of different experts on a lot of different topics. I will try to avoid writing an exact copy of my motivation letter, but what motivated me to apply to CERN are the things that I enjoy most about being here.

The companies that I worked for before had only a monetary goal, a focus on profit. CERN is different; our success is determined by knowledge and development. Contributing to such a goal is a lot more fulfilling, than solely creating an economic revenue. Secondly, the incredible cultural diversity that we find inside the Organisation makes the work exciting and challenging. For those who work in physics, with machines or one of the many other technical fields in which we have opportunities, CERN seems to be an obvious amazing place to work at. But all these brilliant minds from all corners of the world, create a working environment that is just as exciting for someone like me in administration.

For those who are considering to apply and start their own CERN journey, I sincerely hope that we will be colleagues in the future. I have no doubt that each and every one of you has something amazing to contribute to CERN, be it in engineering, administration, electronics, mechanics or one of the many other fields in which we need people like you.

My advice to you would be to be confident in your own uniqueness. CERN is a place to thrive and use your talents in this versatile Organisation that will challenge you to the furthest extent. If you are confident that your unique qualities are ‘the’ thing we need here, don’t doubt for a second and reach out to us. It may be challenging, or maybe not even successful at first, but when you manage to take part, you are in a fantastic place of work and it’s a challenge of a lifetime. Trust me, it is worth falling off a couple of bikes for it.