End of the fellowship
After three exciting years, my tenure as a CERN fellow has come to the end. Since 2019 I had the privilege to work at CERN Theoretical Physics department.This was clearly an amazing opportunity both professionally and personally.
As a scientist, I was greatly motivated by working in the largest particle laboratory in the world. I was able to learn from my colleagues new techniques and broadened my expertise into new areas. For example, in my application I wrote that I plan to learn about high momentum physics in heavy-ion collisions. Up to then I worked mostly on low momentum thermalization and hydrodynamics. I am very proud of myself, that I indeed started working on new topics related to energy loss and jet physics. I learnt how to do perturbative QCD calculations, calculate PDF uncertainties and even wrote a paper on estimating missing higher order terms.
I have also enjoyed my social life while at CERN. I quickly became close friends with a number of my colleagues. Their friendship was very important during the long covid winter. I cherish the time spent together cooking, walking in the vineyards and, of course, hiking in the Alps. I grew up in a country with no mountains, so I am always astonished by the views I was witnessing during our numerous hikes. Mountains come with their own dangers and here again I was blessed to have loyal friends, who helped me in times of trouble.
Although my time at CERN was overall enjoyable, it is not to say that there were no difficult moments. The prestige of CERN fellowship puts a heavy mental toll on trying to live up to your own expectations. It also puts a high bar for the next career step. This caused me enormous stress and despair. Thanks again to my friends and colleagues, I was able to persevere.
Although my CERN fellowship has come to the end, I sincerely hope that my friendships will be long lasting. I, for certain, will try to come back to CERN as often as I can.