Leveraging the Inside Knowledge and Skills from a CERN Experience

Nov 07, 2018

CERN Alumna: Olivia Delage
At CERN from: 2016 to 2017 as Fellow in Human Resources Department
Today: Junior Recruitment and Sourcing Specialist in a Digital Marketing Research Start-up

‘It seemed almost natural that I would find a Full Stack developer at CERN and thanks to the CERN Alumni Network we did!’ Olivia Delage, CERN Alumna and Junior Recruitment and Sourcing Specialist in a Geneva start-up dedicated to digital market research was thrilled to announce this recent, successful appointment from within the CERN Alumni pool! Thanks to experience gained as a Fellow in the Human Resources Talent Acquisition group, and having recruited software developers to work at CERN, Olivia was convinced that she would find the right profile for the position within the CERN Alumni Community.

Olivia holds her previous colleagues from CERN Human Resources in very high esteem and confirms that her previous experience at CERN has helped her significantly in her subsequent position; “I learnt from the best at CERN. Whilst some of procedures I encountered were specific to CERN, generally most of my experience is applicable in my current job.  At CERN, I met with line managers to understand the requirements of their positions; I was taught the recruitment principles and I gained real-life experience on structuring interviews and evaluating behavioural competencies.”

Olivia is now applying those skills she acquired at CERN to recruit for the Digital Marketing Research start-up for whom she now works. She continues to explain with enthusiasm, which types of profile are being sought, “the start-up is seeking analysts who can manage big data (the successful candidates will have to juggle five billion entries per day) and extract the insights requested by the start-up’s clients. I know that certain people at CERN already have these sought after skills, having carried out analysis on collisions data. We have also been looking to recruit software developers who can develop in-house analysis tools.”

What about the other side of the coin and those people currently seeking an opportunity out of academia, what are Olivia’s tips for preparing for that all important job interview? “Well, it sounds straight forward, but try to identify what experience is valuable for the job you are applying for; do you have that experience, and think about how you would highlight it? Also do not be afraid to put forward other relevant experiences you have gained.” She continues by adding that individuals at CERN often develop a wealth of soft skills, “thanks to the International profile of CERN, one works closely with other cultures and this fosters a certain tolerance and cultivates a collaborative approach to work which are considered by recruiters as valuable assets.” She adds, “Be sure you know the job description and you prepare some questions to show your interest, the interview will probably take you out of your comfort zone, but remember the interviewer is not there to ambush you!”

Olivia tells us she is delighted to have seen the birth of the CERN Alumni Network; “advertising our opportunities on alumni.cern give us access to a highly talented pool of individuals, plus, it’s the perfect ice-breaker and when both interviewer and interviewee have that in common!“


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