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Ida (22) landed her dream job in Switzerland

Before completing her bachelor's degree in mechatronics at UiA, Ida Zarei Johansen received a two-year job offer at CERN in Geneva.

Ida i mekatronikk-verkstedet på UiA
UiA student Ida Zarei Johansen will be a mechanical engineering coordinator at CERN in Switzerland from 1 July - an organisation that focuses on research in particle physics.

“I have accepted, and I’m very much looking forward to it. I’m happy about getting through the selection process,” Ida Johansen says.

Johansen is a third-year student in mechatronics at the University of Agder and will hand in her bachelor's thesis in May. She is originally from Skjetten but moved south to study.

“I liked the idea of a smaller city and closer relationships with fellow students and teachers. On the campus in Grimstad, everyone receives feedback and support,” she says.

Mekatronikkstudenten leverer straks bacheloroppgave.

The mechatronics student is handing in her bachelor's thesis this month.

More opportunities in Switzerland

CERN is a European organisation that collaborates with countries, universities and organisations all over the world on research in the fields of elementary particle physics, nuclear physics and nuclear chemistry. The experiments at CERN are conducted 100 metres underground in a 27-kilometre tunnel.

The mechatronics student will become part of ORIGIN - a new career programme at CERN for recent graduates. The programme offers posts in several different fields, including for new graduates in engineering, computing, physics and chemistry. Johansen accepted the offer to be a mechanical engineering coordinator. The first workday is 1 July.

“In my department, we will be making mechanical parts for the particle accelerator. That will be exciting,” she says.

The dream workplace

Johnsen has been motivated to work at CERN for as long as she can remember. She has had an interest in the organisation ever since she saw the documentary film Particle Fever in 2013 as a 12-year-old. In 2018, she visited CERN with her secondary school physics class which fuelled her interest in research, physics and mathematics.

“I have always liked mathematics and problem solving, so this is right up my alley,” Johansen says.

Was recommended to apply

Johansen had the support of her course teachers throughout the process. She says that Associate Professor M. Ali Poursina showed her the job advert and recommended that she apply.

M. Ali Poursina er førsteamanuensis på institutt for ingeniørvitenskap på UiA

M. Ali Poursina is an associate professor in the Department of Engineering Sciences at UiA.

“I never thought I would get the job. But I’m very happy that Ali supported me and that I submitted an application,” she says.

The mechatronics student also had to submit a motivation letter and reference letter.

M. Ali Poursina wrote the reference letter for Johansen. There he highlights how quick and capable Ida is at taking on new challenges and learning new things.

“I have great faith in Ida. She is a quick learner and performs at a high level on assignments and exams. In addition, she is independent, responsible and trustworthy,” Poursina writes in his letter.

Johansen also worked as a student assistant for Poursina. She showed early on that she was good at mentoring fellow students.

“She is academically proficient but is also skilled in teaching others. She has been a good support as an assistant for both in-person and online teaching,” says Poursina.




• CERN is one of the world's largest research centres for fundamental particle physics.

• The organisation has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

• CERN collaborates with various countries, organisations and universities all over the world. Around 17,500 people from around the world are involved with CERN's research.

• In 2020, the University of Agder became the first university in Scandinavia to enter into a research collaboration with CERN's Compact Muon Solenoid research project (CMS).

• CMS uses the particle accelerator Large Hadron Collider (LHC) for scientific experiments. The LHC is a 27-kilometre tunnel that runs in a circle 100 metres underground.

Source: Storenorskeleksikon.no, UiA.no, home.cern