This post is about the application and all the things, which happend before I was selected to write my master thesis at CERN.
When I was young I always wanted to be a scientist and when I saw that there is a possibility to write my master thesis as a technical student at CERN I thought: “Even if the chance is small, I should try it”, so i wrote my application and submitted it. I knew CERN long time before and even if I am not a physician, I always was interested in physics. After I saw that my selection was not that impossible, I was not sure anymore, if I should go ahead. I was already working as a part-time software engineer in a great company and had already a master thesis topic. In case I would be selected, my studies would take an additional semester and I would see my girlfriend only on weekends for one year. But in the end the chance to go to CERN is unique and so I did not have to think about it for long.
The application process takes some time. I submitted my application at the beginning of April and received my selection notification in at the beginning of June. In this time I was asked to get a reference letter from a professor at the university. My CV was pragmatic, I included only the important things, like work experience and certificates and the required things. I also was asked for a Skype interview and a coding exercise. The Skype interview was not that easy, because it was in English and some questions were related to basic knowledge from the beginning of my studies, long time ago. The coding challenge, in comparison, was quite easy. I think that the reason for my selection were mostly my practical work experience in relevant fields like data processing combined with good grades at the university and my electronics background.
After the selection we agreed upon the contract period and after one month I received my contract. In this time I started to find a room and ended up with a reservation at the CERN Hotel for the first week. There are a lot of things to manage the time before the contract starts and I found some useful stuff online, which i want to share: