Former Women @CERN

Beatriz del Valle Grande

During her last year of high school, Bea went to Durham (England) to improve her English during the summer. That experience completely changed her aspirations, and with them, the course of her life. Bea, who was born in Plasencia and grew up between that “Perla del Valle del Jerte” in the north of Extremadura and Malpica del Tajo in Toledo, realized that she wanted to live abroad.

She kept this in mind, and in her heart, for many years. After high school, she moved to Madrid to study aerospace engineering at the Polytechnic University of Madrid, and during her last course, she did an Erasmus at TU Delft, in the Netherlands, the country where Beatriz’s internship mutated from a six-month chance to a five-year work experience. Her much-desired life abroad had begun.

After working at Moog Bradford and at Huisman Equipment, Bea arrived to CERN, but it was not linearly planned: together with her boyfriend, who is from Mexico, they wanted to try their luck in another country, France, but due to visa issues, they ended up in Switzerland. Bea got a fellowship in 2016, and she was a CERNie for three years, the person responsible for managing and executing a project that irradiated insulation materials at low temperature to characterize them to be used in superconducting magnets.

Her colleagues are what she misses most. Also her Friday zumba teacher, Rachel, and the people from the Women in Technology Mentoring Programme, where she met her mentor, who is now a close friend. Bea was always surrounded by good vibes. She was also going to a drama course at the Université Populaire of Geneva Canton, and she loved reading in the tram on her way there.

CERN gave her the opportunity to meet people from other countries, with very different cultures and ways of thinking, something that expands anyone’s. Besides a problem-solver, Bea is a cheerful and curious woman, always looking for new things, which is why she enjoyed her stay at CERN, a place that she thinks is unique for what is done in it, for the people who daily shape it.

Bea was clear that she wanted to continue in this region because she loves nature. So, after CERN, she started looking for a job around here, and it was in the middle of the Coronavirus lockdown that she got it: she works now as a quality engineer in a space company in Nyon, 35 km from Geneva, also bathed by the Lemán.

She does not want to know anything about the future. Life has shown her that no matter how much you dream, there are other trains that will pass in front of you. As John Lennon said, and his father always reminded her, “life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans”. Bea simply prefers to go with the flow.

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