Lynda - Executive assistant (British)

“I like the innovative aspect at the ESRF where I’m encouraged to take initiative and refine processes. I can make suggestions and I know I have the support of my team and hierarchy.”
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‘I help the Instrumentation Development Director to manage the budget and personnel for our division, for example I make sure staff take training courses to improve their career prospects and that they stay on track with their budget.  I’m sure I could do this job in many other companies, but I enjoy the research culture at the ESRF: here it is more about development and progress than producing results.

One of the advantages of being an executive assistant is that you get to interact with people on every level within the company. I love the fact that I can regularly switch languages and that I have to adapt to foreign accents. My manager is German, and I share an office with a French colleague: we are constantly changing language and comparing our different ways of doing things.

I hold a Bachelors in French and African studies. I came to Grenoble for the first time as part of the Erasmus programme and that’s when I met my husband and decided to stay.  At first, I worked hard at getting my French up to scratch. I did a lot of waitressing and teaching English, and I even set up my own translation service. I’d always wanted to work in an international environment, so I sent a spontaneous application to the ESRF. That was 9 years ago and here I am still – no regrets!

I feel privileged to work in such a beautiful setting. I cycle 13km across town every day to come to work, no matter what the weather. I know I’m lucky as I contemplate the mountains and breathe the fresh air every morning.’