How Dr. Evgeniya Vorobyeva chose her scientific direction

I went to the Moscow State University (MSU), Moscow, Russia, to the chemistry department. Five years of non-stop learning between the classroom, practicum, and lab work. I had a great thesis supervisor. She taught me how to ask the right questions and set up the right experiments to get the answers. She had an amazing ability to make a fine dining dish out of the mush of my results - she showed me how to structure information and create a logical presentation. She was not only my supervisor, she was my mentor at that moment. I shared with her my fears about relocation, and she encouraged and supported me. She also encouraged me to send my resume to several professors who run research groups where I could continue my research career as a graduate student.

By the middle of my fifth year I already had a clear idea of my relocation strategy: my CV and motivation letters were ready, I was practicing my English and German with my teachers - thanks to my dad for this opportunity.

Unfortunately, none of my letters got a positive answer: either my own funding was needed or my experience was not suitable. Most of my letters have not been answered at all. When I shared my failures with a senior colleague from the lab, he asked me about a professor from Zurich and if I had sent him an application. I looked - he was not on my list. I had somehow bypassed Switzerland when I was considering countries to move to. I remember very well the emotions of that moment - I will send a letter, one more one less, what difference does it make... But this professor from Zurich answered me in 20 minutes - and invited me for an interview: they had a job opening just on my scientific topic! My second interview ended with an invitation to graduate school, and I jumped to the ceiling - wow, that "one more one less" letter was decisive.

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