Minerva’s daughters: Per Aspera ad Astra 

Eliana Bido works as apprentice at the institute. 

April 27, 2023

Every year, our institute participates in the Girls’ Day. On that day, we host schoolgirls interested in STEM subjects. With the help of our scientists and technicians they get a taste of everyday life at the institute. The aim is to get girls interested in scientific professions. Some Girls’ Day participants later decide to become an apprentice at the Kohlenforschung, like Eliana Bido.

Eliana Bido started her training in September 2022 and is currently working in Prof. Claudia Weidenthaler's department of powder diffraction and surface spectroscopy. The 17-year-old will get to know other analytical department and research groups during her 3.5-year training.

What brought you here? Tell us about your way to the Kohlenforschung! 
Eliana Bido: When we talked about career paths at our school, it became clear to me that I wanted to start an apprenticeship right after middle school. School was not really my thing and, since I had always been interested in nature and the natural sciences, I inquired about professions in which I could use physics or chemistry – while working practically in a company. This is how I applied for the training at the MPI.

What do you like about your job? 
Eliana: The work in the analytical departments is very diverse. In the morning, I start my experiments. If something does not go according to plan, we discuss how to proceed, so it is never boring. I like to work in the lab, but I also like the institute classes and the teaching lab. It is a lot of fun to synthesize molecules or perform analyses together with the other trainees every other Friday. We have a very nice training team that supports each other.

What are your professional goals? 
Eliana: First, of course, I would like to complete my training. However, I can well imagine becoming a technician after the apprenticeship. That would be important for me to be able to study afterwards. I am interested in physics and astrophysics. I would very much like to explore space and I watch many documentaries about it. At home, I have a telescope.

What was your most difficult step so far? 
Eliana: I am only 17 years old. I found the decision for my training direction a difficult and important step. At first, I was not sure whether I would make it. Now I am very happy with my decision. The institute classes are very helpful for me because I can build up my knowledge here. Compared to other older trainees, some of whom had possibly started studying, I bring less extensive knowledge from school. 

Who is your Role Model?
Eliana: All those young female researchers at the institute who manage to persistengly learn and push their studies are my role models. I admire them for their willpower, because I know that it is not easy. In my training, I often have to study on the weekend to get through the material.... 

What is your advice to young girls interested in a job in a scientific institution? 
Eliana: If you are interested in science, you should not be discouraged because it may look complicated from the outside. You get support and then it works out well. If you are determined, hardworking and patient, you have the best preconditions.

If you could make one wish: What would it be? 
Eliana: First of all, I want to get my driver's license, that's my very next goal. (laughs) However, of course, in the long term, I want to achieve my dream job and then be able to combine career and family. That would be awesome.

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