My name is Fiona Greene and I currently attend the Kantonsschule Stadelhofen. Being a year and a half away from Matura, at the close of my studies, it’s slowly getting to that time where I have to think about my future studies and career choices. For this, my school lets each student acquire a days’ worth of real-life experience in a chosen workplace. I have always wanted to have a profession which fulfills me, something that makes the world a better place— possibly being a force in helping to understand and advance our world. Physics always appealed to me, I picked it over chemistry in school, and because I know I would like to go to university, (and the one I most associate with the study of physics is ETH), I contacted ETH Zurich. A few emails later everything was set! The email exchange was so friendly and accommodating that I was even more excited for my job insight day. For my visit, I would have the pleasure of accompanying three PhD students, Rodrigo Rosa-Medina, Fabian Finger and Nicola Reiter.
When I arrived at the ETH Hönggerberg campus, I had no idea how to get to the building I was supposed to go to. Thankfully I quickly found the information office, where I got a map and directions to the building. I was welcomed by Rodrigo, who explained the basics of quantum optics to me, how their laboratory experiments work, and what they hope to achieve. Nicola then took me down to the laboratory, and showed me the equipment and how it is operated. After that Fabian gave me a demo of their data analysis process, and the computer programs they use. Finally, a tour of the Campus, which is huge, nearly a little village unto itself. It has a lot of restaurants, and its own shops. I needed a map to orient myself— it was that big! The buildings were impressive, especially when I discovered what happens inside them and what sort of equipment they contain.