Tess Ames
9th April 2020

Ana Filipa joins ORBITAL | A New Start

Our Early Stage Researchers all have unique experiences that have led them to join the ORBITAL Project. Below, Ana Filipa discusses what brought her to this consortium, and what she hopes she can do with her time as an MSCA Researcher. 

“Last September, I moved to Santiago de Compostela to start my PhD in Drug Research and Development in the ORBITAL frame. Santiago de Compostela is a city in northwestern of Spain where about 200,000 pilgrims from all over the world arrive each year. It is amazing the number of pilgrims that you see on the streets every day, doesn’t matter if it is raining or a beautiful sunny day. Whenever I leave or return home, I always see a pilgrim smiling to have finally reached his goal, and for me it gives that extra confidence to push a little further to reach my goals.

A few years ago, I was also one of those pilgrims, and I never thought that one day I would be living in this amazing city moreover doing my PhD as an EU-funded MSCA-ITN fellow.

Sometimes when I am in the silence of my room trying to sleep, I start thinking about the twist my life has taken in recent times! It was a huge change! I left behind my family, my home, my comfortable bedroom, my incredible friends, my lab, everything… But sometimes we need to take risks to grow up and come back being much better. Doing my PhD abroad is helping me to expand my horizons, discover a new country, language and especially a new culture (it was hard at the beginning but now, I am accustomed to have lunch at 2:30 pm 😊). I have been exposed to new research environments and working methods as well as academics who have a different perspective. This is very important for my growth as a researcher and to develop my research network. The best part of being in a multidisciplinary laboratory is that you can meet researchers from all parts of the world and make new friends. Friends who will leave a little bit of themselves in your life, forever! I am really confident that doing this PhD in the ORBITAL frame will open many doors to my professional career and a whole range of opportunities. I strongly believe that this opportunity was the challenge that was missing in my life!!”

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