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  • Elke Barbara Bachler, Austria
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On the Job 1990-2001

Me during my chemical engineering education, being in the lab, with very big protective glasses (18 years old)

As my ┬╗ Biognosis Toolbox still takes time to take off, I am looking for a new “work home”. Therefore, I’d like to describe my educational and occupational portfolio.

I’m going to split my years – so to say – starting in 1990.


Genetics Research (1990-1992)

I started out as a chemical engineer. My first job was in genetics research, as a technical assistent at the Medical University of Innsbruck. Main projects were lipoprotein(a) and cystic fibrosis (CF).

Did the operational analytical work to support the researchers, documented meticulously, talked to probands. As a side job, I transcribed/digitalised handwritten HIV patient interviews (anonymised).

Competence gain: Experimental test design, using methods like ELISA, PCR and western blotting, scientific photography, computer-aided analysis (PC and Mac).

Main reminisce: Working with blood samples of newborn babies and becoming extra careful doing so.


Inorganic Analytics & IT (1992-1995)

Wanting to go back to Styria for personal reasons, I started to work for a laboratory in Leoben. Main focus were tests for toxic and dangerous materials in working environments. I was deputy head of laboratory and IT, making my first experiences as supervisor (being 21+).

Competence gain: Quality control, creating work instructions, organising the in-house chemical waste management, lab design planning, maintaining IT operation systems (Sinix, OS/2, MS-DOS), sophisticated analytical instruments usage and maintenance.

Main reminisce: Working with and maintaining “my” ICP-MS (inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer). Back then a very rare and expensive trace analysis instrument. I even took a training trip to the manufacturer in the UK. Loved it. Got on everyone’s nerves, always talking about it, in our local pub ­čśÇ


Family Woman (1995-2001)

In my twens, my foremost life goal was having a family. I wanted to have at least two kids, a nice house with a garden of my own, and some pets. Eventually, life took another turn. But I was gifted a healthy, charming and intelligent daughter. And I was able to stay at home, for the first three years of her life, being a full-time family woman, followed by a part-time job in our village, as a bus travel assistent.

During this time, I was a tutor for kids from 7 to 17, worked voluntarily as a Red Cross paramedic assistent, and became a politician, in our local council.

Competence gain: How to prioritise correctly (and fast), thorough first responder training, how to do politics and campaigning, how to organise and moderate events, and how to do customer care. And as these were the days where the internet became mainstream – how to do webpages (self-educated).


 

Coming up: The next diary entry will be about the following decade, with webdesign and the study of innovation management.