Anne Hett, German National, Living and Working in Scotland
Hallo! I’m Anne and I moved to Scotland from Germany to pursue a career in biotechnology. I now work at Roslin Cells where I’m involved in pioneering stem cell research.
After visiting a friend in Scotland, scientist Anne Hett wanted to move here permanently. In 2009 she found a research placement in Edinburgh and left her native Germany to begin her Scottish adventure.
Working in Scotland
I studied biotechnology in Hamburg and got my Masters in Berlin. In Germany you have to do lab work in another country and I was lucky enough to secure a placement in a lab in Edinburgh. I’d visited a friend here previously and always wanted to come back so I was really pleased.
I moved here in 2009 then got the opportunity to do my PhD at the University of Edinburgh.
At the time, one of my friends was living in Edinburgh so I was able to live with him for a while. After I finished my PhD, I decided that I wanted to leave academia and work in industry, so I found an entry level position at Glasgow-based BioOutsource where I worked for nine months.
When I knew that I wanted to stay in industry, I looked for jobs that were more appropriate for my background and found the ideal role at Roslin Cells who are based at the Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine, at the Edinburgh BioQuarter.
Working at Roslin Cells
We are a Cell Therapy Contract Manufacturer and stem cell company and we are currently producing clinical grade induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells and – as a molecular biologist and quality control analyst - my role is basically to check the quality of the cells that we make. It’s the first time that cells like this have been produced in this way so it’s very exciting.
I like that my work now has a more practical aspect. In academia there’s a lot of research and now I have been able to apply that knowledge and gain new skills. The company is also very supportive and my colleagues have been really welcoming.
Living in Scotland
Moving to Scotland has been a really positive experience for me. It’s quite similar to the culture in Germany and we are taught English from a young age so it was easy to move. I recently started doing Ju-Jitsu have also taken up sewing. There’s lots to do.
There are some things that I miss about Germany – mainly the bread – but now when I go back, I miss that the shops aren’t open on Sundays! I really like the shopping here.
The best thing about Scotland is the people. They are really friendly and outgoing, and make you feel very welcome.