Virginia Real Sesma, Spanish National, Living and Working in Scotland

Hola, my name is Virginia. I love Scotland because I learn something new every day about the culture and traditions.

Virginia Real Sesma - Charles River Laboratories

I hadn’t considered Scotland as a place to live and work. I found my dream job here and have since discovered I also love the place and its people just as much. It’s a place where my talents have been allowed to shine through.

Why work in Scotland?

After finishing my English studies in Bournemouth I was looking for my dream job. I didn’t have a specific place in mind, so when I found the role at Charles River Laboratories I didn’t hesitate to accept it and move north of the border.

I come from Spain and I find that Scotland provides a real contrast, which I love. It is a quiet, scenic place to live, where there is always something new to learn about the country and its people.

Working at Charles River Laboratories

Charles River Laboratories is a drug research and discovery company with facilities in the UK, US and across the world.

Being able to work on new therapies to treat diseases is a big part of why I joined the organisation. In my role as Senior Assistant Scientist, I feel like I’m helping people and making a difference to improving human health every day. The people I work with have made me feel very welcome and are now like a second family to me as mine are back home in Spain.

The company arranged my accommodation and did a great job showing me around the local area – that made me feel comfortable and happy about my decision to move to Scotland. Another nice touch was preparing a list of useful websites to help me settle into my new home country.

My job is a varied one and includes lab work, paperwork, liaising with customers and performing scientific analysis. I’m ambitious and feel confident that I can achieve my career goals with Charles River Laboratories in Scotland. I am over the moon working here.

I was only the second Spanish person hired by the company in Scotland and the first in the chemistry department. However, the number of Spaniards working at the Tranent facility has since grown to 25 across all areas, including immunology and pharmaceutical metabolism.

Living in Scotland

My social life is really great – I’ve immersed myself in the local culture and like to spend time with my Scottish friends as often as possible.

The countryside always looks stunning and I’ve enjoyed visiting Loch Ness in the Highlands and Glasgow, which are very different places that help to make Scotland such a diverse country, and a great place to be.

We have something similar to haggis back in Spain, so I’ve enjoyed tasting this famous Scottish dish.

I am very happy living and working in Scotland for Charles River Laboratories and would recommend Scotland to anyone looking for a new career opportunity.