Pacevarl Liyali

Swiss Quality Testing Services (SQTS)

Environmental Health Sciences, Namibia University of Science and Technology
August 01 to October 31, 2017

Im Moment nur in Englisch verfügbar.

My working experience

Working at Swiss Quality Testing Services (SQTS) for 3 month has been a productive journey for me, it was so unfortunate when my time came to an end. However, it is time to plant what I have harvested from SQTS back in my country(Namibia). I had the opportunity to work in three laboratories. For the first month, I worked in microbiology where I gained more practical experience in analysing different food samples from preparation to conformation test. In chemistry, I was amazed by the equipment they had in this laboratory. I did fat extraction, protein analysis, ash and water, polyphosphate, sodium chloride, Elisa test, volatile organic compound and lastly, the histamine which is common with sea fish. Before I began to work in molecular biology, I went for an animal welfare audit in France for two days. This was amazing as I could link the theoretical knowledge of carrying out an audit with the real work. I also had the privilege to work in molecular biology where I gained experience on DNA extraction with different extraction methods. For every extracted DNA I had to measure the OD and make the necessary dilution in small volume before the PCR test. This enhanced my pipetting skills. In my last week I visited the declaration department and the headquarters of SQTS in Dietikon with my workmates. During work hours my colleagues were always available and willing to teach me the daily task and join them for any new projects they were currently working on. Every day I learned something new. Indeed, I am grateful for the effort, trust and the time they spent with me.

My Swiss experience

As the leaves began to turn from green to yellow, I knew my time in Switzerland had come to an end. It was time to say goodbye to my lovely family. I could not ask for more or less because I had the perfect families; my host family was more similar to my African family in many ways, making it easier for me to blend in quickly. I was never left to be an outsider in their home and I never called my Swiss mother with her name but Mom, she used to call me her son, like her biological sons. I enjoyed each and every second, hour and week of my stay with them; always happy, caring, supportive and giving me something new to try (food) and taking me with them for shopping, visiting friends and family members. It was easy for them living with me as I was willing to try anything I haven’t done in my life.

With my workplace being far from my home and the passion of traveling, my mother organized a GA ticket which I used nearly every weekend and whenever I had free time to see the beautiful landscapes of Switzerland. I used to call this ticket a wind ticket because of no limit of traveling within Switzerland. And indeed, I moved with the wind, Ivisited 21 cantons and travelled to Austria, Italy, German and Liechtenstein. And with all this traveling, I never felt home sick because every weekend was a vacation to explore more and more. My biggest challenge I had was the transport system taking me to work, I was always worried of missing the next connection train if my train was late; missing the connection train always resulted in being late for an hour at work.

Thanks to SQTS for the practical and theoretical knowledge I acquired within this three months. Now I can say am ready for the industry. It was an eye opener for me to identify some of the problems we have in Namibia which can be solved through practical researches. It was really a one life opportunity to travel out of Africa for the first time and experience a different working environment and different cultures. My stay in Switzerland has really changed me a lot in so many ways, mostly professionally and my life style. I am a person who liked to try mostly everything which was of interest to me and because of this, I learnt a lot of things both at work and home. I am now a different person; and all this was possible because of B360. I would like to express my gratitude to B360 for the unforgettable, wonderful opportunity, to my host family for the care, support and accommodating me in their home and to SQTS for taking me as an intern to acquire more experience in my field of study.