José Valdebenito Chávez

10th April 2019

José is a PhD student. He trained as a vet in Chile and now studies birds.

How does it feel to be studying here?

Oh, it’s really great. I have the window next to me so I can see outside. The space is very generous as well. Everything’s new and clean and the facilities are awesome. I think you feel more motivated and not so tired at the end of the day.

What’s your favourite feature of the building?

I like that it’s very bright inside. Scientists gain a lot of advantage from natural light. So I like the light and the big windows because I can look at the birds when they are flying around.

Oh cool, what birds do you see?

You can actually see the lake from here, so you see the birds on the ice. I think maybe the rarest bird I’ve seen is the Green Woodpecker. Sometimes you can see it like on the ground, just like Groundpecker. It’s quite exciting and sometimes seeing the birds generates questions like, “Oh wow, why is that behaviour going on?”

And do you feel you have a greater connection to colleagues here?

My supervisor’s office is right next to my office, which means I can hear when he’s in. So when I have a question, I can just go there. I think we are a little bit closer now. And I’m closer with the other Principal Investigators as well. They used to be further away, but now you always see them in the corridor and you just say hi and make conversation.

And what about socialising?

You definitely get more chances to socialise here because you have the common area joined to the kitchen, so when you’re making coffee in the morning you run into people.

Are there benefits to that?

Always. In the other building maybe I had come across something on the internet and I wanted to ask a certain question and then I forgot. But now I can see them all the time. You get more focused.

Can you sum up how you feel about the building?

Sometimes you can make an association with work – if the working environment is bad, you probably won’t be that keen on going to work, right? But in this case, everything is very nice. You just enjoy being in the building.