Time for an update on the job situation,,,
I had the 1st France interview the other day, which went ok I think. It's hard to tell really, and compared with how some people's interviews sounded like they went, I guess I got off lightly. It was with the UK HR boss, the France HR boss, and the France R&D boss, so some scary people there. And Nigel (UK HR) is a COMPLETE ARSE so that didn't make things any easier. It sounded like he'd decided he didn't like certain people and did his best to sabotage their interviews by making inappropriate comments and questions. He said one or two things to me that I didn't like, but as I said, they were nothing compared to what he'd said to some other people.
Well I actually wrote the above paragraph about a week and a half ago (livejournal saves drafts apparently), and since then I've had another 'follow-up' meeting with Nigel and Terry which went.. really well! The basic point of it was to talk about the possibility of me doing a part time PhD, which we'd mentioned in the 1st interview. Basically my two options at the moment are to work in France with Servier, or to do a PhD. I said this to them, hinting that the phd would be very important for my future progression and ambitions etc... and Patrick seemed keen enough to keep me that they're going to let me do one while I work at Servier - which is cool because not only do I get paid a proper employee (rather than a poor student)'s salary, but it's also going to be relevant to my job, rather than a random obscure thing, and I get to keep the career progression going, rather than having to start again at a company once I finish 3 years of Phd.
And the meeting on wednesday was basically terry and nigel saying that this is definitely a likely possibility, and not only that, but they were really trying to persuade me to stay, saying that the french people were really impressed with me after the interview and that basically, things could pan out exactly as I want them to in the future!
Sooo! This is another one of those moments in life where something bad (redundancy) could turn into an even better opportunity -
1. Getting a phd - that wouldn't have happened here
2. Career progression prospects looking good - they've said I seem good for management and project leader stuff in the future
3. Living and working in a foreign country - really cool experience, exciting, looks good on the CV, prospect of being bilingual and speaking a foreign language all the time will be really good!
4. Closer working with the modelling group - it was always difficult having to do stuff via email, now they'll be right there
5. Better salary - even more than I'm on already, PLUS the relocation package meaning I live in france RENT-FREE for the 1st year, so my salary is ALL MINE!!! and they pay for me to ship my stuff over there, pay for an agency to help set me up with everything I need to know, french lessons etc, and also cheaper cost of living
6. Really good amount of holidays!! (after the 1st year anyway, and still not bad for the 1st year)
7. I know some people there already, and quite a few people from here should be going too so I won't be a loner
There are actually probably more plusses, but I can't think of them right now. It just seems cool that they actually seem to want me as well, saying nice things, rather than just being like "well here's a job if you want it, or not, either way".
I have the 2nd interview next week, which is in Orleans, so we get to go there for 2 days and see what it's like (tho I already know, having been there last year), and find out more about the job etc. Woopy woopy.