Borghild Hillestad

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Like most people, I enjoy growing and developing my career. I love challenges, a high pace and people. Getting to do all that in the field I love – genetics – is great.

Borghild Hillestad

Benchmark Genetics Manager, Norway

Borghild Hillestad is Genetics Manager for Benchmark Genetics based in Bergen, Norway.

1. How long have you been with Benchmark?

Since Benchmark acquired SalmoBreed in December 2014.

2. What does a typical day look like?

Highly variable. I can do anything from planning and designing the strengths of our next generation salmon lines or families for our nucleus together with our team, to coordinating genotyping of DNA samples, organizing freezing of milt, working on one of our R&D projects or talking to our customers about our genetics work.

3. Where are you based?

Mostly in Bergen, Norway but sometimes at our additional office at Nofima in Ås (also in Norway). That way I also get to work close with our collaborative researchers.

4. Who do you work with?

I work with geneticists, researchers, broodstock producers, laboratory personnel, customers and of course my colleagues across Benchmark Genetics which covers salmon, tilapia and shrimp.

5. Best bit about your job?

All the exciting tasks and the interesting people I get to work with in such a fast growing industry, makes this job great!

6. Biggest challenge?

There are so many balls hanging in the air, and to catch them all at once can sometimes be challenging. Working with live fish is somewhat unpredictable, and it’s not always easy see the next bump in the road before you hit it.

7. What has been your most memorable event while working at Benchmark?

The work and results around our R&D project, SalmoResist, has been very interesting, and talking about it and getting to share it for the world during AquaNor was very fun.

8. Sum up your job in three words

Challenging, variable and fun.

9. If you could swap roles with anyone at Benchmark whom would it be and why…?

Like most people, I enjoy growing and developing my career. I love challenges, a high pace and people. Getting to do all that in the field I love – genetics – is great. One very interesting challenge to me would be to get more involved across Benchmark Genetics and get to work with more species.

10. Favourite life motto?

Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than one with all the facts.