Here I’m repeating myself from a previous blog post, but I think it’s good to put these specific info here again.
In each Swiss University, also in EPFL and ETHZ (and probably other institutes too), there is at least a Career Center for students. However, rumors are that often (but not always) such career centers are very good at helping bachelor and master students, but maybe not that experienced with PhD students, not mentioning postdocs… That being said, I think it is unacceptable that ECR* are forgotten from such university services.
ECR = Early Career Researchers (i.e. PhD students and postdocs)
Thankfully, in more and more Swiss uni and higher education institutes, there are now career services specific for ECR which are being developed. This can come as a “Graduate Campus” or sometimes it is postdocs who started organizing the help they needed through a postdoc association.
What can these Career Centers or ECR-specific Services offer you? Each one will have its own agenda, but in summary you should be able to find: free CV check, counseling, training for job interviews, access to career development workshops and other transferable skills workshops, and sometimes even coaching.
Have a look at what’s available in your city with the list below, and make sure to ask your colleagues about what else is out there for you.
Disclaimer: I don’t guarantee the list below to be complete.
GRACE Graduate Center for Doctoral Candidates and Postdocs
“GRACE offers services and information, supports networking and interdisciplinary training formats and prepares doctoral candidates and postdocs for future challenges inside and outside academia.”
A beautiful website with lots of information and with subsections specific for PhD students, for postdocs, for supervisors, and they also have a program to support women careers.
Career Service Center including for PhD students
“We offer our Bachelor, Master and PhD students, as well as recent graduates, various services and support them in getting started in the working world. Our services include workshops, counseling sessions, MEET&CONNECT events and much more. All of this is designed to provide students with extra information or guidance on topics revolving around job applications, career planning and career opportunities.”
Career Service for PhD students
“Do you already want to actively prepare for you professional career while studying or preparing your PhD? We support students and doctoral students at the University of Bern in their transition from studies to professional life. Learn more about current courses, find out all you need to know about applications and your career start, discover opportunities to make contact with attractive employers and find job vacancies.”
COMET Career Program for Women Postdocs
Here their website. “Coaching, Mentoring, Training for female researchers”
“The University of Bern’s career programme is part of the strategy for 2021 of the University of Bern. It complements the university’s already existing mentoring programmes and is aimed specifically at female postdoctoral researchers of all faculties.”
Here the website of the Career Center including for PhD students, at the University of Fribourg.
Unfortunately (as of September 2019) the website works only in French and in German…
They can help with CV and cover letter writing, to elaborate a career project, to prepare for job interviews, they also organize workshops.
“Les Career Services soutiennent les étudiant-e-s et doctorant-e-s dans le passage des études à la vie active en dehors de l’Université. Le terme « carrière » revêt pour nous une connotation neutre. Nos coachings individuels, ateliers et événements en réseau mettent tous l’accent sur l’épanouissement professionnel individuel.”
Career Center DIFE
APDU - Post-Doc Association
“We are a group of motivated PostDocs from the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Geneva. The goal of our newly-formed association is to strengthen social and scientific ties between us, here at UNIGE, and to promote career development for postdocs by organising a mentoring program, academic meetings and career forums. We are open to all Faculties and Disciplines at the University of Geneva. Join us!”
UNIL Graduate Campus - for PhDs and postdocs
“The University of Lausanne offers a number of workshops designed for doctoral candidates and postdocs of all faculties.”
“The Graduate Campus provides career guidance and counseling, whatever the path chosen.”
UNIL Orientation and Career Service (SOC)
Here their website, which seems to be only in French.
They offer services like “coaching emploi,” individual coaching, and “bilan de compétences.”
EPFL Career Center
“We regularly schedule workshops and seminars on topics such as CV writing, job interview preparation, LinkedIn, assessment centers, salary negotiation, networking, etc.”
Here the website of the Graduate Academy of the University of Lucerne. As of September 2019, this Graduate Academy seems in its early stage of development and it promises to be a great service for ECR in this uni, so nice to see such project being developed!
“The Graduate Academy is open to all (post-) doctoral students at the University of Lucerne and is currently being built up as a contact point for our University’s junior researchers.”
“Offers by the Graduate Academy, such as the Generic Skills course program, provide an additional framework for training and support (post-) doctoral students on their way to a future career – be it in academia or outside”
Here the website of the University of Neuchâtel Career Center which seems to be only in French but they do have a page for PhD students with a lot of useful resources both for academic and non-academic careers!
“Après l’obtention de votre doctorat, vous pouvez choisir de continuer votre carrière académique (postdoc ou expérience postdoctorale) ou en sortir, et chercher un travail dans l’économie privée ou publique ”
- St Gallen
Here the website of the Young Investigator Program of the University of St Gallen.
“We support young researchers to develop interdisciplinary competencies, to become familiar with the academic system, and to tackle questions and conflicts that may arise during qualification and career planning.”
UZH Graduate Campus - for PhD students and postdocs
“Graduate Campus is a one-stop source of information and activities for PhD candidates and postdoctoral researchers at the University of Zurich. A variety of courses and events provide opportunities to gain further qualifications, engage in research-relevant topics and exchange insights and ideas with peers.”
They have a counseling service, career planning guides, a drop-in service every Thursday to check your CV and application materials, and more.
ETHZ Career Centre and Recruiting
“We support students and doctoral students through various career services for the transition into the professional world.”
ETHZ Human Resources courses
Here they have courses on themes like leadership, project management for research, career, and health promotion.
I hope this helps to make visible the services which are here to help regarding your career questions. Don’t stay alone with your doubt, take the first step to your own journey and get in contact with these people :)
If you happen to have already left your university and if you are currently unemployed in Switzerland, here some words about the BNF program which could help you greatly in your job search.
Also checkout my previous blog post listing free online tools for self-assessing your skills, interests and values and all my #career posts!
Stay tune for my next blog posts, I’ll have more resources about careers for ECR in Switzerland! To receive it directly in your emails, sign-up below!