People and Culture

“There are great career opportunities at Zühlke!”

4 minutes to read

Zühlke offers its employees extensive personal-development opportunities. These range from further training and part-time study courses to experience abroad. Yacine Mekesser reports on this from Singapore.

My career at Zühlke has been quite focused and purposeful: I have been with the company for four years. I have worked in our Singapore facility since October 2019. For me, this is another important career step at Zühlke in addition to my Master's degree.

From software development to data science

I had an apprenticeship as a software developer in my pocket, a Bachelor's degree in computer science and initial work experience with an IT company in project management software before I became aware of Zühlke. At Zühlke I got to know different areas: I soon realised that I wanted to specialise in data science. More specifically, in machine learning. This had been the subject of my bachelor thesis. So I switched in-house from software development to the data science team.

Master's degree programme at Zühlke

After a year, I asked our skills developer Christian Moser about opportunities for a Master of Advanced Studies programme (MAS). The best part: this study course is designed for people with jobs. You carry on working, but you are free for the times when classes take place. Since the MAS costs considerably more than a normal degree course, Zühlke helped me financially. Zühlke financed the majority of the costs through a training fund.

International projects as a springboard to other countries

During my Master's programme, I was given the chance to go to Singapore for a project – the development of a consultation and advisory platform for a large private bank. Asia is an important market for the client. Our project group has grown rapidly since my arrival and has been divided into two teams, one of which I lead. Since my arrival in Singapore, I have been able to witness how the facility has grown. We have moved from a shared office space into our own office. The facility, which has been in existence for two years, has now grown to 70 people and is set to expand even further. We have employees from India, Malaysia, the Philippines, China, Germany, Poland and Slovakia, among other countries.

Support at all levels

The start of my new life in Singapore was an enormous change. On arriving here, I was fortunate to be helped by Zühlke in all the important areas, especially in finding an apartment but also with restaurant recommendations and other tips for settling in. We even got intercultural training to better understand Asian lifestyles and mindset in the context of history. I find it exciting that we can continue not only our professional training but also our cultural development. I have learned, for example, that in Asia personal feedback is preferred in one-on-one meetings rather than in larger meetings of colleagues. I have also found it interesting that Asian cultures are less likely to separate professional and personal lives. On the contrary: the quality of cooperation depends strongly on the personal relationship. Talking openly about family, hobbies or things like that makes everyday working life much easier.

Singapore in lockdown

I have been able to establish many close contacts, even though social life is limited due to the Corona virus. Singapore, too, is in lockdown! We took action here much earlier than in Europe. As early as January, there were disinfection stations and control organisations that checked for fever, although masks have only been compulsory since mid-April. But it is much more common to wear a mask here: people who have a cold protect themselves and others. It was the same before the Corona virus. That's why the mood here was still calm when the first deaths were already occurring in Switzerland.

Other professional opportunities

My expatriate contract with Swiss remuneration is valid for one year. After that I have several options: I could imagine continuing to work here. On the other hand, I still have to write my Master's thesis, for which I have two years left. I would also be interested in working at other Zühlke locations. Munich would be attractive. Or Belgrade. I have been there a few times and helped to set up project teams. I think it's great that at Zühlke I can combine my career with experience abroad.