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Showing posts from January, 2016

Off to School (Part 4): Apprenticeship

Imagine the following fictional conversation between a young Swiss and a young American. (S = Swiss, A = American)

S: What do you do for a living?
A: I'm a consultant in one of the larger banks here in Switzerland.
S: Interesting. How did you get this job?
A: Well, after finishing grad school I worked for an American bank for a while before applying for this position. I wanted to get some international experience, you know?!
S: Good for you!
A: What about you? Where do you work?
S: I'm an accountant. Small firm but interesting work.
A: Ok. So, you got your bachelors degree at a local university and then started working?
S: Not quite. Actually, I didn't go to university at all. I didn't even finished high school. Instead, I did an apprenticeship.
A: A what? And you didn't finish high school?
S: Indeed!

The concept of an apprenticeship is quite a foreign concept to people from a non-european background. In Switzerland (and Germany, Austria and other places) it is quite c…