Dimitri Burkhard knows that spending a few years working in Zurich’s economic region is like winning the lottery. The head of the online magazine Newly Swissed explains why the region is as attractive for young IT professionals as it is for established managers.
"The mix of urban living and local charm in the Zurich economic region is most definitely unique," says Dimitri Burkhard. He knows what he's talking about: the marketing expert has been the editor-in-chief of Newly Swissed since 2010, an online magazine that offers international experts a digital home and point of contact for commonly asked questions.
According to Burkhard, the exciting thing about the region is that it appeals to very different groups: the classic expat who works abroad for his or her employer, as well as for internationals, in other words professionals, who are building a new life on their own. And in every phase of life, too.
Innovation is at home here
Although Dimitri Burkhard comes from the Zürcher Oberland, he spent a total of ten years living in the U.S. When he moved to Bubikon in the canton of Zurich with his partner, who grew up in Japan, it was obvious to him that the traditional image of Switzerland needed an update.
"Internationals of course find mountains, cheese and chocolate in Switzerland, but today there are also aspects such as innovation, green energy and robotics", says Burkhard. Many internationals in the Greater Zurich Area still come from IT or technology sectors in general - something which the region is well known for - but ultimately, many are surprised by the enormous range of successful companies in a variety of industries. The catchment area therefore offers attractive potential for developing your own career - or that of your partner.
Burkhard hears from many that the region's internationalism guarantees they will have few problems communicating in English. This is a huge advantage for newcomers who first have to learn Swiss German or German. And anyone who wants to form a startup here or work for one can start straightaway thanks to the many internationally oriented scenes. Last but not least, this internationalism also benefits expats, who may prefer to stick with English for what may prove to be a more or less short stay.
A region with charm
Dimitri Burkhard knows which factors are particularly important to international professionals in Switzerland: "It can also be highly appreciated just what form of security prevails here. This has a lot to do with the low crime rate, but also with a level of quality that isn't known in many other places. Clean water comes out of the tap, reliable public transport, well-defined organizational structures and countless leisure options in nature allow people to develop. Whether for families or singles - this quality of life catches on."
One thing has become clear to Burkhard in numerous discussions: "The advantages of an international hub with a flourishing economy and a major airport meet a very special local charm here - not least typically Swiss traditions such as alpine getaways." All this makes the region not only liveable but also likeable for international professionals of all colours and stripes.