Discovering a data job in Switzerland


João Ramalho


January 21, 2024

Since we started the Powercoders Data Track back in early 2022 we’ve had close to 40 participants. All different people from diverse origins, genders, ages, beliefs and backgrounds but who had something in common: they all had to leave their country for security reasons and have found shelter in Switzerland.

Integrating in a foreign country is a long process but it can be accelerated by having a rewarding job where professional and personal skills are fully used. The Powercoders Bootcamp provides a strong support to those with potential and motivation to work in the local IT industry. The final step in the Bootcamp is then the Data Track which provides specific skills for those aiming a data related profession such as Business Analyst or Data Scientist.

For me as a Powercoders volunteer trainer one of the highest rewards comes when a participant achieves an import milestone such as getting hired for a permanent position. This is what has recently happened to Seyhmus Direk who now works at UBS in Zürich as Data Analyst.

I’ve asked Seyhmus what were the most important things he has done to be successful, here’s our discussion:

João: Hello Seyhmus, could you please share some details on your new full time job at UBS, the largest Swiss Bank, and how was the integration phase?
Seyhmus: I joined UBS Sales Analytics and Campaign Execution Team in August 2022. For me it was a big challenge and I was a bit worried about how I could do it, but just after a week I figured out that it is not a different environment than what I had in my previous career. After only two months my Manager told me that he was very happy to have me in his team and my teammates began to put pressure on him about offering me a permanent position!

João: I’m really glad to hear all that. So how has the Powercoders bootcamp made a difference in the process and what are now the most important skills for your job?
Seyhmus: For my Data Analyst position, it was key to go through the DataCamp courses in Python, SQL and Power BI. After that each company has some unique tools and the only way to learn and get familiar with these specific tools is when we start working there. A job in data is very large and comprises from very technical tasks such as writing a script or combining data from multiple sources, to other more abstract such as consolidating findings from large datasets and be able to tell a compelling story to an audience on non specialists.

João: During our Data Track, we spent a lot of time on technical matters but I know you also give a lot of importance to the social part of the job, could you please share your views on this?
Seyhmus: The soft skills like communication, collaboration, support teammates, share knowledge and be a good team player are critical. To be a reliable person is also very important and when mistakes happen to openly share with your teammates or line manager so that things can be corrected promptly. I always joined all the social events and had good time with all of them. It is the best way to know your colleagues and start a good communication with them. Then when our relationships are stronger we are in a better position to ask someone to double check our work and have a four-eye-check. That is a good way of avoiding mistakes and increasing the quality of the job.

João: One final question: Sprechen Sie Deutsch?
Seyhmus: Ja, natürlich! Genug, um mit meinen Kollegen zu Mittag zu essen. Learning a foreign language is a long and difficult journey and it took me a bit longer than Python! Nevertheless I found it important to fully integrate in Switzerland and after a couple of years my efforts are now starting to pay off.

João: Thanks Seyhmus, your experience is inspiring and it was a great pleasure to learn from you, all the best for the future in Switzerland.
Seyhmus: Thanks to Powercoders and yourself for the program and the life changing experience.

The Powercoders DataTrack is based on the DataCamp platform made available by DataCamp Donates. It provides high quality courses in all relevant technologies for Data Professionals such as Python, R, Julia, SQL, chatGPT, Power BI.