7 Internship Trends and Opportunities in Switzerland

Posted on Mar 22, 2019 | 0 comments

7 Internship Trends and Opportunities in Switzerland

By Patricia Heemskerk, Expert Global Career Coach for Passport Career

If you are considering finding work and experiencing life in the Alps, Switzerland is a beautiful and culturally rich option.  Passport Career has 7 tips for getting a start on relocating to Switzerland.

Internships in Switzerland

When looking for an internship, Switzerland has numerous offerings in various industries. The banking industry is concentrated mainly in Zürich, whereas Basel is the main hub for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. NGOs and international institutions like the Red Cross, United Nations and World Trade Organization are prevalent in the Geneva area. Switzerland also hosts International sport organisations like FIFA and UEFA, and is well known for its Hospitality & Tourism sector with 5-star hotels present in many cities such as Gstaad, Saas Fee, Davos, Zermatt or St Moritz.


Trends in Internships


1. From Push to Pull Recruitment

As the economy is improving, the search for the best talent has begun, and companies are trying to connect with talented students while they are still in university. Leading companies have student recruiters on campuses to spot talent and organize in-house events to give students insight into their business. Many companies have found the best way to showcase their business to talented candidates is to offer an internship.


2. The Best Path to Permanent Employment

For students, internships are an excellent way to build a good resume. Without internships, it is more difficult to get a good job at a prestigious company in Switzerland. In the banking and consulting industries it is almost a must that you completed an internship in the field, in order to be considered a serious candidate.  

3. Internships Provide Significant Work Experience


In the past, there was always a risk that interns world be relegated to serving coffee or making copies. Today that rarely happens. Companies use interns as a meaningful part of their workforce and offer work that is attractive and challenging. As a consequence, recruitment processes for internships are done in a professional and a sophisticated manner. They may contain steps like telephone interviews, tests, assessments, case studies and face-to-face interviews. Come well prepared!


4. Talent Pool Building

Companies are increasingly building talent pools by assessing all potential new talent. We see more and more companies that stay connected with their best interns by building up intern alumni clubs and offering mentorships from their managers.  



5. Bridge Year or Summer Internship

There are different ways to plan internships during your studies. Many students plan a bridge year between their Bachelor’s and Master’s studies in which they do two internships. Others do 8- to 10- weeks of summer Internships. The latter is very attractive in Switzerland, as you don’t need a permit for a summer internship if it is less than two months. Summer internships are widely offered in investment banking and consulting.


6. Language and Permit Requirements

Speaking one of the local Swiss languages (German, French or Italian) is an advantage to obtain an internship, especially in smaller companies and in consulting. In international organizations, English will serve as well. If you are a foreigner and you want to obtain an internship for more than two months, you have to obtain official residence status and work permit.


7. Income

Internships are well paid in most sectors. Between 2000 and 4000 CHR a month is quite common in banking, consulting and industrial firms. In the non-profit sector, it is not unusual to work without payment in the belief that the experience and connection with the name of the organization is compensation enough.



  • Start your application early. Five to six months before the intended start date is common, but in some sectors, like for summer internships in banking or consulting, ten to twelve months in advance is normal.  
  • Apply in the Swiss application format (picture, maximum two-page resume and required attachments)
  • Expect high costs for housing


Additional Information on Internships Abroad

Passport Career offers country-by-country detailed resources and key strategies for those aspiring to land an internship abroad. After logging in, check out the Global Topics section called “Internships Abroad” to access a general overview as well as listing of additional resources. The Country and City Portfolios also offer location-specific strategies and extensive resources to help you search for internships.  Each of our Country and City Portfolios has a dedicated section on Internships in that country as well as other sections that are useful in applying for an internship. Additionally, the Passport Career Job and Internship Portal is a great way to search for internships in nearly 200 countries and territories.


Passport Career provides detailed career information and extensive resources as well as career training about networking, finding a job, internship, alternative career opportunities, job search using social media as well as information on writing CVs, cover letters and interviews. If your corporation, organization, embassy, university/college, library, or other institution would like access to our country portfolios (15,000+ pages of expert content for 80+ countries and 250+ cities) to share with your students, employees, spouses/partners, and others managing a national or international career transition, please click here to contact us (or send email to: global@passportcareer.com) regarding a free, live, online demo and details on how to obtain a license to access Passport Career. Individuals interested in subscribing may contact global@passportcareer.com for more information.

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