Swiss State Secretariat for Migration (SEM)
I am currently holding a part-time position as a recorder and secretary at the
Swiss State Secretariat for Migration (SEM), assisting with Asylum hearings on a weekly basis.
This engagement exposes me to a broad range of cultural backgrounds, varying lingo, legal questions and descriptions of current political climates in different countries. Despite the hearings usually being attended by a professional translator, my tasks include being able to keep track of terms and names in foreign languages and accurately capturing not only the verbal but also nonverbal aspects of each interview.
The rapid task switching, interconnected thinking as well as sharp observational skills that are required for my work at SEM have transferred well to conducting research and work of any other kind.
I have already previously worked for the SEM, completing a year-long internship as part of obtaining my vocational high school diploma (Berufsmatura).
During my time in the administration office of one of the Asylum departments, I replied to enquiries of courts and other authorities regarding asylum procedures,
drafted and composed written orders, took care of the pagination and organisation of documents and conducted the triage of the written mail of the head of section. These responsibilities led to the strenghtening of my organisational and writing skills as well as a basic understanding of immigration law and international law.
During my time in civilian service between October 2016 and January 2018, I assisted three institutions: The
State Archive of Bern, the Special Education School of the Thun District (HPS Region Thun) and the
Day Care Center (Kindertagesstätte) Laenggasse Bern.
State Archive of Bern
The State Archive of Bern
collects, registers and preserves the canton's archival heritage.
During my two months there, I not only received
unique insights into the history and culture of my home canton, but also assisted with the digitalization
of its heritage. Needless to say, digitalization of various data is of increasing importance, and
having taken part in the process as well as seeing how the government tackles this task has refined
my eye for detail and helped me develop knowledge of efficient (digital and physical) document structuration and preservation methods.
HPS Region Thun
The HPS Region Thun (website only available in German)
is a special education school that is focused on the care and education of children with special needs
between the ages of 4 and 18.
I served as a teaching assistant in a class of six children between the ages of 7 and 9, which included
teaching in both a class format (e.g. leading the "morning gathering" or "circle time") and one-on-one
format (e.g. helping the students with their math homework).
I was challenged to think out of the box in order to support the students' learning processes in
speaking, writing, reading, arithmetic, social interaction and their development of autonomy (e.g. going grocery shopping)
while always taking their own unique strenghts and weaknesses into account. Many of the lessons included working
with media and utilizing modern gadgets such as iPads to enhance learning, which sparked my interest in the potential that lies in
Besides the educational aspects,
the school also offered leisure-time activities such as trips, which I often supervised and helped organize.
My civilian service there spanned a total of seven months, which is equivalent to about
two thirds of a school year in Switzerland. I gained a massive amount of perspective on current challenges in education,
more awareness of the spectrum of individual fortes and weaknesses and obtained basic but crucial
pedagogical skills. During this time, I also started taking up an interest in learning and educational sciences,
which partly led me to my next and final deployment:
Kita Laenggasse Bern
The Kita Laenggasse (website only available in German) is a
day care center in the city of Bern. It encompasses five separate groups with children between
three months and seven years old.
I assisted the Kita as a "Springer", alternating between two of the groups ("red" and "green") on an
irregular basis. The green group consisted of toddlers between three months and two years old, and my
primary tasks were to help take care of their playtime (e.g. reading to them, help complete puzzles), sleeptime and mealtime.
The red group consisted of 12 kids between the ages of two and five. The majority of my time with them revolved around outside playtime, creative activities (e.g. tinkering, drawing, baking), excursions (e.g. to museums or the woods) and accompanying a few of them to kindergarten.
My time at the Kita Laenggasse was in stark contrast to my previous deployment at the HPS Region Thun: I
experienced the habits and quirks of young kids that go through development in a (mostly) regular manner.
Once more I added new approaches to supporting and interacting with children to my repertoire, this time with a greater focus on non-educational aspects.
Fascinated with the individual differences in child development and kids' various unique ways of learning, I went on to take the entrance examination for Applied Psychology studies at the ZHAW in January 2018.
Between May 2018 and January 2021, I alternated between full- and part-time work in two supermarkets, one located in Interlaken and the other in Zurich.
Interlaken is known to be a tourist hotspot, resulting in many customer interactions in French and English, providing me with a unique opportunity to
widen my language skills and vocabulary. Furthermore, efficient teamwork (e.g. in managing the assortment and customer lines) was absolutely essential in these stores as the run on them was enormous, especially during summer.
After having moved to Zurich for my studies in September 2018, my employment was moved to a supermarket in Zurich, where I continued working as a cashier and retail assistant.
My time in retail has made me aware of its vast potential for improvement, especially in terms of Human-Computer Interaction (i.e. at self-service checkout stations) –– many long lines were caused by customers
being confused with the computer's instructions due to design shortcomings or receiving error messages for no apparent reason. I have thereafter started taking an interest
in HCI theory and applications.
While being employed by the Coop Group, I also worked part-time at one of GameStop's branches in Schonbühl, Bern, between July and September 2018.
Despite my time there being cut short due to moving for my studies, I took up a range of responsibilities early on: Opening and closing the store, handling the daily cash accounting, providing customer service and redesigning the assortment once new products arrived.
With my passion for video games I very much enjoyed following up on the newest video game and console releases and effectively consulting customers on technical issues as well as
My horizon was broadened in terms of the latest developments in the game industry, and some of my younger
customers' fascination with games such as Microsoft Flight Simulator and Minecraft led me to discover the potential of video games in an