People - 14.08.2014 - 00:00
Like many other university graduates, Martin Meyer found his first employer in one of Switzerland's big centres, in Zurich. After he obtained his degree in business administration with a special focus on banking in 2005, Meyer joined PwC Zurich as a corporate tax consultant. "The banking centre of Zurich with its concentration of banking-specific know-how and its global orientation prompted me to leave St.Gallen after graduation," says Meyer about his motives. "In my fledgling career as a consultant, I wanted to be as independent as possible in order to be able to react to future changes in a flexible manner. A daily commute from St.Gallen to Zurich did not strike me as very rewarding at the time." Meyer also thought that his career opportunities were better in Zurich and therefore trained as a tax expert there.
The move to St.Gallen
Martin Meyer remained faithful to his employer; he only changed cities. Two years ago, he was appointed Head of Tax Consultancy in PwC St.Gallen's Financial Services Division. He spent half of his working hours in St.Gallen, the other half in Zurich. "So I commuted from Zurich to St.Gallen," he says. Since his involvement in St.Gallen and also in Liechtenstein is long-term in nature, he opted for the golden mean between the Principality of Liechtenstein, St.Gallen and Zurich. Since this summer, he has lived in Wittenbach. "I have exclusively positive memories of the city and the region of St.Gallen from my university days. From my point of view, the city of St.Gallen is also more personal than Zurich, which greatly appeals to me," says Meyer. Privately, the move to the St.Gallen region had advantages, too, not least with regard to the proximity to his wife's relations – she grew up in South Tyrol. "And there is (still) no aircraft noise," he adds with a twinkle in his eye.
Commuting to Zurich
Meyer regards the appreciation and personal touch in Eastern Switzerland as a clear strong point of the region in comparison with a metropolis like Zurich. "Personal relationships are more important in St.Gallen; you have to work to gain business partners’ trust and take time. Owing to its international nature and the concomitant time differences, life in Zurich is faster and often also more hectic, which means there's less time for personal relationships." Meyer still works in Zurich two days a week. Thus his commuter’s life starts just after half past six in the train and ends at eight o'clock when he gets back home. In the train, it is usually quiet and he is able to do a certain amount of work, he says about commuting. "As a commuter, you do actually get time you can use if you don’t have to change trains several times."
Foreign languages are important
Meyer is happy to provide graduates who are interested in a job in Zurich with a few tips: owing to the city's internationality, you have to know foreign languages. A large part of his work is done in English, so English is a must. Also, you must be interested in other cultures and in internationality. Generally, a "fair amount of curiosity, a healthy thirst for knowledge and the readiness to be open to new things" are a great help.
ProOst 2014 – professionals meet career opportunities and quality of life in Eastern Switzerland
Martin Meyer has found his place of residence and his employment in Eastern Switzerland. This is exactly what the ProOst 2014 is all about. These events provide graduates of Fachhochschulen and universities who have completed their "apprentice and journeyman years" in Switzerland's big centres with an overview of jobs with Eastern Swiss employers. In addition, the Cantons of St.Gallen, Thurgau, Appenzell Ausserrhoden and Appenzell Innerrhoden highlight the quality of life in the region. ProOst 2014 will take place in the Congress Center Einstein on Friday, 15 August 2014.
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