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  #21  
Old 21.06.2015, 17:14
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Re: How old is too old? (Master at ETHZ)

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i don't think so, you might just wanna repeat your high school stuff. but are you gonna keep working while at ethz? that seems hard.
Well I definitely won't be staying at the office I work for now, because the minimum pensum is 30% and I can only work on working days.
I think I'll look for a job waiting tables, or selling tickets at the cinema. Something I can do on the weekend, or in the evening and not more than 20%.
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  #22  
Old 21.06.2015, 18:41
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Re: How old is too old? (Master at ETHZ)

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Hello

I was wondering if finishing a master at ETH Zurich at 28 years old will make it difficult to find an entry-level job.
I know it sounds silly, because 28 is obviously not old. But most my collegues (will) have their master somewhere between 24-26. The average age seems to be 26 at ETHZ.
As someone who is currently studying, I do notice the ongoing competition/rat-race and I feel the pressure to finally get my studies done with and start to work before it's too late.

Some background info: I did one year English at the University of Zurich, then broke it off, because I didn't like it. Then I started law. I am currenty in my third year and it will take one more year to get my bachelor (four years instead of three, because I work 30-40%). The thing is, I am very unhappy. I don't enjoy my studies and I seem to be more miserable each year. Plus, the law faculty of the university is plain awful (changing regulations each year with very short notice, no assistance, terrible exams compared to other universites and so on).

I do want to finish my bachelor because I'm so close already, but I was considering changing to the ETH to study biology. I will be 24 then and if I manage to finish my master within 4.5 years (the recommended period) I will be 28.5.

My friends I have told tell me to change to ETH, because working in a field one does not enjoy (law) for the next 40 years isn't really the greatest thing. But I have to be realistic about the future and I feel I've already dawdled too long.

Oh and language wise (if this makes any difference): My native languages are Swiss German and English, I also speak French (currently B1-B2) and a bit of Italian (currently A2).

I would be really grateful for some insight and your opinions. Thank you!
I've just skimmed through all if the replies, and the one question that remains to be asked/answered is why you seem to think that by switching institution and subject you are going to suddenly like the often tedious, somewhat theoretical (but occasionally exciting and rewarding) of another 3-4 years of university studies. It seems quite clear from the OP that something more than the subject alone puts you off.

I would also question your assumption that law has nothing to do with biology/immunology etc. Not just in pharma, but virtually any setting that considers patents (just to name one example) a knowledge of law and legal processes will be useful.

Could you consider taking some stand-alone courses in the scientific areas that interest you to create a stronger cv for jobs in eg patent law? I think you might be better off finishing your current degree and looking for a job, then reassessing what type education could be valuable and satisfying.
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  #23  
Old 21.06.2015, 19:22
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Re: How old is too old? (Master at ETHZ)

I don't know for sure but to me 28 and 26 are basically the same thing I wouldn't worry. I hope 28 is not too old because I'm 34 and haven't even decided on a bachelors yet!!! I think if you only have one year to go you might as well complete it now otherwise you've wasted 3 years x
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Old 21.06.2015, 20:04
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Re: How old is too old? (Master at ETHZ)

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I've just skimmed through all if the replies, and the one question that remains to be asked/answered is why you seem to think that by switching institution and subject you are going to suddenly like the often tedious, somewhat theoretical (but occasionally exciting and rewarding) of another 3-4 years of university studies. It seems quite clear from the OP that something more than the subject alone puts you off.
Thank you for your thoughtful answer.


I am not opposed to studying per se. That’s not what bothers me about studying law. I mean, you have to study for all subjects, right? I wouldn’t even mind studying really hard if I actually had some motivation.
That’s what’s missing right now - motivation. I know it sound childish, but to me, the whole matter is simply boring.


A typical day:
Professor: “Which requirements must be fulfilled to prove a case of a threat?”
Student: Lists 7 requirements


Professor: “Which requirements must be fulfilled to prove a case of murder?”
Student: Lists 5 requirements

Professor: “Which requirement must be fulfilled so a vendor can claim money the customer owes him?”
Student: Lists 10 requirements


Seriously that’s it. I don’t know whether there are people here on EF who have studied law in Switzerland (bases on Roman Law and not Common Law). But that is all there is to it. Learning one stupid theory after another. There is nothing innovative, nothing new, nothing to be discovered. Some professor has already covered it after all, just learn what he/she said.
I knew it would be a lot of learning off by heart, but not to this extent. In my first year I didn’t even notice much, except for criminal law, because we had lots of basic subjects (history of law, roman law, economic for jurists etc.).


I realize science also has it’s theories. But there you can learn a theory and apply to many different cases. You can apply it where it hasn’t been applied before and see what happens!
I want to go home after a day at university thinking I actually learnt something today. I never get that feeling with law. It simply does not fulfill me.


Oh and another thing that drives me crazy: The whole rat-race atmosphere. Everyone in this department is so selfish, hiding books so no one else can read them, shoving and pushing before the lecture like it’s Black Friday, never willing to help out, reserving a whole row for their obnoxious friends with a scarf and half the freaking students taking Ritalin! Is that really what awaits me there in the world of lawyers and courts? Please save me now!
And the deanery. The deanery. Changing regulations for all students, even though they told us we could continue the way we started?! No more repetition tests in winter, so if you fail a test, you have to wait a whole year! No more exchanges with other German-speaking universities, because they don’t want their reputation ruined when everyone slags off how awful the faculty of law in Zurich is. They’re making it incredibly unappealing to study law in Zurich. I would never recommend it to anyone. Many who started with me have changed universities in the meantime because they were so dissatisfied.

So why did I get into law you may ask. It wasn’t entirely my decision. At least not consciously. I was 19/20 at that time and financially dependent on my parents. From the start they weren’t too happy that I chose English as my major and history as my minor. So when I dropped out of English, they pushed me into something where – in their eyes –I was bound to earn a lot. Yeah, they’re that kind of parents. Because money is all that matters, right.
Ironically, I wasn’t interested in science and especially not at ETH. During Gymnasium, I wasn’t too good at math and physics, but I loved biology and chemistry. Since ETH is very math-heavy, I didn’t dare venture into it. So I though yeah, why not law, it doesn’t seem so bad. In retrospect of course it was dumb that I did what my parents told me to. But to be fair, what did I know about the world and my future. I was practically still a kid, I hadn’t seen anything but school at that point of my life. That and the fact I had no money, nowhere to go and was in general terrified of my parents, especially my father. So that’s how I ended up in law.


I don’t want to go through life with a ‘what if’ while I’m sitting in a stuffy office boring myself half to death.
Sorry for the long post
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  #25  
Old 21.06.2015, 22:34
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Re: How old is too old? (Master at ETHZ)

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Oh and another thing that drives me crazy: The whole rat-race atmosphere. Everyone in this department is so selfish, hiding books so no one else can read them, shoving and pushing before the lecture like it’s Black Friday, never willing to help out, reserving a whole row for their obnoxious friends with a scarf and half the freaking students taking Ritalin! Is that really what awaits me there in the world of lawyers and courts?
Not necessarily.

Those who really are into the rat-race will probably land a job at a prestigious law firm where they work crazy hours, do all the legwork for the partners but have the chance to make tons of money later on.

Some will end up at a court or some government agency where they have regular hours, little stress and a decent but not extremely high income. (think 120k-180k/year)

And then there are those who end up doing something entirely different, e.g. one guy I know studied law but has been working in communications and marketing at a major bank.
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