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Old 12.03.2019, 15:08
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RAV - Big Four - Basic German

Hello,
I am a Swiss girl (30 yrs old) and I am in Zurich for 2 weeks now. Before I lived in London. I speak French and English. I understand German. I have a Master degree in Accounting (done in Switzerland) and have a professional experience of 2 years (AR/AP area). I have two questions (I already checked if a previous post can help) :

1) I went to the RAV office and my advisor told me that I need to send mainly my applications to the Big Four (for entry-level positions) even if my German is basic. I would like to know if someone applies and now works in one of the Big Four without speaking German. Do you have any tips?

2) And I am looking for a job like retail, cleaning or restaurants. I would like to know who get a job in McDonald’s, Starbucks with a basic German.

Thanks a lot for your help,

Nessa

P.S : For personal reasons, I need to stay in Zurich. I cannot move to the French part.
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Old 12.03.2019, 20:06
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Re: RAV - Big Four - Basic German

Can you say "Mochten Sie Pommes dazu?" ?
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Old 12.03.2019, 20:20
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Re: RAV - Big Four - Basic German

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Hello,
I am a Swiss girl (30 yrs old) and I am in Zurich for 2 weeks now. Before I lived in London. I speak French and English. I understand German. I have a Master degree in Accounting (done in Switzerland) and have a professional experience of 2 years (AR/AP area). I have two questions (I already checked if a previous post can help) :

1) I went to the RAV office and my advisor told me that I need to send mainly my applications to the Big Four (for entry-level positions) even if my German is basic. I would like to know if someone applies and now works in one of the Big Four without speaking German. Do you have any tips?

2) And I am looking for a job like retail, cleaning or restaurants. I would like to know who get a job in McDonald’s, Starbucks with a basic German.

Thanks a lot for your help,

Nessa

P.S : For personal reasons, I need to stay in Zurich. I cannot move to the French part.
You can try. I know several people working for the big 4 who do not speak German (in Zurich area). However, they all had experience in their field of expertise. Give it a try
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Old 12.03.2019, 20:28
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Re: RAV - Big Four - Basic German

Big 4 what?

Tom
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Old 12.03.2019, 20:56
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Re: RAV - Big Four - Basic German

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Big 4 what?

Tom
PwC, EY, KPMG, Toilet&
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Old 12.03.2019, 22:43
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Re: RAV - Big Four - Basic German

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PwC, EY, KPMG, Toilet&
Never heard of any of them.

Tom
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Old 12.03.2019, 23:19
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Re: RAV - Big Four - Basic German

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Never heard of any of them.

Tom
Seriously?

Never heard of Ernst and Young, Price Waterhouse, Deloitte?
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Old 13.03.2019, 08:51
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Re: RAV - Big Four - Basic German

Tom, don't they have the big four in Ticino then?

Certainly possible to get a job at them without speaking German, though on entry-level I wouldn't take it for granted. I don't think there are any "tips" anyone can give you other than simply try. The way they hire (and fire), as in "massive intake of hungry youngsters, churn and filter asap", you probably won't struggle much to get a job with any of them.

As for filler jobs until then: anything that comes with customer contact will require you to speak at least decent enough German because well, you need to speak to said customers and be able to understand instructions or whatnot, which of course won't be in English. You say you understand it, so if you can hold down a basic conversation, I don't see much of an issue. Best to swing by the local Starbucks and McDs etc. to see if they have any openings.
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Old 13.03.2019, 09:05
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Re: RAV - Big Four - Basic German

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Seriously?

Never heard of Ernst and Young, Price Waterhouse, Deloitte?

Never heard of 'the big 4' in this context, but KPMG sounds familiar as there was a big scandal in Holland about bribes and tax evation when building their new head offices.


'The big 4' to me is the term for the big 4 Japanese motorcycle manufacturers (Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha). Not everyone thinks KPMG etc is important.
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Old 13.03.2019, 09:24
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Re: RAV - Big Four - Basic German

she has a degree in Accounting. she's asking for jobs. The Big4 accounting firms is not a huge mental leap!

Last edited by Phil_MCR; 13.03.2019 at 10:01.
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Old 13.03.2019, 09:49
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Re: RAV - Big Four - Basic German

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Tom, don't they have the big four in Ticino then?



Nah...........Big Tom is more than sufficient in that backwater
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Old 13.03.2019, 09:53
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Re: RAV - Big Four - Basic German

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he
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Hello, I am a Swiss girl
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Old 13.03.2019, 10:04
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Re: RAV - Big Four - Basic German

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Seriously?

Never heard of Ernst and Young, Price Waterhouse, Deloitte?
Nope.

Tom
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Old 13.03.2019, 10:08
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Re: RAV - Big Four - Basic German

In addition to the Big 4, you might want to look at job openings in the second-tier of international accounting firms with offices in Zurich. These would include: BDO, Grant Thornton and Mazars.

You might wish to look for accounting jobs in HQ operations of large companies, which can be in English. Although it would mean a commute, the large pharma firms in Basel often work in English.

For non-accounting English-speaking jobs, consider looking at the airport and in tourist areas.

This recent thread concerns a job-search for finance/ controlling jobs and might be worth reviewing:

https://www.englishforum.ch/jobs-wan...ing-roles.html

Last edited by Mullhollander; 13.03.2019 at 22:51. Reason: Corrected spelling of Mazars
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Old 13.03.2019, 10:18
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Re: RAV - Big Four - Basic German

Have you thought about working in the areas where French and German are prevalent? What comes to mind is Fribourg and Biel/Bienne. You could commute from Zurich and use your French while building up your German.
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Old 13.03.2019, 10:18
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Re: RAV - Big Four - Basic German

Best advice I can think of is get certified if not already.

And if you can get CPA licensed for US taxes I believe you'll be hired right off the bat.

Perhaps you can even get the RAV to fund the training.
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Old 13.03.2019, 22:42
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Re: RAV - Big Four - Basic German

She's is already an accountant. And no way RAV will finance that, she should be able to find work as an accountant.

And they can send her to Romandie to search work. Personal reasons don't work with RAV. Commuting is also something they will make you do if nothing else works.

McDo - go in when there are not many people and ask for the manager. You can do that in every Bar or Restaurant. Hospitality is not about lengthy curriculums, but about direct contact.
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Old 13.03.2019, 23:02
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Re: RAV - Big Four - Basic German

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She's is already an accountant. And no way RAV will finance that, she should be able to find work as an accountant.
No, she has a degree in accounting and some experience doing accounts payable and accounts receivable. She is most certainly not an accountant and I don‘t see her getting local work in the roles she has experience in without local language experience.

How about applying for graduate trainee finance roles at companies whose corporate language is English?
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Old 13.03.2019, 23:11
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Re: RAV - Big Four - Basic German

Hi Nessa - you can definitely work at the Big4 without speaking German but it‘ll depend on the type of work you want to do. If you‘re interested in working with local companies on Swiss taxes for example, you‘ll need the German skills but if you are interested in international work, then you definitely have the possibility to find work without speaking German. It‘s quite common for employees of the Big4 to do international rotations so there are all kinds of people speaking all different languages there. It‘ll maybe just come down to a bit of luck as to what positions are open and what you‘re interested in.

You might also look at the accounting departments for the two big banks. Since they are international companies, they‘re most likely to conduct the majority of their accounting work in English so that they can combine everything in the end and may be more open to hiring someone without German skills.
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