Archive | Zurich

Jobs in the Perfume and Aromas Industry

Posted on 16 September 2007 by Heidi

Among the unusual industries that make up the Swiss economy is the chemical industry.

Perfume and aroma manufacturers are an important contributor to professional work opportunities in Switzerland. The Swiss perfume industry prefers to flourish outside of the public spotlight but is nonetheless omnipresent in daily life: from toothpaste, to shower gel, cosmetics, perfumes, detergents and food additives.

In Dubendorf, near Zurich, Givaudan has an enormous manufacturing plant where the aromas and flavors in vogue as well as those in development for the future are produced.

The Givaudan premises employs roughly 450 people, many in chemistry and laboratory fields.

At the Givaudan plant, the smell is all around you. The visitor is immediately struck by the odors, difficult to identify, and changing as one walks about the premises.

At Givaudan, the professionals involved in making the scents have highly developed olfactory senses and are capable of identifying hundreds of different smells, which they associate with a souvenir or an emotion as a mnemonic device.

Givaudan trains groups of specialists, highly selected among the professionals who apply each year, for tuition at the Perfume School established in Paris.

In order to be a successful professional in the field of developing aromas, one needs both experience and a powerful memory.

The Givaudan plant dates to the late 19th century, and part of the buildings harbor the production of more than 4000 aromas in powder and liquid form, destined for a range of multinationals in the food industry. Givaudan is the world leader in aromas and fragrances having purchased the Dutch Quest last year. In Switzerland, the chemical sector, which includes the perfume and aromas industries, is an important sector which contributes thousands of jobs and demands highly skilled professionals.

Part of the production is entirely automated via complex machinery which do the mixing of the chemistry. Other mixtures are done in small quantities manually by the employees, carefully controlled by olfactory testing, before being delivered to their buyers. The manufacturing is not limited to the Zurich site; there are other subsidiaries in over 40 countries.

In the laboratories in Dubendorf near Zurich, the R&D is located, and perfumes and aromas are developed here. The company spends roughly $ 200 million per year on its R&D activities to discover new molecules whose olfactory properties can be added to its already impressive list of patented aromas.

The difference, in the perfume industry, is not just in the invention of new aromas. The proper production of the resulting perfume must be done correctly. Givaudan produces on average at least 2-4 new aromas each year.

Among the most recent discoveries of Givaudan introduced into the market were ‘Florymoss,’ ‘Pomarose’ (a mixture of apple and rose), and ‘Javanol’ (a mixture that reproduces the odor of sandalwood). These synthetic perfumes are usually used in the detergent and washing industries, and the rest in the fine perfumes industry.

Scientists at Givaudan are currently active in making citrus perfumes. Smell is an emotional sense and the vocabulary is often lacking to describe the variety of odors we perceive. This is a big problem when it comes time to present a pallet of odors and aromas to clients.

To accomplish this, Givaudan had to develop several years back a solution: a portable suitcase which could disseminate the new creations and permit immediate modifications at the customer site, according to the client’s taste.

If the labs at Dubendorf are fixed on trying to imitate as close as possible the smells of Mother Nature, the secret to reproducing the odors to be found in nature is often hard to crack.

Givaudan organizes expeditions called ‘taste treks’ where researchers go around the world to the most improbable places to seek out unknown vegetable species.

Last year, in the Valley of Death in California, Givaudan’s team found an exceptional flower resulting from strong rains. Habitually it is in the jungles from Madagascar to New Guinea, which are explored by these researchers for new smells, seeking a new flower or fruit which could give rise to a new moneymaking perfume or aroma. The teams carry special appliances which permit them to capture the essences of the plant’s or fruit’s molecules.
Once they discover a new plant species, they need to find a way to reproduce the odor’s formula. In this business, odors and aromas, molecules are patented for 20 years. Once this time limit as elapsed, the molecules fall into the public domain, where thy can be copied at will.

Thus the accent placed by Givaudan on its R&D, which is indispensable for conserving a lead in the marketplace, where other companies such as Firmenich and IGG, or Symrise or Takasago are important competitors. Givaudan also has a large center in Geneva.

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Job Opportunities / Zurich

Posted on 09 April 2007 by info

Work-in-Switzerland regularly posts a sampling of job offers across Switzerland — usually on a bi-weekly basis. Our job board permits those interesting in surveying the employment marketplace to get an idea of some of the jobs currently being recruited. We also supply the contact information in case you wish to follow up on the opportunity. See our postings concerning job application procedures and culture in Switzerland for an overview fo the type of documents and the format of the c.v. expected by recruiters and Human Resources officials who will read your job application. Our listing is a very small snapshot of employment opportunities at any given time and is designed to simply highlight a few positions currently up for recruitment.

One of the fields with most diverse and pressing need for qualified candidates is information systems, I.T., and telecommunications. A small selection of current opportunities :

I.T. / Information Systems:

Senior Solution Architect (m/w) for Credit Suisse in Zurich. Responsible for design and implementation of the Bank’s data warehouse solution. Contact: Beat Roncato, IT Recruiting, Credit Suisse / Ref. 303160, RHSR 21, Postfach, 8070 Zürich, Tel. +41 44 332 88 19, E-Mail:

IT Security Officer for Credit Suisse in Zurich
Conduct information risk assessments and apprise management of appropriate levels of safeguards and functions.. Advise and provide support on the relevant and applicable IT security standards. Provide guidance on the processes, tools and controls that are required to adhere to IT security standards. Co-ordinate local security activities with European and global security specialists and internal IT security audits, assess results and follow-up audit action plans. Provide security and risk assessment services jobs in SwitzerlandInitiate and manage security projects. Contact: Beat Roncato, IT Recruiting, Credit Suisse / Ref. 303160, RHSR 21, Postfach, 8070 Zürich, Tel. +41 44 332 88 19, E-Mail:

Data Feed Manager (m/w) for Credit Suisse in Zurich Analysis, flow and data feed services. Contact: Beat Roncato, IT Recruiting, Credit Suisse / Ref. 303160, RHSR 21, Postfach, 8070 Zürich, Tel. +41 44 332 88 19, E-Mail:

Senior Business Engineer (m/w) for Credit Suisse in Zurich
For management of accounting and reporting functions. Contact: Beat Roncato, IT Recruiting, Credit Suisse / Ref. 303160, RHSR 21, Postfach, 8070 Zürich, Tel. +41 44 332 88 19, E-Mail:

Information Risk Officer for Price Waterhouse Coopers in Zurich Conduct information risk analyses. Candidate should have good analytical skills and experience in managing projects, possess excellent written and verbal communication skills, have strong personal time management. Apply online at or contact PricewaterhouseCoopers AG, Sandra Schürmann, Birchstrasse 160, 8050 Zürich, Telefon 058 792 19 63

jobs in Switzerland Application Support for Price Waterhouse Coopers in Zurich. Should have strong background in SAP SD/MM, SAP HR, BSI CRM. Analysis and implementation. Apply to PricewaterhouseCoopers AG, Sandra Schürmann, Birchstrasse 160, 8050 Zürich, Telefon 058 792 19 63

recruiting agencies career fairs and spontaneous job applications employment inquiries via corporate website recruitment pages job offers in the press

Notes on Finding a Job in Switzerland

Switzerland appears from the outside to be a paradise for standard of living and great working conditions. Swiss salaries are among the highest in the world and despite a downturn during the early 1990s, unemployment remains the lowest in Europe.

Though it can appear difficult at first, getting a job in Switzerland isn’t as complicated as the Swiss authorities may have you believe. And under Swiss law all workers – foreign like Swiss—must be employed under the same conditions. There are currently more than 1.6 million foreigners resident in Switzerland, which means more than a fifth of the population. Economists claim this is one of the ingredients of Swiss success in employment opportunities and breath of job openings.

For European citizens, there is complete freedom of employment in Switzerland. But for non-EU-citizens who want to work in Switzerland, there is a burden of proof on the company wishing to hire to show that there are no suitable local candidates for that job.

Always consider that there are important differences in the Swiss labor market from canton to canton. As noted elsewhere on this website, Geneva is the area with the highest percentage of foreign workers –nearly 50%. Many of them are employed at the international organizations, where no Swiss work permit is necessary. One ramification of the different regional differences in Switzerland is language: Consider the local language of the area in which you want to live and work. German is spoken by roughly 2/3 of the population. Roughly 20% speak French and almost 10 percent speak Italian. While a job in a large multinational will ultimately require English, a smaller Swiss company will work in the local language.

Lastly, Switzerland regulates and usually requires formal qualifications. For many sectors, professions, and trades, foreign qualifications can be recognized as equivalent insofar as the training is considered equivalent similar to the Swiss qualification. As a result of the bilateral agreements, Switzerland recognizes most EU diplomas and qualifications.

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Swiss Epidermic Reaction to Migrant German Labor

Posted on 21 March 2007 by Sprecher

A wave of emigration is taking place from Germany, where unemployment is high, to the clement lands of the German-speaking parts of Switzerland, where unemployment is very low and the demand for skilled labor is high.

The regions of Basel and Zurich are the most strongly affected.

In stark contrast to previous waves of economic immigration from other countries, the phenomenon of Germans seeking work in Switzerland is creating social repercussions of its own because the Germans tend to find employment in technical, research, medical, financial, and managerial fields.

The cultural differences between the German-speaking Swiss and their German neighbors is such that the Swiss are reacting negatively to aspects of the German’s behavior. The Swiss have started referring to the German arrivals as “Schwoobe.”

Germans tend to be loud and boisterous, which annoy the sedate and discrete Swiss.
Also, the arrival of Germans in the Swiss-German labor market in positions of authority is something the Swiss are less used to. Previous waves of immigrants to the Zurich area (for example from Italy) were primarily in subordinate laboring fields.

The Germans’ manner of bringing conflicts into the open or stating their opinion directly and confrontationally if highly unwelcome in Switzerland, where attitudes and behavior at work is highly consensual.

Further, the generalized attitude among Germans that the Swiss are slow and placid workers doe not help the situation.

The fact remains that in the Basel and Zurich agglomerations there are numerous employment and career opportunities across the technical, research, health and hospital, private banking, and executive fields; the economy is strong and the qualified labor pool is insufficient.

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Living in Switzerland – Parking and Traffic Fines

Posted on 26 February 2007 by LegalBeagle

To live in Switzerland or to work in Switzerland is to get used to the greater organization and structure of Swiss life. The Swiss are serious about order. Nowhere is this more visible on a daily basis than in parking regulations. In France or in Italy, few people take parking tickets seriously. In Switzerland, the probability is substantial that if you park illegally you will get a ticket. If you are parking illegally in cities such as Geneva or Zurich, you will amlost certainly get a ticket, as these municipalities draw substantial income from parking tickets. In Geneva, CHF 20 million of fines traffic fines are assessed each year.

Ignoring your traffic fines can get very expensive. If the amount owed is substantial, the authorities come to look for you and put you in jail.


The local papers relate the mishaps of those who ignore their fines. Even if you live in neighboring France, the police eventually catch you when you drive across the border. Then you get the choice of prison time (each day equals CHF30 off your debt —

not a very enticing conversion factor unless you’re homeless) or paying your accumulated fines, plus interest, plus administrative penalties. However, by law the maximum amount of time one can be imprisoned for traffic fines is 3 months.

En 2006, the prosecutor’s office in Geneva converted more than 2500 fines into jail terms. The Swiss authorities do this when the perpetrator cannot pay the fines or when the individual is domiciled outside of Switzerland and has refused to settle the fines (and has been caught at the borders or within Switzerland). About 10 days ago a prisoner incarcerated at Champ-Dollon prison for traffic fines committed suicide (the reasons have not been determined).

When you work in Switzerland in urban centers such as Zurich, Lausanne, Lugano, or Geneva, finding parking at or near your work can be challenging (Geneva, Lausanne and Zurich are the worst parking-wise).

Paying parking lots charge on average CHF 20-25 /day and renting a permanent parking place in Zurich or Geneva (which is often necessary if you live in the city center and own a car) costs on average CHF 250/month.

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Life in Zurich

Posted on 14 February 2007 by Papessa

The Scene in Switzerland has come a long way from the days of yodelling. For those of you considering making Zurich your new home, here are some addresses. I invite colleagues and readers to leave cool addresses and things to check-out in comments to this posting. The moderator will put interesting ones up as posts in their own right.

The Adagio Nightclub at the Gotthardstrasse 5, 8002 Zürich/ZH 044 206 36 66 is a popular spot and attracts a well-dressed conservative crowd over 35. The club has dress standards for its clientele and its own staff wear amusing ancient costumes. The club is decorated like a church, with candles and flowers, and its often packed on the weekends. The music is ballroom dance style.

The Palais X-tra, on Limmatsrasse 118, phone 01/448-15-00 is a huge cavernous nightclub, with an extremely long bar and high ceilings. Also an outdoor terrace and restaurant facilities which are not as popular as the bar and rock-and-roll club that keep the place packed. The live acts and DJ nights draw a counterculture crowd. This is a trendy address for a clientele mainly in their 20′s.

The Nightclub Indochine, on Limmastrasse 275, Telephone: 0041 (0)1 448 11 11 is a ‘Paris in the Orient’ theme club on two floors that’s been around for many years. Highly styled, this club tries to project ‘Attitude’ and look like the kind of exclusive place where celebrities may be lurking. But it’s mainly just a well-decorated place for the affluent. The crowd tends to be older cigar-smoking beyond-the-hill yuppies and corporate finance types patting their gelled hair and discussing mergers and acquisitions. A more exclusive crowd congregates at the moment at Club Diagonal General-Guisan-Quai 8, 8002 Zürich/ZH 044 201 24 10.

There are a variety of small DJ clubs and venues like Saeulenhalle, Z33, Katakombe, Ex-It/Flamingo, D-Lite, Picante, Cubik, Sunshine, Halloween Party, Riverside, and Star Club.

Also, for the English expatriate community, there are several places to find used english books: Caritas Kunst & Krempel, Birmensdorferstrasse 53, 8004 Zurich is a small charity shop with a few shelves of english books at the back of the shop, but with a quick turnover and the books about a £1 each Buecher Brocky, Bederstrasse 4 (entrance via Gutenbergstasse.) is an enormous second hand bookshop, with a whole aisle of English books, also about £1 – £2 per book. Another place for english books is the main Zurich Brockenhaus behind the HB (Neugasse 11). On the second floor, and there’s a whole shelf of english books (more expensive here than the Bruecker Brocky, but the quality is better). The Pestalozzi Library has a good selection of English books & DVDs Works by annual membership (£15 / £10 student) or you can just borrow for a month for CHF 10. Take ID with you. They also have occassional booksales. The Pestalozzi library is on Zähringerstrasse 17. Lastly, for perusing, there is the ZentralBibliothek -the combined Zurich and University library. There’s no cost to join and it’s got a cool cafeteria and lots of working spaces.

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