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Heard of this one?

#1 Heard of this one?
19/07/2006 15:54

Foreign Uni to deleted (#0)

May I ask you whether you have heard of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, otherwise known as ETH Zurich?

It is a crack University that rivals if not surpasses the best UK Science and Engineering schools, and is considered to be on par with Cambridge’s (MA) MIT.

Unfortunately, most CV screening HR personnel seem to be unaware of the place and I suspect the combination of foreign and unknown may have curbed my chances of entering consulting as a PhD graduate.

I would appreciate it if you could share your experiences in the field, and maybe suggest a way to counter the issue.

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#2 RE: Heard of this one?
19/07/2006 16:39

John to Foreign Uni (#1)

I think the fact that no-one has ever heard of it suggests that it is far from the "crack" institution you claim it to be.

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#3 RE: Heard of this one?
19/07/2006 16:55

Foreign Uni to John (#2)

Point taken, John.

I was slightly more specific though, I mentioned CV screening HR personnel.

Most scientists and many internationally oriented business people are fully aware of the place and its status. After all, it pays best in European academia, employs a great number of Nobel Laureates and its few graduates are actively recruited as PhD’s all over the world.

While your answer is a possibility, I would appreciate further comments.

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#4 RE: Heard of this one?
19/07/2006 17:09

RG to John (#2)

I think you are being a bit unkind there. There aren't all that many institutions whose name is known internationally. Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, probably another 5-10 US ones...and then the list sort of peters out. Most people probably can't think of a really good French one (and not the Sorbonne, which isn't all that) or German one or Italian one but of course these countries all have some excellent places. Moving further east, Charles and the Jagiellonian are centuries older than most.

So yes, I have heard of ETH and am well aware that it is at least as good as all but a slack handful of UK institutions. Whilst I wouldn't really expect John to have heard of it for the reasons mentioned earlier this is less reflective of the standing of the institution than general ignorance. This is not something shared by all as some have lived, worked and studied abroad or with people from other countries.

PS Jiao Tong rankings have ETH in 27th place, just after UCL. If needs be, perhaps you could put some sortof comment in about "leading Swiss institution, placed just after UCL in global ranking" or something. Dunno, may be worth a try! Question then is whether something below UCL is of any interest to them!

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#5 RE: Heard of this one?
19/07/2006 21:30

RM to Foreign Uni (#1)

Think about the firms to whom you are applying- many firms are relatively parocial. Maybe you could target those with large operations in Switzerland, or target partners within the firms who have Swiss clients as they may be more likely to recognise it and will tell HR to bring you in (and trust me, partners beat HR managers for clout on who gets interviewed!)

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#6 RE: Heard of this one?
19/07/2006 22:25

Curious to RM (#5)

How do the Indian MBA schools rank?

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#7 RE: Heard of this one?
20/07/2006 13:55

Foreign Uni to Foreign Uni (#1)

RG, Thank you for your comments, they mostly reflect my own understanding. Thankfully, Johns comment demonstrates the problem very accurately. I was considering to state the obvious in my cover letter, and it seems to be the way forward, even though it feels strange: blowing ones trumpet and all.

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