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The challenges of finishing a Master's degree and finding an international job during a pandemic

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 We are living through difficult and uncertain times.


Having recently completed my Master's Degree, I find myself at the beginning of my career during a global pandemic. 


In this blog, I will discuss my experience of finishing my degree, looking for work and moving internationally, all throughout COVID-19.

 Completing my Master's degree

The first difference came last year when I was presenting my Master's thesis. 


After many years and countless hours of studying, writing, working and learning, it finally culminated in a presentation to explain my findings, my reasoning and my justifications. In the past, this was done in a big amphitheatre in front of a panel, giving a real sense of occasion.


This turned into a zoom presentation. The sense of occasion is definitely not the same when I simply sat in front of my computer. It was harder to gain an understanding of how the presentation was being received, and in my opinion this did mean that the culmination of my years of study was not what I expected. It did make it lose a bit of its magic! 

 Looking for jobs abroad

On the job search, not a lot has changed. It has been normal to look for jobs online for years, especially when you are looking for jobs abroad as I was. I am originally from Portugal, and after completing my studies I was looking to fulfil my dream of working in Switzerland.


After finding the job at Comfone and applying online, I then had my interview over video conference call, which again was a new experience. After securing the job, I then made my preparations to move.

 Moving to a new country during a pandemic

On the flight to Switzerland

The pandemic impacted my move from Portugal to Switzerland, as I had to come 10 days early in order to stay in quarantine. 


I was limited in my ability to search for any accommodation in Bern. I had to find a place to stay only by looking at pictures online and doing virtual tours.


For both myself and my new housemates, we had to have a high level of trust that we would get on without ever actually having met in person. Fortunately, I was lucky to find serious and kind people that rented me a room in a shared flat, and eventually everything turned out well!

 Was it worth it?

In my home office

It was a journey full of obstacles and lack of flexibility, due to the current world's situation.


In the end, the extra effort was well worth it, and I am really happy that I got to achieve one of my life goals to live and work in Switzerland. 

 What's next?

I have been working as a Developer at Comfone for 5 months now. During this time, I have really noticed that although things are different, our role is as busy as ever. 


I have been working, in cooperation with my team, on the IPX and Hubbing projects, where we have been focusing on delivering the best quality software not only for our internal use but also for our clients all around the world. 

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