Een buitenlandse graad? Dan vind je in Polen geen baan

epa03274055 A general view of the scene in the Quad of the Bodleian Library at Oxford University as Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi (C) arrives to receive an honorary degree at the place she once studied 20 June 2012 EPA/ANDY RAIN Foto ANP

In veel landen staat een Mastertitel van prestigieuze universiteiten als Harvard en Oxford garant voor een topbaan. Maar niet in Polen. Jonge hoogopgeleiden die met zo’n buitenlandse graad terugkeren naar huis, lukt het nauwelijks om werk te vinden.

If you hear Polish Oxford graduates saying they want to work in Poland, there must be something wrong with them. At least, according to Polish employers. An increasing share of young Poles with Oxford, Cambridge or Harvard diplomas in their hands choose to come back and start their promising careers in Poland. They expect competition and promotion to be easier. What they find is a long road from door to door, with none of them open.

Jakub Szamalek, 28, had a master’s degree in archeology from Oxford and a PhD from Cambridge when he came back to Poland two years ago. “In the Anglo-Saxon world, an “Oxbridge” diploma — common shorthand for Oxford and Cambridge — is the magic key that unlocks the door to success,” Szamalek said.

Writing his thesis, Szamalek realized that an academic career wasn’t his lifelong dream after all. Writing novels became his new source of satisfaction. He did not hesitate for a second when he found a copywriter position at a Polish game production company. But the company’s recruiters considered his “Oxbridge background” more as an interesting fact than as a serious asset. What made him get the job wasn’t his prestigious diplomas — it was his great writing skills.

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    • Magdalena Szwarc