This week has definitely been a learning experience for me in the sense of my work career! My supervisor has been extremely busy creating the annual report for Sirius, as they just recently moved on to the London Stock Exchange and are required to present more data metrics to the public. As a result, my supervisor relied heavily on me this week to directly help him put the annual report together, so the document is done in time for its release date. I was given a lot of responsibility and was placed under this pressure that I actually really enjoyed, as I knew all the changes I made to the annual report had an impact on the image Sirius wants to report to the public. Overall, this experience of working through revisions and communicating with auditors to work toward a finished annual report, has made me realize that someday I would enjoy working in this type of atmosphere!
Throughout the course of the week, I had the opportunity to interact with more Germans and understand some of the cultural differences we have. I think the biggest difference I have noticed is that Germans are very straight forward when in a conversation, so they get right to the point. Sometimes this comes off as harsh, but I have come to understand they do not mean to disrespect the other person. In America, people tend to elaborate on a specific topic and take a while to get to the main point, because they want to seem more considerate and caring of the conversation. Besides this, I really have not noticed any other significant differences, and I think this is due to how Germans are very accepting of Americans. All of my encounters with Germans have been extremely friendly, and I have felt very respected and included while here in Berlin. The only frustration I have had with Germans is when I try speaking the language; they immediately pick out my American accent and speak English to me. For example, this past Friday I had the opportunity to play in a charity soccer tournament with my company and I thought I would try speaking German, but their responses even while playing were always in English. As a side note, I was their goalie for the day and we played pretty well, winning two games and losing two games all with the scores of 1-0. Lastly, I wanted to comment on the living conditions of the average citizen here in Berlin. In the area we are staying, the average income has to be a lot higher than let’s say the average income in Pittsburgh. On a typical day as I travel to work, I see very luxurious cars such as Lamborghini’s, Ferrari’s, Aston Martins, and Bentley’s. I may see one of these cars every 6 months in Pittsburgh, while I see multiple every day here in Berlin! I have also realized how all my co-workers tend to go to nice restaurants every day for lunch, while I am trying to be conservative with my money and pack my lunch.
This weekend I had another chance to explore a little more of the amazing city of Berlin. Specifically, I went to visit the Reichstag, the main government building in Germany. The architecture of the building was unreal, and unfortunately I was unable to go inside as the line to get in was really long. Nonetheless, I had an awesome weekend and next weekend I get to look forward to Barcelona!
That’s all for this week!