This past week in Berlin was relatively uneventful for me. I did not travel anywhere this past weekend for the first time since week one of the program. I also did not have any experiences during the week that felt too out of the ordinary or worth writing about. I did, however, have the chance to visit Panoramapunkt with one of my fellow Pitt students on the program. It was pretty cool seeing Berlin from the top of a skyscraper. I had already been to the top of the TV tower. Although that was also a really cool experience, I think Panoramapunkt was better, because the observation deck was in the open air – without windows – which made for some really great photos without having to worry about capturing too much glare! I think it was also really cool being able to see the TV tower in the Berlin skyline as opposed to being inside of it. Aside from that, I did not do anything too exciting. I will try to do a little more this weekend.
As far as the external factors that face my company, I cannot think of anything impactful that is really political or social in nature. However, there are definitely economic and technological factors that face the company. For instance, the company is multinational and has clients all over the world. This adds an interesting factor to the business of having to interact with multiple different economies simultaneously. While the economic environment as a whole does not seem to have an overwhelming impact on the company’s day-to-day operations, I think it does play a role in the bigger picture. Technological factors definitely affect my company, as we are primarily a service provider of technological devices. When new advances are made in the field of technology, it gives my host company new opportunities to enhance and improve their current product in ways that will be more and more appealing to their customers as time goes on. As a professional in this specific business, I would say that the most important factor to focus on is technological. I think it is also safe to say that they would not want to lose sight of the other factors either.
The most important political issues in Germany today seem to revolve around international affairs, such as the migrant crisis, the current state of the EU, and the recent upswing in terrorist attacks across Europe. Another thing that I hear lots of Germans speak about is President Trump. They love to make fun of him and criticize the poor decisions he makes seemingly every time the opportunity to do so presents itself. Although I do not particularly like the guy either, I think it is interesting that some Germans feel so obliged to focus so much attention on the leader of another country. In fact, on one occasion my supervisor brought up something Trump did that I had not even heard about yet. It’s as if they follow U.S. politics more closely than I do, and I follow U.S. pretty closely for the most part. That being said, I do not think these things have a very large impact on the company or the industry. The focus is definitely more on the side of technological advances and innovation more so that it is on all of the other factors mentioned in the prompt combined.