WEEK 1: Hallo from Berlin

Cannot believe my first week in Berlin has already passed! It’s so fun to be here and to meet everyone from the group. For the first week, it’s mainly the orientation week, which we spent time for cultural and political tours. I thought I would be super exhausted everyday especially after a whole day orientation, but everything went well so far and so glad I met these nice people XD. During the orientation, I get to know more about Berlin as well as the German culture from various aspects, even something regarding historical side. It’s a challenge coming to live and work in a completely different environment; on the other hand, I really enjoy this kind of exploration.

I just finished my first day working at Vencon Research International today, a data analysis company focusing on benchmarking, salary report, etc. . Data analysis is a rather new field and gets more and more popular these years. My company provides services and products regarding salaries to the other companies all over the world: United States, Brazil, Bolivia, Netherlands, Germany, China, Japan, Australia and so on. It was also my first time to see a company doing this kind of duties. The company is divided into mainly two parts, data teams and business development teams. This kind of job is demanding, since usually each person will be assigned with specific areas and it’s important for them to be familiar with the regulations, characteristics of those areas.

My job is to assist with the CRM (customer-relationship management) system of the company, which they introduced recently and wished to updated it for future use. For the first week working, I will start to play with this platform and conduct some small tasks first, to get more familiar with some key sections. Since I have done something with the CRM system before, so this should not be something too hard. It’s also really interesting to see how CRM systems among companies are alike and /or different as well as how and why they arranged in specific ways under specific needs. Starting from the next week, I will work with one of my colleagues to do some tutorial videos on the CRM system for new-coming colleagues as manuals and references. In this way, on the other hand, it also reduces the workload for my team colleagues as there are usually similar questions coming over and over again for regarding the CRM system, especially people in business development team change so fast. One thing a little bit challenge is the computer has set to German so I usually just take a guess for certain commands or just google translate it. Also, the keyboard is somewhat different from the traditional English ones so that’s the other thing I have to keep in mind with. Luckily, the CRM system program I’m working on is mostly in English.

Overall I believe at least in my field, to figure out how things worked and find the most efficient way to write certain calculations are always the key. Things change so fast, so does the software and computer language. Therefore, it is important to learn things continuously. In addition, it is necessary for us to be as careful as we can, as we are the people to deal with data. Sometimes, even if something small went run like for data import, it might make a huge difference and impact to the result. To check our own inputs and other people’s inputs are some daily tasks for me to do. It’s also interesting to see the distribution and specific details for the salary of those various companies from all over the world, large or small. Since each person has different learning speak and usually build up different understandings, so it’s also significant for us to try the programs ourselves instead of hearing from other people’s talking or looking at the manuals or introductions solely. Practices are much more important than knowledge from the books.

We seem to have a diverse background in terms of the company. Staff working here come from everywhere: United States, Peru, Georgia, United Kingdom, Ireland, China, etc. . More interestingly, almost half of them don’t speak German or only a little. So the common language used in my company is mainly English or the combination of various other languages, like people say “Ciao” for goodbye instead of “Tschüss.” Anyway, it’s so fun to work here and I’m sure I’ll learn much more things here everyday. Everyday learn and try something new!