I have finished 5 weeks of internship in Berlin, Germany. After having a boring forth week of internship, my internship is getting interesting this week. My supervisor decided to set aside Value-Added Tax registration for Chinese traders because there has been no reply from any of the Chinese traders we reached out to earlier. He decided to switch gear to financing. First, he tested my skill and level on accounting and finance through asking me a series of technical questions; the process made me nervous because I was not expecting it to happen and was not prepared for it. Furthermore, I felt bad for unable to answer some of his questions because I only took one finance class which is introduction to finance. This triggered me to put in serious effort into learning those new finance terms and concepts. For instance, he focused on testing my knowledge about ways investors or entrepreneurs claim their returns in sole proprietorship, partnership and limited company as well as taxation effects on the returns. I spent quite some time to research these topics. As a result, I did comprehend taxation involved in these business structures. However, the experience was unpleasant. A good example is I did not get the correct answer my boss was looking for until my thrid attempt. He asked me “what is the form partners being remunerated in partnership?”. My answer was “equity in the form of dividend” because the contract stated that the partners can claim the remaining profit based on their share percentage. But, my supervisor was not convinced by my answer. He was not satified with my answer so I looked it up again. This time, I found that partners are being compensated in the form of current distribution and liquidating distribution or preferred return and residual value. Unfortunately, my answer was still wrong. He then told me to check out a taxation website for the “answer”. Finally, I got the answer that he was looking for. Overall, the experience was very embarrassing because I got the wrong answer for two times in a row and ended up having him pointing out the correct answer to me. I think it could be me not understanding what answer he was expecting from me. There was a communication barrier between us because I thought he wanted this type of answer, and he actually wanted another type of answer. The lesson I learned is I shall clarify my queries to improve communication and increase efficiency.
Last weekend, I went to Prague, Czech Republic with my friends. We were so lucky to be there because there was a free concert in the Old Town Square. I enjoyed my time there a lot because I liked the rock music so much. We also had a good view of the Old Town from the top of Old Town Hall. Then, I had so much good food. I tried the most famous Prague street food called Trdelník. It is a rolled cake with ice cream and fillings of your choice in the middle. A fun fact is Trdelník is actually originated from a Hungarian town so it is a Hungarian food instead of Czech food. However, it only became famous in Prague. I tried two amazing Czech cuisines; one being beef tenderloin and Knedlíky served with Svickova gravy and the other being Smažený Sýr. Knedlíky is boiled bread dumpling whereas Svickova gravy is a Czech-style cream sauce. This dish was extremely delicious when the tender beef tenderloin was served with soft bread dumpling and dipped in Czech-style cream sauce. I could taste all the good tastes blending in my mouth peacefully; eating that meal was simply an enjoyment. Smažený Sýr is fried cheese. The Smažený Sýr I had was served with cranberry sauce. It tasted good except the outer layer of fried cheese was a little too thick where I could taste quite a bit of flour. If the fried layer was thinner, it would be perfect. Moreover, I had lots of chocolate. I checked out this chocolate cafe; it is known for its hot dark chocolate and Hořice rolls. The dark chocolate drink was insane; it had fresh banana and strawberry in it so I felt like I was having fruits dipped in chocolate fountain. The drink was also very thick so drinking it was a unique experience. Hořice rolls is rolls with whipped cream in it and dip into dark chocolate when serving. I also had chocolate waffle at a breakfast place; it was a variety of chocolate bars, oreo and chocolate syrup wrapped in a plain waffle. In short, I had good time eating in Prague!
My Pitt experience prepared me for international internship experience in Berlin by providing me professional knowledge as well as multicultural exposure. I would never be on top of my internship if I did not learn about introduction to finance and accounting at Pitt. These knowledge provided me with solid foundation so I could understand the terms and activities in finance and taxation context. However, it is also a lacking part of Pitt experience. I only took one finance course at Pitt. Therefore, there are a lot that I still do not understand within my internship position; I had to spend time learning them through online articles and educational videos. In addition, taxation is also not covered extensively at Pitt so I almost learned everything from scratch during my internship. On the other hand, multicultural exposure at Pitt is very beneficial for me. I attended a couple events that help me get around with friends of all country easier. For example, I went to global gala hosted by cross cultural and leadership development department. It was a fantastic experience for me to practice talking to friends of all nationalities and learn to appreciate various music and arts. This experience makes me an easier person to open up to foreign cultures.