Work-Life Balance

It’s been two weeks now and I definitely feel so much more comfortable in Prague. I still haven’t tried to take the bus, but I feel like I’ve mastered the tram and metro which feels like a win to me! On Monday, it seemed like my first day of work was going to be rocky when I couldn’t find the entrance to the my office. I walked around the business part multiple times before I found a receptionist area that looked correct. My supervisor had told me to tell the receptionist his name and she or he would let me up to the office, however when I told the elderly woman behind the desk who I was meeting, she had no idea who I was talking about. She also spoke zero English, so when a man walking by saw us both struggling, he thankfully stepped in to translate. Even with that assist, neither the receptionist nor the man had never heard of my supervisor or even my company, Swimming Pool, which is actually a marketing agency not an actual swimming pool. By this point I was full on panicking and positive that something had been miscommunicated and I didn’t in fact have any internship for the summer. Luckily, I remembered I had my bosses skype number, so I quickly called him and found out that there were multiple entrances to the business park, and I was at the wrong one. To be fair, I wasn’t technically given a correct address in the first place, but that’s beside the point.

After that was all sorted out, the rest of the day went ~swimmingly~… get it? cause I work at Swimming Pool! I got all set up at my new desk and met lots of new people. Most people in the office speak Czech, but there are a few, including my supervisor, who only speak English, so the main language in the office is English. This was a such a relief for me, because now I at least know that when it comes to work related things, I won’t be left trying to desperately google translate what everyone is saying! I am working in the social media portion of the firm and I was assigned to work on the account for a global shoe company called Bata. I had never heard of it before since there are no stores in the U.S., but it is a huge company which is so cool to work with! That first day the social media chair and the Bata account manager brought me along to their weekly meeting with the marketing people at Bata. I was a little worried because I was just jumping right into the deep end (I just can’t stop with the pool jokes!), but everyone at Bata was very friendly and the Swimming Pool people just kind of had me sit there and watch, which was perfect. This meeting was also entirely in English, so I was able to take notes on the information and start learning more about what Swimming Pool does for Bata and vice versa. The rest of the week went by with few problems and I spent most of it just learning more about Bata and what we do with their social media. Something that was a complete surprise to me was that part of the social media duties included having photoshoots of the products, so we have content to post. I had never done anything like that before, so it was so cool for me when we spent Wednesday on a shoot around the city. We had hired professional models and make-up artists and we went to four different places in Prague to photograph all different styles. I didn’t do much more than holding clothes and equipment, but it was a fun experience none the less.

When I’m not on photoshoots or in meetings, I am doing the tasks that I get sporadically from the Bata account manager, Audri, who is also American. At the beginning of the week, my tasks were mostly focused on orienting myself on all the new software that they use in the office like a task manager called TeamWork, a social media content scheduler called Facelift, and their Google Drive, which in my opinion has way too many folders that aren’t clearly named. For the rest of the week though, I have been able to manage my time and my tasks fairly easily. I try to work on a new task as soon as I get it. For instance, Audri asked me to do an audit of sorts on all of Bata’s social media accounts to make note of what I think they are doing well and what they could be doing better. I worked on that for a while, but because I knew this was not a time sensitive task, I was able to prioritize other tasks while still having this one in the background. When I was told to delete some faulty uploads on Pinterest and re-upload the images in a carousel, rather than one at a time, I paused my other task and spent time on that one instead. I am sure that my tasks will become more frequent, so though for now it is not hard to manage my time, I can imagine that it might become more difficult. When that happens, I hope that I can continue prioritizing time sensitive tasks and working on others in the background.

I also went to Berlin this weekend, for a sort of last-minute trip to visit my friend, Eva, who is working there now. After some debate about whether or not I could make it due to time constraints on a trip to Budapest with some other students interning in Prague, I decided that I would end up spending more time on the bus there and back than I would in Budapest, so Berlin it was! I had a great time and to be honest, I liked the city much more than I expected to. This was mostly because I knew very little about Berlin and the things it had to offer, so I was pleasantly surprised when Eva took me to many interesting and beautiful sites! All in all, this week was a good one even while dealing with the start of a new internship and some last minute travel plans! Until next time!