Week 7 – Cultural Competence Reflection

I’ve been looking forward to this coming weekend for the past couple weeks. From Saturday morning until Monday myself and some others from the program will be visiting Budapest. After having spent so much time the last couple weeks it will be nice to explore somewhere else in Europe and to discover a new culture. I have always had interest in seeing Hungary since I was a kid, so this will definitely be a fun adventure.

Now that we only have three weeks left on the program, I’m really starting to feel the time crunch to fit in and experience as many things as possible. Especially because of the debacle last weekend that kept us from seeing Hamburg, I really want to make sure I explore and see as much as I can before leaving Europe. Hopefully, though, I may be able to find a day after my internship ends where I could make it to Hamburg, but if not I’ll be happy with what I was able to do.

It’s crazy to think about, but after this coming weekend’s trip to Budapest, I will only have 9 more days left in the office (we’re using a day off for Monday, so I won’t be returning to work until Tuesday). Despite having been on the job for over a month now and having learned a done a lot, it still feels weird that I am coming up on the end of the internship. My experience at Residea has honestly been a lot more interesting than I was expecting. I have learned so much in terms of completing tasks, but also in terms of how businesses work and what it’s like to work an “adult job”. This week was full of more assignments, some new and exciting while others drab but necessary, overall though it was great to have more experience and I am eager to make sure I continue to take advantage of this opportunity in the last two weeks.

This week does feel like it has gone by pretty fast. I know that I’m writing this blog post a little earlier than usual, but it still feels as though the days are passing by faster and faster. Like I’ve said, it was a week full of meaningful work in the office, it was nice to continue to immerse myself in Berlin, but I am definitely excited for the adventure ahead in Budapest and the final couple weeks. On top of the last 9 days I have in the office, there is so much more that I plan on doing in the coming weeks. A good friend from home will be arriving in about a week for a study abroad program he is doing here through his school, it will be really nice to see a friend from home and be able to help him see the city and get oriented in Berlin. Beyond that, we will be taking a trip to Latvia after my internship ends, so I am definitely also looking forward to that. These next weeks will definitely be bitter-sweet but I’m glad that they’ll be packed with a lot of great things to do.

As the program has gone on, it has definitely been helpful to think reflectively and try to analyze what it is we are doing here, in order to really learn and grow the most from this program. With that, we have spent a decent amount of time reflecting on the differences in cultures, how we navigate these differences and uncertainties, and ultimately what things we struggle with and what things we appreciate. I do have to say though, that it is a bit difficult for me to say exactly what I find strange and different at my internship here, beyond the obvious like the language barrier, because this is in effect my first “real” office job. I have spend the last summers working at my restaurant and summer camp and most of my experiences have been outside the typical office experience. Although I see the value in learning how in an environment that one finds in a typical internship, I don’t really have any past experience to compare my time at Residea to. It honestly is all very new and interesting/strange to me in a lot of ways.

Although there are certain things that I could say that I do and don’t like about the work culture at my internship, I’m not really sure what it is I would say that I’d like to see in the U.S. In all honesty, I don’t know what I should be expecting out of a job when I return because I really don’t know yet the cultures of all the firms I could see myself working in in the future. I guess I would just hope that I have learned a lot about concrete work experience and about how I need to position myself in able to succeed in any environment. I would want to see an attitude and work culture, in the U.S., that is as accepting and helpful as the one that I found at Residea.