COVID-19’s Effects: The Ups & The Downs

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Only 2 weeks left! It seems as though time flew throughout this process. I have a mix of excitement and stress motivating me to work harder than I have before coming into these next 2 weeks. I can’t wait to meet with Mr. Wachter again and present to him what we have prepared for him and Possehl Online Solutions. 

COVID has impacted everyone greatly throughout this past year, the biggest factor obviously being the travel limitations, impacting the entire study abroad experience. However, the Coronavirus has impacted Germany as well as the United States. I am sure Mr. Wachter is dealing with a great amount of stress managing a startup company in the middle of a pandemic. Creating and managing a startup is difficult to begin with, I can’t imagine the issues that may have sprung up due to the Coronavirus. Thankfully, since Possehl is in the industry of digital solutions, all of their work is done digitally. However, when reaching out to clients outside of Germany, it is important to take into account what impact COVID has had on the country itself such as the people, industries, and the economy. I know I tend to forget that some, if not most, countries have COVID under control compared to the United States. Staying updated on world news and COVID statistics could help gauge what companies in certain countries to reach out to and/or what countries to refrain from reaching out to. Aside from the mindfulness of the different degrees of severity with regards to COVID, I do not personally think that it has had a great impact on the results of our project. Again, the industry we have been researching and understanding is digital solutions. All of the research that is needing to be done for the project can be done virtually. All competitors are online and access to their websites and social media platforms has not changed. The only issue, that is very minimal, is I wish our team could have had the opportunity to meet in person to have discussions about our project. Although it is so much more convenient over Zoom, in-person discussions and check in points would most likely allow us to understand all the material and research we have been covering in our respective groups a little bit better. With that in said, I think our team has done a great job of staying in communication virtually and working together to the best of our abilities. 

Working virtually with a client is always difficult, it adds even more difficulty when they are from another country. A language barrier has been something we have had to work around for the past few weeks. Trying to convey certain ideas to someone in another country, even if they also speak English, is tricky because they may interpret a word or idea differently than how we are trying to convey it. Also, adding in the virtual aspect certainly does not help. Only being able to communicate through a computer screen in a group setting makes conveying ideas even more difficult. It seemed as though adding the virtual aspect could have potentially added another barrier between us and the client. However, the misinterpretation has been cleared and we are heading on the right track towards our final presentation! Some positives about working on this project virtually have been the flexibility to meet whenever it is convenient for our group. The ease and flexibility of Zoom meetings never gets old. Also, having all of the research that is needed to be done at our fingertips on Google or LinkedIn has made the research process immensely easier than having to conduct research in person. 

Although I would prefer to have the experience in person, being able to work on this project even virtually has been so much fun. Having such a hands-on experience has allowed me to learn so much about consulting and marketing research. It has been an incredible opportunity and I can’t wait for our final presentation!