Berlin Check-In

Guten Tag! (at least it’s early afternoon for me in Berlin)

Being in Berlin for five days now feels unreal. I have had such an amazing time. After nearly missing my connection flight (and my luggage actually missing it), I finally received my suitcase three full days after I landed. This first week during orientation, we had both planned activities and time to explore. Our in-country program director built us a busy schedule keeping us walking or learning all day. The week went so fast seeing the most amazing sights including Checkpoint Charlie and the Berlin Wall. I’m surely no history buff but the history behind this city truly is fascinating. I can’t wait to start my internship next week and to continuing to explore the rich culture of Berlin!

I will be working in the consulting industry for a company that provides data compensation data to clients. They do so by asking companies for information and offering some information in return but sharing a more detailed data plan with their client. One the main software applications they use are Microsoft Office. In order to incorporate the numbers from over seventy five plus countries with several different types of data, they use Excel to organize the information. While Excel does allow them to quickly search the data and find numbers that give them information, it isn’t the most presentable for the client. Vencon also uses Powerpoint to compile the data into visual depictions that will allow the client to clearly see the necessary information.

Since Vencon’s service line is consulting, the skills necessary for consulting are very important to be successful. Since it would be very tedious to do the data projects by hand, technology is very integrated into the company. Some of the key skills that would be necessary are technology proficiency. One the of the main issues that they currently face is that they aren’t importing their data into Excel, they are entering the data manually. This is not only time consuming but is also inefficient and most likely will cause the data to be inaccurate. The client is the priority in the consulting industry. They are paying the company for a product service and the company needs to deliver upon their expectations. To do so, they need a number of skills including communication, organization, and problem solving. Communication is key between all members of the team as well as with the client. If there are any issues or anything that doesn’t look right, it will not be solved without proper communication and could lose the company future business. Additionally, organization of information is going to decrease inefficiencies and allow for a more fluid production. Lastly, problem solving is key for many industries but applies to consulting because the problem at hand is the reason the client approaches a company. Therefore, it is the company’s job to create a suitable resolution or give them the data the client is looking for. In conjunction with these skills, it’s important to really try to do the best work and ask questions as they arise so that the question doesn’t prevent the work from getting done.

One of the largest differences between consulting in America and consulting here in Germany is language. In the United States, consulting in country is likely all in English and both the employees and the client. However, in Berlin, Germany, there are a large number of transplants as well as it being a much smaller country which allows a greater opportunity for different languages being spoken fluently. As previously mentioned, it is important to communicate well in the consulting industry. This can be challenging with a language barrier and will be something I have not experienced before given that America typically lacks foreign language. Many people in Germany speak English of varying degrees in addition to German and sometimes including other languages. Vencon has clients in over seventy countries which forces the team to ensure that the communication is clear and being understood by the client. Overcoming the language barrier to make myself clear as an individual and as a representative of Vencon will be a new challenge that I’m excited to take on.

So for now, I can’t wait to start my internship. I can’t believe it’s already been almost a full week. The days have been so long but the time has been flying! I want to learn so many new things at my internship this summer and I’m happy that I’ll be able to keep you all updated. Check back again next week for an update about my first week and how I’ve settled into the new job!

Auf Wiedersehen!

Kira