Diving into Work

As we come to the end of another week here in Berlin, I have several more stories to share. For the most part this week I spent a lot of time relaxing. For weeks we have been exploring so many different places in the city and traveling to new parts of the country. I felt as though I needed to spend so time relaxing and just spending time in our neighborhood. I found several new bakeries and coffee shops in the area that I went to. I also found a new restaurant just a few blocks from our hotel that had amazing sushi. There are also several parks within walking distance from the hotel that are great to sit and relax and get some work done. Over the course of this trip I have found myself at one of the lakes in the Berlin area several times. This past weekend I spent the better half of Sunday afternoon on the beach at Wannsee lake. I had previously been here before but never made it down to the beach because it was cold and windy the first time visited. Sunday was different. It was a beautiful sunny 80 degree day perfect to lay on the beach and take in some sun. Wannsee was one of the nicer beaches that I have visited over the past weeks. It had multiple food stands with all types of different foods for a reasonable price. It also had a large beach which was nice because we were able to have our own space even though there were a lot  of people at the beach.

Outside of the exciting adventures within the city, a lot has been happening at work. I have finished my research and have started searching for new sales leads. In ImpactHub we have four ecosystems that we offer programs that firms may purchase. I have been tasked with finding new partners for the GreenTech ecosystem. I have narrowed my focus into three fields of opportunity: Green AI and software, Green mobility and transportation, and Green PropTech and IoT. I started my search by finding different conferences based around green technology and sustainability. I then look at the larger firms who fund the conferences. This gives me a good starting block for my search. Since the firms are providing funding for these events, they often have a pledge or goal for sustainability which we can help them reach. One of the main accounts I have been pursuing is the Deutsche Bahn (DB). This is a large corporation within Germany as they provide the country with much of the public transportation. I feel as though the DB would fit perfectly into our green mobility and transportation ecosystem and could benefit greatly from our program.

Although I think I have assimilated smoothly in the work place I have run into trouble with the differences in cultures around Holidays. From my experience in the US people usually take vacations or holidays one week at a time. Many of my co-workers take month long holidays. While this is probably beneficial for the person taking the vacation, I find that it is mildly disruptive in the work place. It can be difficult to get in touch with people when they are gone and several times, I have had questions for someone who is away on holiday. The response is either extremely slow or none at all. At least twice my co-worker’s have had to push meetings with clients back because the person who spearheaded the account was away on holiday for several more weeks. I was shocked when they did this because of how long they were willing to wait to conduct this meeting, but no one seemed to bat an eye at it. Even the client seemed to understand and was willingly to move the meeting back to accommodate. This is something that I do not think would fly in the business culture in America. I feel as though people are more impatient in the US and that is why month long vacations are not very common. I have also had difficulty with language in the last week. Since I have begun my search for new partnerships many f the firms have their websites in German. Occasionally you are able to switch it to English on the site but often times I have to translate using an online translator. It has taught me new important buzz words that I can look for on websites in German but it does take me longer to accomplish my work at times.