International Internship Berlin Summer 2022
July 4th, 2022
Communicating in Berlin:
Week 7. I can’t believe we are essentially in the final leg of this program. It has been something I will always remember, cherish, and carry with me moving forward. This has been a great week for me in the workplace, as I have been really enjoying my work as of late. I have been more directly involved with our social media accounts, as the majority of posts are coming from me, as I make the captions but do not make the graphics in most cases. It has been really interesting seeing my takeaways from my analysis work early on in the program play out. I made some connections of what content performs well on different platforms, and it has been great observing how such content performs and how the analysis paid off. Some of our posts on LinkedIn and Instagram have been close to all-time highs in metrics such as interactions and impressions which is something I am really happy with. This week I will be finalizing our content strategy along with our content calendar and event calendar. It is exciting knowing that these tasks are things the company will use for hopefully many months to come, as it reassures me that I have been making a genuine impact since working at plista.
Since my time in Berlin it has been interesting noting the communication differences between here and Pittsburgh. To answer whether things are communicated in either a low or high context, I think it really depends on the situation. Germans are known for being direct in conversation, and I have come to experience such directness in many interactions in public with strangers which I communicate with for whatever reasons. However, Germans can also be very detailed and lay out the steps necessary to complete a task for example in a professional environment. This is something I have experienced to some degree, although much of the tasks I complete are given with a much more experimental and open structure, allowing me to tackle them as I please. In meetings when discussing and planning things there is definitely instances where the communication between myself and my colleagues is more so high-context. As we go through different ideas about a topic of discussion there can be a great deal of context provided to support a point being made. Besides this, during my time in Berlin communication is definitely more direct and low-context. This is all compared to Pittsburgh and the US of course, where often there can be a big buildup before getting to the main point, providing a lot of reasons why we may feel a certain way about a topic. This is both seen personally and professionally, as I can confidently say I have had to communicate with much context to my parents about something that could have easily been discussed in a very straightforward manner with little to no elaboration needed.
Speaking a bit on miscommunications, there have definitely been some while I have been in Berlin, but nothing very significant thankfully. The most common instances would be when ordering something, where I have to repeat or confirm more than once what exactly I am ordering, along with the quantity of that good or product. At the workplace, I have not had many miscommunications whatsoever, as I fortunately feel open and comfortable repeating myself or explaining my point in a different way so everyone is on the same page before moving forward. Addressing the differences in communication between working remotely or in person, there is definitely a big difference between the two. Working remotely provides opportunities for issues when trying to communicate with colleagues such as audio, visual, and connection issues to name the big ones. There have been multiple instances where myself or someone was talking about some point during a meeting, just to experience a major lag spike resulting in everyone missing the point and having to go back and understand everything that was missed. Working in person eliminates all of these issues, as I can easily talk to my colleagues who are in the office or sitting next to me without dealing with any of the issues mentioned above. This ultimately makes communicating much quicker and more efficient when in the office, and this is one of the biggest driving factors that makes me both want to and enjoy going to the office. Working remotely certainly has its perks, as it saves me from the 45 minute commute one way while working from the comfort of my hotel. Honestly speaking, I enjoy the hybrid work environment, as I enjoy the balance of remote work and being in office, so I wouldn’t wish for my current work situation to be any other way.
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