Well it's week six now and time is marching on. At work I've completed the last task I was set and am now awaiting on my next challenge. I have been reflecting on what I have learnt so far and I think the main thing I have learnt from my internship has been the complexities involved in working with people across many different cultures. As this is due to be one of the subjects that I'll be studying in my final year (Managing Across Cultures), I'm finding it extremely helpful and informative. Previously I had worked only with groups of people from one cultural background at a time, in a predominantly western culture, however the work I have been doing recently has involved working simultaneously with people from many different cultures; trying to coordinate information and set timescales with realistic deadlines that will be acceptable to all. It's not as easy as it looks! I've found that the key is not only understanding other people's viewpoint and perspective, but acknowledging them and being prepared to compromise with your own when neccessary,and of course a healthy dose of patience! Strangely enough, the language barrier has not been the cause of most of the misunderstandings. Although everyone has differing levels of spoken English, they all have an excellent standard of written English and even manage to understand all my rambling emails! Although during some conference calls I have discovered that my accent can lead to a few problems. In one case I had a gentleman from India translating my words (into English!) for the rest of the team. A rather bizzare experience! It's also a different experience to work in an almost totally paperless office. Everything is done online here so there are no paper files at all. Only some of the manuals are printed out to be refered to when needed. It certainly makes it much easier to clear your desk at the end of the day! Although I have also discovered that no matter where you go in the world, there are some things that remain the same. The IT department! Even working for an IT company there are still issues with printers and system downtime.
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