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Meet Anita in New York!

Meet Anita in New York!

Anita a 23-year-old girl from Germany is doing her internship in Marketing and Communications in New York City. We asked her to share some of her experiences in the US.

Can you tell us something about why you decided to go to the US?
I always dreamt of living and working in a big city abroad, but the main reason why I decided to go the United States was to gain international working experience. Especially after completing my studies in marketing and management in Austria I wanted to expand my knowledge in that area and see how marketing is used in different countries. I am planning to use that knowledge and experience when I am back in my home country.
Another reason why I chose an internship in the US was to see how different cultures work and I wanted to see a different kind of lifestyle. Since I am planning to work in an international company in the future, it’s important for me to know how to deal with different customers and clients all over the world. Also, in Germany and Austria are a lot of businesses, which are working with international clients. It’s an advantage to speak English fluently and know about possible cultural barriers.

Can you tell us more about your internship?
The company I am working for is an international E-Commerce company, so Marketing is also an important part of their business. Their three main activities include customer service, logistic management and Amazon Operations.

Can you describe a typical day at your internship?
My working day starts at 9:30. In the morning I check my emails and try to handle them immediately. There are also daily tasks which I have to fulfill every morning like checking new orders and the current status of our campaigns. I also have tasks which I have to do on specific days in the week or month. Most of the time I work on different projects. So after my daily responsibilities I continue working on them. If required, I also help my other colleagues if they need me. I take my lunch break usually around 12:30 and get some lunch from places nearby. At 6 pm I finish work. In the office we often talk about our previous day or our plans after work.

How do you feel about the working environment? Are there any cultural differences?
I don’t think that there are any huge cultural differences between Austria/Germany and the United States. I noticed that our working style is very similar and I wasn’t shocked about anything. I only think that the US isn’t quite as formal as Austria or Germany in emails or in talking to each other. But I think that also depends on the company you are working for. The working environment in our small office couldn’t be any better. I always feel happy and excited in the morning when I go to work and during the day. I really enjoy being with my colleagues in the office. Everyone cares about each other. That means they are always asking me if everything is alright and support each other in their work tasks and in private matters. I can ask for help all the time and I feel that they appreciate my work and see me as a colleague and not as an intern. Sometimes I even forget that I am “only the intern”. I have the feeling that my opinion counts as much as everyone else’s.

Are there more interns at your company?
I am the only intern in the office, but I don’t care about that because I have the feeling that I am a normal employee there. The contact with my other co-workers is amazing. They help me every time if I have a question. We also talk about our previous day and for example our weekend plans. We already did a few things together outside the office and I enjoyed this time with them. Even in stress situations we have something to laugh about and respect each other.

What is your housing situation?
I live in a 3 bedroom apartment in East Flatbush, Brooklyn with two other roommates. Both of them are from the United States. There is a bi-weekly cleaning service included in the rent and the apartment is also furnished. My room is pretty big with a king size bed, a nightstand, a desk with a chair, a nice closet and I still have enough free space. Wi-Fi is also included. We have a big living room and kitchen.

Have you made any trips so far? (Or have you trips planned/in mind?)
Despite sightseeing in Manhattan and Brooklyn I also went to Jersey, Staten Island, Governors Island and Rockaway Beach by ferry. I also plan to go to Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Atlantic City and Boston. I will do that during the weekends or after my internship.

Have you done any cultural or fun activities in the city of your internship/traineeship?
I think I’ve been to every sight in NYC, even places normal tourists usually don’t go. The Brooklyn Bridge Park is my favorite one because the view to Manhattan, especially at sunset, always amazes me.
I could sit the whole day at Columbus Circle because I really like watching the big apple traffic there. When I was at the East River State Park in Williamsburg I was surprised by a food festival which was going on that day. It was interesting to see the different kinds of food and drinks. It was much more exciting than a street food festival in Austria. I think I already saw a lot but there are still some things on my to do list.
Despite sightseeing I often meet with some people to go on the different rooftop bars in NYC or go partying in cool clubs. I’ve even been to a secret bar once. You can just never be bored in this city. Everything you do is just an adventure, even grocery shopping. If I am bored I can just go outside and there is always something going on. That’s what I like about the city.

How do you feel about your experience abroad so far?
It sure is the best experience in my life. If I hadn’t done it I am sure I would have regretted it later. I learn so much in my internship and I can use all of this knowledge for my future jobs.

What are some typical American things? Can you share some fun-facts?
The first thing I noticed, even before arriving in the city was that Americans love their air conditioning. When I was looking for a room the most important thing seemed to be an AC unit. I always brought a jacket to work because at the first sign of sunshine, the air conditioning at the office was running at full speed. When the first heat wave came to NYC I finally understood the need of an AC.
Another thing I had to get used to was the keyboard on my computer. It was strange that the letters Z and Y were switched. Also other numbers were on a different spot. Since I am a fast typer it was annoying in the beginning. Now I can’t use my Austrian computer anymore because I always switch the letters Z and Y.

What are your future plans?
In Autumn I will start with my Master’s program in Austria (Information, Media and Communication). It’s only on the weekend. That means I will probably go back to the advertising agency where I did an internship before going to NY because they offered me a job.

Any recommendations or things you can share for students who are considering going to the USA?
I think I already shared a few things in my fun facts. But it’s easy to settle in. After a few days you already feel like you belong here. You can also always ask your colleagues about certain “weird American things”. Also, don’t believe everything the Internet says.