Weekly Reflection 4

What is a challenge you have faced so far in your internship? Did you overcome it? If so, how? If not, why not? What did you learn from this challenge?

The greatest challenge I’ve faced thus far is just working in another country and culture. I have done a lot of adapting and have been picking up on how they work and speak.

The English vernacular is a lot different than it is in the US, which I run into trouble with when typing up documents and reports, especially when they are things that go out of the office to coaches, teachers or parents. They use the word programme to describe an event or something that is happening, while a program is more like software or a computer program. They use centre rather than center, trousers instead of pants, rubbish and bin rather than trash and trash can, and toilets to mean the whole restroom. While it is subtle, there is even a difference in their grammar and how they use words. One of my co-workers used the word “burgled,” which means burglarized. There are rarely any z’s in their words, like organisation rather than organization. I always have one of my co-workers check my work when I have typed or written things to make sure that I used proper English and not my American-ized version.

This week, my boss, Amy, was out of the office on business, so we would communicate and share work via email. Some of my tasks were continuations of some of my current projects, but she sent me lots of new tasks this week as well. While she tried to explain them as best as possible, there were things that I didn’t quite understand and had several questions about my tasks. This was a challenge for me, since it was the first time to tackle work all on my own at this internship and I usually have Amy sitting right behind me when I needed help. While being independent in my work is a good thing, a lot of my projects require a lot of information and input from Amy, so it is always better when she is there in the office. But I managed to complete all my tasks for the week, with only minimal email corrections from Amy. I just tried to keep in mind previous notes or changes she had made on my work and tried to follow a similar style when I could.

I think most of the challenges I face in this office will go away with time and practice, as most of them involve acclimating to the office and the English culture.


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