Working Across Global Branches
As an intern working in one of the APAC branches, there were many instances where I had to communicate and collaborate across branches. Working through time differences and multiple schedules, I quickly realized how hard it could be to virtually work with others. One thing that I found that was particularly challenging was certain langue barriers. While everybody could speak business level English, for many English was his or her second language. Therefore, there would be instances where communication would break down. For me, Japanese is my second language and I had times when I struggled to understand technical words used in Japanese business. Whenever I would follow my boss to client and publisher meetings to take notes, I would find myself falling behind due to the fast pace and detailed conversations. When I would return to the office, it would take me a lot of time to look up the terms and subjects that were talked about in the meeting, and as a result, I could not be as efficient as I wanted to be. One day, I decided to ask my boss for 15 minutes after each meeting to quickly run through the meeting topics and answer the questions I had, to which he obliged. By reaching out for help instead of trying to overcome this dilemma, I was able to finish my work much faster and at a much better quality.
Similarly, working across global branches as an intern made me realize how important it is to ask for help when you need it. Everybody I asked for help from were more than happy to help me, regardless of which branch they were a part of. At first, I tried to do most of my work by myself without bothering others. Now I know how much easier and faster reaching out to fellow teammates can be, and I have even reached out to the new interns, telling them to ask me if they need any help. Especially when working across countries or language barriers, I’ve learned how vital it is to not only collaborate, but to ask for help when you need it. It can make life much more easier and efficient for everybody!