Undergraduate Blog / Defining Your Babson

How to make connections on your first day, important tips for working in Eastern Europe/Middle East

I am currently interning at an investment bank in Istanbul, Turkey. Turkish culture is a lot different than the American culture and similar to European/Middle Eastern culture. The most important tip for someone interning in a different country is never miss the coffee time. Even though drinking coffee in the US is usually grab and go, for other countries it is a time to get to know people. On my first day I was able to learn almost everyone’s names at the firm over drinking coffee which brings me to tip number two: use names. This might seem obvious, but you should know the names of people who work as a security or in the kitchen, this shows that you actually care about the work environment and helps you create a friendly, approachable image. If your work environment seems casual, or if there are people closer to your age ask them for advice. From my experience asking for advice always turned up well for me, and I was able to ask for their LinkedIn name and add them. LinkedIn is a really big part of business culture in foreign countries, so I would definitely advise creating a profile and start making connections. My final and the most important advice is to never forget to simile, those people in the office work really late, but they still try to teach you how to do work, so tell them how much you appreciate their time, maybe bring simit (or bagel) to office for quick breakfast which would make everyone’s day. If you’re happy then people around you would be happy too, to make the most of your internship just try to learn as much as you can and make sure to have fun while learning.