Undergraduate Blog / Defining Your Babson

Identifying Cultural Differences

As the second week of my internship came to an end, I decided to write down some key differences in culture that I noticed. The internship at Financial Capital seemed very different for me in the aspect of the organizational structure and workflow set up. I had some previous experience of interning in the large corporation, so being an intern here has a very unique dimension. I like having an opportunity to establish some personal connections with employees and learn from their background, experience, and expertise. The working culture in Russia has been a shock for me at first, because in comparison with Ukraine and the US, Russians tend to start their work day later. The nature of meetings and negotiations has rather an informal structure to it, as opposed to the agendas, well defined meetings plan and reports. Although my experience is very unique in the sense that the company has international partners, I am still able to differentiate some trends that are prevalent in the Russian working culture. It is not uncommon here to hang out with your co-workers on the weekend, given that you spend at least 40 hours with them during the week. The attire as not as professional as I expected, so during the first week I was overdressed on the majority of days. My colleagues like to keep it simple and classy, and they know how to dress with style. The living stereotype that they like to wear black outfits is gradually dying out as people pick up new trends and try to look more modern and European.

Questions are an integral part of learning experience and they arise very frequently. Anything from “how to say this?” to “what is this food” to something more personal goes on constantly on my mind. I don’t mind asking other people those questions and so far nobody was ever rude with me or impolite. If I have any questions about the assignments and work, my co-workers are always happy to help. Overall, my transition to the new environment was quite enjoyable.