Christopher Kirsch, intern at Sony Classical, Germany, describes the differences between German and American workplaces and how cross-cultural workplaces share strengths from both sides of the pond
Working in the media branch in Germany can be pretty much the same as in the US. Of course, the music market is much smaller, since Germany has only 82 million inhabitants. Nevertheless, it is still a prolific industry, making it the third biggest music market worldwide. It is not only that Europe and America are mentally tied to each other. Moreover, it is America’s cultural impact that has been dominated the business world in Germany and Continental Europe in recent years.
Having lived so long in the US, it was also interesting for me to experience similarities and differences between here and overseas. In Germany, for instance, it is not very common to call your colleagues by their first name – especially, if their position is higher than yours. You would rather say Mr. or Ms. At Sony though we would go by our first names, just like in English speaking countries. Generally, the English language has become an unavoidable tool in business language. Words like “schedule”, “meeting”, or “forecast” have substituted the appropriate German description.