The second week in Moscow has been great. Monday started off with a holiday and ended with Megaforum!
Monday was a national holiday: Russia Day. It commemorates the creation of the Russian Federation in the transition from the Soviet Union. So, everyone got the day off from work to celebrate the holiday. I did however work a couple of hours from home to do some adjustments to an assignment, which was due to Tuesday. In the evening, I met up with my girlfriend to see the fireworks, which were planned to 22:00 around the Red Square. I met her close to the Red Square at 21:45 and we went to a spot with good view over the Kremlin. The fireworks were supposed to be set off after a VIP-concert that took place on the Red Square. We were unfortunately not invited to the concert. So, we waited there with hundreds of other people and the clock turned 22 but no fireworks. No big deal, a small delay is ok. 22:05 still no fireworks, hmm well soon probably. 22.10 hmm, if there’s still no fireworks. 22:15 a soldier walks up to the crows and says: “Hey folks! The firework was moved forward, there won’t be anymore. Go home!”. So, that’s it. Sometimes things don’t turn out as planned in Russia.
Close but no cigar. Nice evening though.
Making progress at work
It’s been raining a lot this week, so it’s been easy to focus on the work at hand and shut out the outside world. I have gotten a lot of things done already done a significant part of my project, which is good since I need to deliver the bulk of my project in just a couple of weeks. My project is a part of a much larger project at the office so I need to adapt my schedule after what fits all other cogs in the machinery. I don’t mind if that means that I need to speed up sometime because it feels good to doing impact, where it matters and being part of a larger context. This way there is no risk of being ‘isolated’ with my own ‘special assignment’ with no real connections to all other things that go on at the department.
A moment of clarity. The Moscow State University can be seen in the distance behind the Luzhniki Stadium from the office.
On Tuesday, I and Olga sat down for a feedback session after lunch. It was great to get some feedback on the work I have done, both to confirm that I’m on the right track and to get some advice on future directions, focus areas and improvements.
Speaking a lot of Russian
One thing I have reflected upon is that I talk in Russian 90 % of the time at work. I’m a bit surprised of how well it is working. I and Olga had a meeting with Kirill, who is one of the Channel Managers, who I am supporting with some analysis. The purpose of the meeting was to define the analyses that Kirill needed me to provide and we took the whole meeting in Russian. I didn’t feel any need to clarify anything in English. It feels good that all those thousands of practice hours are paying off! It is only with the other Swedes or in mixed groups that I talk Swedish or English.
Score! Double rainbow seen from the office.
Learning new things
Since the project that I’m working on is related to Marketing and especially Brand Communication, I have had the opportunity to learn a lot of new things since the start of the internship. I have not worked directly in this area before and I can say that the learning curve has been steep in the last two weeks. This Friday we had a team meeting to go through the results of a campaign that ran on TV and internet earlier this year. It was fascinating to get some insight in how you work with targets and KPIs in this sphere of business. Overall, all these experiences keep adding more and more pieces to the puzzle of how businesses work.
That’s all for this time but stay tuned for an update on Megaforum! It deserves its own post.:)