All posts by Erik Hakasalo

Working in Germany

Greetings from Germany, Stuttgart

I am currently doing my internship here in Stuttgart in a company called Jago Ag which is an online shop. Sales and marketing is the area where I am focused in and my job is quite versatile and interesting. Germany is not called a hard working country for no reason. You can see that it is hard embedded in the culture here. My work consists of quite a lot of excel related work but the range of tasks is quite diverse. I also get to translate product descriptions from German to Finnish which is quite nice.

Excel excel and more excel
Excel excel and more excel

Doing an internship is definitely different than being in an exchange. You have clear schedule and rhythm. Outside of work I go to the gym and hang out with my flat mates. I’ve had the change to meet friends from my exchange who live here in Germany. I have traveled around a bit for example I went to Aschaffenburg to see my friends and my plan is to visit Frankfurt as well. Weather here is quite warm (which is surprising) so I’ve got to enjoy it as well. And obviously the beer. German beer is possibly the best in the world but I’ve kept the consumption in a normal level.

Drink German beer. It's good.
Drink German beer. It’s good.

Germany and Finland are quite the same instead of the obvious fact that here are lot more people.  As a Finn if you come here you won’t be experiencing a culture shock. People in general are the same. We have the same mentality and same way of thinking but Germans are definitely more social.  Working culture here is a bit more strict and Germans really do work a lot. I would say that Germans are more determined to work and they work even a bit harder than Finnish people.


Laid back Porto

Hello from Porto! I have now been here over three months and it has definitely been a great experience. Studies have been quite the same as in Finland although not as challenging. Subjects I am studying are mostly focused on cultural differences in business and everyday life and how to get the best out of them.

Outside of the studies I have been travelling a lot around Portugal and even made a pit stop in Germany, Munich. I have been in Lisbon, seen the amazing university of Coimbra, swam in crystal blue waters in Algarve and relaxed in the hot springs of Azores. In Germany I mostly enjoyed the beer because here in Porto you basically have only one beer which is called Super Bock. Don’t get me wrong it’s good but it gets a bit boring after while. bridge algarve azores

The main difference here compared to Finland is definitely the laid back attitude towards everything. If you arrive ten minutes late to a meeting or class it’s not considered rude and you really don’t need to apologize for it which is a good thing but on the other hand you can see it in the results. Other major difference is that during the studies you have to choose between either continuous or final assessment. Continuous assessment means that you have small exams and group projects during the whole semester when final assessment means that you have to do one big exam in February on the subject.

Vila Nova de Gaia.


While waiting for small Christmas vacation to Finland I’m going to enjoy some delicious Port Wine (in moderation) and study hard and try to enjoy my last month here in Porto 🙂