The first time I worked out of an office which was not in my country, it opened my eyes to so many things. While working for a global company, I realised how the company tried its best to create a uniform work culture that was casual, empathetic to employees and involved certain forms of expectations about employee behaviour etiquette. At the same time, I could also see how the inherent cultural differences also led to a beautiful amalgamation of the set standards and the cultural context. I can cite an example: Employees were encouraged in all offices to be passionate about what they do, and pick up things they wanted to work on to go above and beyond their core job profile. While some offices tackled this by working longer hours in order to accommodate everything, other offices in other parts of the world dealt with this by diversifying and choosing low-hanging fruits to achieve quick results. This differentiation of approaches to the same need came from a deep-rooted cultural understanding of what is necessary: countries which have been traditionally working longer hours chose the first option for example.
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One of my aims of interning with MUNPlanet is, therefore, to figure out how the work culture varies in Serbia. My hope is to learn some best practices that the work culture in Serbia has, and to see how they can be replicated in my work place in India. My experience of working in cross-cultural contexts have yielded several valuable learnings about people and work, helped broaden my outlook and this appreciation of diversity has led me to introduce diversity-related initiatives in the workplace and in the society. Because of this, I founded a socio-cultural organisation that collaborated with artists from different parts of the world to sensitise people to these differences and appreciate and encourage them.
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I also hope to use this time and platform to experiment with different types of content in terms of keywords, images, designs etc. I hope to study patterns of content engagement, and understand the kind of content that has seen the most traction and most importantly, why. There are several theories of what kind of designs work in different contexts, for eg. the power of minimalistic ads versus the usual rules that render spoken language powerful such as alliterations and repetitions. This can be a great time to find out what combinations possibly work to yield the best possible results.
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MUNs have been an amazing way for university students to learn the art of diplomacy, public speaking and as one veteran MUNer I know remarked, theatre. It leads one to believe that persuasive dialogue is not just backed by facts, but also by compelling rhetoric. I hope to understand how leadership works at MUNPlanet, for it to be able to sustain such a vibrant and engaged user base. The growth of MUNPlanet is a compelling case study which has managed to unite the global community of students and young professionals and present them with opportunities they can use to grow and learn. Apart from being a business idea, it has provided a service that was very much needed by this community to find opportunities suited for them in a much faster and more efficient way.
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This internship is not just about content, marketing, social media or PR. This is about how all of them tie in together to create a robust ecosystem in the front-end of the organisation. It is about figuring out and experimenting with things that have not been done before. It is about how we mobilise a community to find what is best suited for them, bring more people to join our platform and facilitate dialogue among the members of our community. I hope to bring in the skills to do the things outlined, but I hope to gain deepr learning about a system that works to cater to a global audience, what this audience responds to and where MUNPlanet needs to position itself given the dynamic nature of this ecosystem.