Name: Julian Weinberger
Internship period: 01/08/2018 – 30/11/2018
Department: Membership, Events and Communication
Tell us about your hometown and its significance in terms of trade and culture:
As a child I grew up in a village called Rettenberg im Allgäu in the in mountainous south of Germany, close to the Austrian border. Coming back home always make me feel like vacation: skiing in winter, biking, hiking or swimming in mountain lakes in summer surrounded by an absolutely stunning nature. Although there live only 5000 residents, two breweries are based in Rettenberg. So if you ever get the chance of trying an “Engelbräu” beer take it, it’s amazing! Since my home region is located in the depths of Bavaria the cultural practices are accordingly. Apart from many small family run handicraft businesses, the most important economic sectors include the engineering industry, tourism and agriculture.
What kind of field-related practical work did you do before joining the German-Thai Chamber of Commerce and which experiences did you gain from each of them and how did they impact you?
I have gained my first practical experiences related to my field of studies, Economics and Business Administration at the Julius-Maximilians Universität Würzburg, as a student trainee at the public utility and main energy provider of the city of Würzburg. For three years I had been responsible for the planning and conduction of PR events and supporting launches of new products throughout Germany. Also my time in London, where I did an internship at a multinational trade fair and exhibition organizer for three months, was highly educational – from both professional and personal perspectives.
What are your favourite as well as disliked German and Thai dishes?
There are many dishes I love in Thailand and Germany. Hard to say which are my favourites, but if I had to decide I would probably choose a Zwiebelrostbraten with Kässpatzen, basically a beef steak topped with caramelised onions and a special kind of noodles gratinated with cheese. Among all the tasty Thai dishes it is even harder to choose, but I like Yam Nua (Spicy Beef Salad), Gaeng Daeng (Red Curry) and Mango sticky rice a lot. On the other hand I still did not get used to dishes with a lot of fish sauce as well as to those with offals. In Germany I don’t like Leberwurst and Brätknödel, both soft and fine meat dishes partly made of liver.
What is the most unfamiliar Thai culture to you?
Since I have lived in Thailand quite often already (last time it was two years ago for my exchange semester in Bangkok), I am not a complete stranger to Thailand and its diverse culture. But sometimes it is still hard to read people’s mind since they are very polite and a lot less direct than the Germans. You sometimes definitively have to read between the lines in order to recognize someone’s real feelings towards something. Communication in Thailand definitively follows different rules than in Germany and especially in the beginning it is easy to unintentionally affront people. But intercultural challenges are one of the most exciting parts of living in foreign countries and teach me a lot.
What is the topic of your thesis and what is your plan after completing your internship at GTCC ?
I recently received the results of my thesis on “The crisis communication of the Volkswagen Group during the Diesel scandal” which is an empirical analysis and evaluation of the communication strategies of VW. Right now I am in the decision process of which master’s programme I want to pursue. I do have a couple of things in mind, but have not decided yet. Gaining some more practical experiences in between is an option as well.