My working days at the WU Gründungszentrum

WU Vienna is carrying out a number of activities and initiatives for refugees in different areas, such as language courses or internships. Moustafa was one of those interns, working at the WU Gründungszentrum. This write-up is meant to highlight some of the funny, exciting and weird moments that Moustafa encountered during his three months at the WU Gründungszentrum.
  • Business Cards: When I received my business cards I was so happy and proud, for I didn’t expect to have an Austrian business card only two years after my arrival to the country, let alone one that has the logo of the Vienna University of Economy and business. So I started to give my business card to whomever I meet: my neighbours, my friends, the owner of the Turkish grocery in my neighbourhood, my brother and even my own wife!
  • Pay with a key: On the very first day of work, I had lunch in Mensa cafeteria with my colleague Inka. She paid for our lunch using her electronic office key (By the way thank you Inka for the burger, it was delicious). So after couple of days later I thought of using my electronic office key which I received earlier. I chose my meal, but when I used my key, the waiter told me that I don’t have enough balance! So you can imagine how embarrassed I was, especially that everyone in the queue was staring at me.
  • Understatement: On the second day of work and during the weekly meeting (which was my very first work meeting in German, and my German is far from being perfect) my turn came to contribute. The director of the centre, Rudolf Dömötör asked me how it is going with me. So instead of replying something like “well, my first day was good…I’ve met new people…I was introduced to my new colleagues”…etc., I was nervous and eager and rolled out a big paper with my thoughts about the STRATEGY of developing the whole social media of the centre! Their reactions were priceless.

“See you später!”

  • Lost in translation I: In the center we have Stephan Kardos, a high energetic brilliant young originator, and the main hero behind the Changemaker program. For some reason I always tend to get nervous in front of this guy maybe because of his energy, and he seems always to be very busy or mad of something. So, whenever I talk to him I lose my confidence, and to make it worse I try always to talk in German and I always end up saying something stupid. Once I just wanted to tell him “see you later” in English or “bis später” in German, I was lost between the two terms and I totally forgot what I should say, so I ended up mumbling something that is not existed in any other language on earth! I think it was “maah”. Oh I just found in that maah in Somali language means sickle according to Google translate!
  • Lost in translation II: I was assigned to attend the weekly FoundersADVICE Martin Wagner who run this event asked the young entrepreneurs to present their Pitch to me (In German again!) without me even realizing what is going on. When I figured out what is happening I asked the participants to switch to English. Thank God the session went very well and their feedback was highly positive. As a result I was asked by Martin Wagner to provide PR and Marketing consultation to young entrepreneurs in the coming sessions. Needless to say that thanks to Martin, I’ve learned a lot and gained more experience from those meetings.

A message to the WU Gründungszentrum’s team

Due to these three months I spent as an intern the values, the knowledge as well as the experience I gained there were priceless! I’m beyond grateful for this exciting opportunity. I’ve learned a lot from you guys, even though I was unfortunately not able to interact with you as I should, but still, the time I spent with you was more than enough to learn how positive, productive and encouraging you all are. Rudolf and Inka; your flexibility made me feel always relaxed and comfortable and I highly appreciate your effort in shaping the future of the entrepreneurship in Austria. Martin; your hard work and positive vibes pushed me to do more even in my tiny tasks. Stephan; you are very energetic and your leadership skills is all over the place, keep up the good work and I wish you all the best in your cool initiative and one day when I master the language I will have a friendly chat with you without having any awkward moments. Katharina; even though I saw you only few times but to me you’re always a fun person to be around, and I think you are the spice of the team.

As for the WUnderteam you guys rock! I was amazed by your enthusiasm and desire to make an impact here in the university and later in your society and maybe one day in the whole world. When I was your age I was spending time playing video games and chasing girls, maybe you do that as well but at least you’re being also extremely purposive, I have learned a great deal from you and every one of you has his/her charm despite your different personalities. You guys are really interesting people and cool good looking nerds, which is a very unique combination.

Again I’m very thankful! That I got the chance to meet you all and work with you, I gained new friends and I have expanded my knowledge and network of contacts, which it would significantly help me in my career future here in Austria. I’m confident that in the near future I will stop talking and start doing!

#refugees #gründungszentrum #internship