During my time working at Presien, I was able to gain more than just knowledge and experience, I also made new friends, peers, and seniors along the way.
On my first day of work, I was invited to have lunch with the team. I was both surprised and very anxious because it was only my first day and I felt like I had not done any useful work before lunch. So, I declined and continued working, only having a quick microwave-lunch that I prepared for myself in 15 minutes, while the team went out to have lunch together.
In the following days and weeks, my colleagues always insisted that I should join them, and I was finally feeling comfortable enough to do so. We had lunch at various places in the area, some people brought their own food, but the food was not the important part. It was sitting around, talking, and learning more about each other; it was a simple, yet effective team-bonding activity. There were conversations about work, but also life in general.
As an international student studying, and now working in Australia, I can always feel the presence of the cultural barrier, even after nearly 2 years of living here. However, this experience has helped me break that barrier. Hearing my colleagues, who are from multiple parts of the world with vastly different backgrounds, talk about their perspectives made me more culturally sound. They also enjoyed my perspectives on things as well, and I was glad that I was able to bring something to the table.
Since then I have rarely missed a lunch with my team, and it has become one of the most integral part of my work routine. Furthermore, as now I have realised how important team-bonding is, especially when the team members are from different cultural backgrounds, I have made it one of the priorities when working in or managing groups.