The Ohio State University
Home Authors Sanjana
Written by Sanjana June 15, 2018
I guess I should talk about work, because I am “technically” on a global project to “work”.
What I’ve observed the most is a stark difference in business cultures between the United States and New Zealand. American business schools, Fisher or anywhere else, breed a certain standard for work. Americans have the stereotype of living to work, putting business over all else, burning out after long weeks under the pretense of “getting ahead”.
Kiwis, however, are a little less aggressive, and a little more like, say, just off the top of my head, hobbits. The Kiwi culture is friendly, warm, and laid back, which bleeds into business culture as well. Kiwis prioritize life and family over work, but are still highly effective. Just like hobbits! Relaxed, but can also GET STUFF DONE. They love their bread and ale, but are surprisingly hardy.
Two main differences I observed:
I’ve found that the Kiwi business culture is much happier than that of the United States. While avoiding the stress and burnout typically associated with corporate America, Kiwis have still cultivated a strong economy. The tech sector is booming. The banking system is far less antiquated than that of the United States. And families don’t feel the stress as much, either.
It was a wake-up call to me that it was okay to slow down. It’s possible to still be highly efficient and have a great work-life balance and everything will still be okay.
Despite all of this, I still romanticize the American Dream. Someone told us in one of our interviews, “New Zealand is right behind the curve”. As in, right behind each revolution of innovation – just a step behind the forefront. But I crave being at the forefront. Maybe that doesn’t mean 80-hour weeks and neglecting myself from every other aspect of my life. But it still means grinding, and being inspired, and pushing for change.
Kiwis are hobbits, Americans are men. Americans can be a little pushy or brash in the workplace, but we are passionate and shoot for brilliance. The Kiwi culture is still alluring to me, too, though. A good metaphor for my mindset going forward is this: I match the size of a hobbit (<5’4”), but my feet aren’t big enough to completely be one.
Our boss posted this. Don’t worry, I retweeted this after taking this screenshot. I want this tweet to go viral.
Author, Study Abroad
Comments are closed.
It's senior year, my hair is short again, and I'm living my best life. If you want, read my blog and see all the weird stuff I wrote freshman year and all the weird stuff I'm still writing now.