havas Content printed form Havas - The Download - https://download.havas.com/posts/a-new-yorker-in-dusseldorf-a-humbling-experience/
Ideas

A New Yorker in Düsseldorf: A Humbling Experience

A New Yorker in Düsseldorf: A Humbling Experience

Sarah Roach

Sarah Roach

July 18, 2018

Havas Düsseldorf's Sarah Roach shares a couple of crucial expat lessons.

LBB Online

By Sarah Roach
Senior Copywriter, Havas Düsseldorf

July 12, 2018

We open on a 30-something American woman walking into the lobby of a German advertising agency. It’s her first day at a new job, and we can tell by her face that she’s excited but anxious, if not totally overwhelmed.

As soon as she enters, her eyes open wide. Pan over to see an enormous breakfast spread full of all different types of meats and cheeses and spreads and bread. So. Much. Bread.

Suddenly, an amiable young man comes up to the woman, his blue eyes making very direct contact with hers.

MAN: Guten morgen! You’re the new senior texter, right?

Cut to a close shot of the woman’s face as her eyes get even wider.

WOMAN: Uh, ja?

***

Thus began my expatriate journey as a copywriter (er, texter) from New York who somehow found herself in Düsseldorf. I’m now five months in, slightly less awestruck, and completely addicted to carbs. That overwhelming first day, and every day since, my adopted country has found some way to remind me: sit down, be humble. That’s nothing new, of course. Whether it’s ‘constructive’ criticism or dead ideas strewn across a pitch room, the creative process is an endlessly humbling experience for everyone involved. Being an expat simply amplifies that.

When I stepped off the plane in mid-February, it was actually the first time I’d ever set foot in Germany. Adventurous or insane: take your pick. I was feeling quite bold and fearless upon arrival, but the reality of moving to a place I knew nothing about quickly set in. At the end of my first month on the job, I wasn’t even sure I’d get paid, the process of opening a bank account is one of many unexpected challenges. (In the US, banks roll out the red carpet. Here, letting someone hold onto all your money is a privilege, not a right.)

In addition to being a Senior Fish-Out-of-Water, I’m the agency’s only native English writer, and I regularly I get asked to edit something (“I’m sure you can make it sound perfectly natural. By noon?”) or provide a voiceover scratch track (“Because, you know, you sound like Hollywood.”) Having such a unique role could make one feel a bit cocky, but then one goes to lunch and needs co-workers to explain the menu like one is a child. Maybe one should sit down and be humble.

 

Read the full article.

LBB Online

By Sarah Roach
Senior Copywriter, Havas Düsseldorf

July 12, 2018

We open on a 30-something American woman walking into the lobby of a German advertising agency. It’s her first day at a new job, and we can tell by her face that she’s excited but anxious, if not totally overwhelmed.

As soon as she enters, her eyes open wide. Pan over to see an enormous breakfast spread full of all different types of meats and cheeses and spreads and bread. So. Much. Bread.

Suddenly, an amiable young man comes up to the woman, his blue eyes making very direct contact with hers.

MAN: Guten morgen! You’re the new senior texter, right?

Cut to a close shot of the woman’s face as her eyes get even wider.

WOMAN: Uh, ja?

***

Thus began my expatriate journey as a copywriter (er, texter) from New York who somehow found herself in Düsseldorf. I’m now five months in, slightly less awestruck, and completely addicted to carbs. That overwhelming first day, and every day since, my adopted country has found some way to remind me: sit down, be humble. That’s nothing new, of course. Whether it’s ‘constructive’ criticism or dead ideas strewn across a pitch room, the creative process is an endlessly humbling experience for everyone involved. Being an expat simply amplifies that.

When I stepped off the plane in mid-February, it was actually the first time I’d ever set foot in Germany. Adventurous or insane: take your pick. I was feeling quite bold and fearless upon arrival, but the reality of moving to a place I knew nothing about quickly set in. At the end of my first month on the job, I wasn’t even sure I’d get paid, the process of opening a bank account is one of many unexpected challenges. (In the US, banks roll out the red carpet. Here, letting someone hold onto all your money is a privilege, not a right.)

In addition to being a Senior Fish-Out-of-Water, I’m the agency’s only native English writer, and I regularly I get asked to edit something (“I’m sure you can make it sound perfectly natural. By noon?”) or provide a voiceover scratch track (“Because, you know, you sound like Hollywood.”) Having such a unique role could make one feel a bit cocky, but then one goes to lunch and needs co-workers to explain the menu like one is a child. Maybe one should sit down and be humble.

 

Read the full article.

Sarah has comprehensive experience creating campaigns for many different types of clients, from small advocacy groups to major global brands.

contact our office

Call:

Stop by:

Connect: