Officially a German Resident!

Why am I getting worse instead of better at releasing my blogs on time?!

Financial Technology Conference

The major event of this week was attending a small conference about an upcoming financial technology alliance called the European FinTech Alliance.

A startling figure from our keynote speaker.

Even though it was very small, we got the opportunity for some great networking and a bit of a sneak preview into what the industry is planning and where it hopes to be in the near future. I really didn’t know anything about fintech until this conference so hearing about their goals and the specific needs of the industry was eyeopening.

For example, a really large part of fintech (especially in Europe) revolves around regulation and compliance. Even though the Europe Union has relatively free boarders for both citizen and companies, there are still different regulatory requirements for each country. This especially affects the finance industry and makes it very difficult for companies to expand across boarders. One area of upcoming financial technology will be regulation databases that can help companies comply with different governments to encourage growth and competition.

The Frankfurt School gang that attended the conference.


Another big moment from this week was my decision to begin taking an introductory psychology course online. Having dropped 3 of my 5 courses, I have plenty of time to pursue other avenues in my life. Somehow I managed to be one of the few Americans to have never taken psychology so I decided to look into iTunesU for the first time. I decided on the Yale Open-Course in Intro Psychology and have really enjoyed it so far.

It is the first time I have ever tried to learn something without having some sort of structure or testing system to back it up and I’m really enjoying it. I honestly think I pay more attention to the lecture because I am looking for the bits that will be helpful for me rather than sitting bored in class knowing that what I “need to know” I will just study for later for the test.

My psych notebook. Stickers are from Keep it Bright.

As to why I am taking psychology, one of my biggest academic interests is how people make choices and human behavior in general. Had I taken psychology in high school or college, there is a good chance I might have done that for a career. Now that I am solidly in the realm of finance with no way to change my course of study (at least not without taking a huge step backwards) I do still have opportunities to express this interest. The main area that relates to psychology in finance is the up and coming field of Behavioral Finance. Right now, I am strongly considering continuing on towards a PhD. If I did, Behavioral Finance is an area that I am considering and so I’m taking the psychology course.

Residence Permit

The final event for the week was my appointment to get my residence permit. I’m not going to go into any technical detail here because I plan on doing another post, but my appointment went well and the lady said she approved me for the entire 2 years of my program! This is great because it will save me from having to come into the office every couple of months to renew my visa and because it will take so much stress out of my stay knowing that I am basically a bonafide German citizen for 2 years no matter what.

Fall has arrived in Germany.

Yea, that was my week 6 in a nutshell. I admit it’s a bit short because I have forgotten some of the details of the week now that I’m writing it so incredibly late. As always, I volunteered at the animal shelter and saw my favorite birdie and sat through some lectures.

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