Humans of AMS: Justin Shaffer


Justin Shaffer, MOF

“I miss home. I do enjoy it here but I’ve realized in my time here that home feels good. I thought that I wanted to see something new, and it has been great. I don’t necessarily want to go to my hometown, but life is just very comfortable when you live where you’re from.”

On his travels…

“I’ve been able to travel a fair amount, not as much as I would have liked but still a good amount. There’s been Berlin, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, and I’m going to San Sebastian in a couple weeks. I’m trying to make my time here count – Burn the candle at both ends. I have an affinity towards Germany. The people there are very nice. When someone’s in your way they move; they are logical and pleasant there. I think when I left the U.S., I thought I was going to find that Europe would just blow my mind, and it’s been great, but I’ve realized that where I come from is pretty cool too. I don’t know places in my backyard. Like going to Switzerland was very beautiful, but we have mountains that are cool in the U.S. as well.”

On friendships from this year…

“Americans are pretty open and easy to make friends with. I do have friends from outside of the U.S. that I hang out with regularly but they are all in finance. It’s because we always see each other. We are able to bitch about the same things, admittedly.

I don’t know why, but I feel like Germans and Americans get along very well. We have similar attitudes on punctuality. I can count on them to arrive when they say they will. They have a nice flow to how they tackle problems. I’m always worrying about things and Germans calm me down because they have a flow of how they do things. I just worry about things too far in the future that I shouldn’t worry about yet.”

When people refer to you as Justin with the facial hair… what’s up with it?

“I have really tried to be as American as possible here. I want to be the person that people think of when they think of an American. Just shy of the stereotype. I like the image that the world has of us. I hope they don’t think of us as ignorant but if they think of us as loud, or kind of obnoxious, I don’t mind it. Even sort of savage, but hopefully a refined savage. I’m just trying to be a caricature of myself. I can almost play pretend for my time here. I can experiment and be my full self. “