Much like New York, Berlin is a city that never sleeps. After the first week spent exploring Berlin through walking tours of the city/historical sites and the Jewish History Museum, we got to learn all of the adversity this great city has had to overcome in order to be the lively, progressive and historically/culturally significant city that it is today. Many times I have found myself surprised at the things that I can find throughout the city. While the vastness and fast pace of the city can be initially overwhelming, it has ultimately brought me comfort and reminds me a lot of home (Washington, D.C.). When I first arrived Berlin could not have seemed more different than home, but now I sometimes forget that I am 4,000+ miles away from DC. Berlin could definitely pass for an American city with its mix of modern and historical buildings, large diverse crowds and bustling shopping malls/centers. The public transportation system here is also very similar to the Metro system back home, so getting the hang of traveling on the U-bahn really quickly also helped a lot to orient myself with Berlin and explore more of the city quickly and confidently.
Other than a family vacation to the Barbados a few years ago, I have never been out of the country. And other than being at school for a couple months at a time, I’ve never been away from my family for such a long period of time, especially being so far away. Luckily, the IIP Berlin group is a great group of people and we have all become fast friends. It is really nice to have people who are just as willing to explore and try new things when you are so far away from everything thats so familiar to you. Especially since it’s taking me a little longer to get used to the character of the people in Berlin.
After spending the last week exploring the sites and scenes of the city and trying new food (unpopular opinion: not a fan of curry wurst), we finally started our internships this week. I am interning at a small start-up called Pixsy. Pixsy is a small company of creatives that fight against image theft for photographers, creators and the like. Luckily, Pixsy is just a quick 20 minutes train ride away from where we are staying in Berlin, so my commute to and from work everyday is a breeze. Although Pixsy is based in Germany, majority of its customers are based in the United States and from my experience here so far, all business is conducted in English and everyone communicates in English in the office. That is a huge plus for me because other than some key phrases we learned in our German lessons last week, I know nothing of the German language. With less than 20 employees, I have been able to meet and interact with most of the team as they give me quick info sessions/lessons on how their roles connect/impact the Pixsy’s overall operations. I will mostly be working with the Marketing team to help out with and improve their social media presence but will all get to help out with customer service/experience a little.
One of the best things about my internship at Pixsy so far is the culture of the office. Pixsy is a very casual, open and friendly organization. From being able to wear whatever you want, listen to music while doing work, or taking a break in the lounge full of pillows Pixsy focuses less on frivolous things and more on creating and fostering an atmosphere that helps employees feel comfortable enough to focus on their work without worrying about having to follow the usual strict rules/codes of a normal office environment.
My time here in Berlin has been amazing so far and its only been 11 days! So excited to see what Berlin and Pixsy have in store for me in the weeks to come !