Entschuldigung, bitte!

It’s hard to believe it’s only been almost 2 weeks here in Berlin. I have been trying to take every opportunity possible to explore and learn as much as I can about this historic city. Throughout the past week, we visited the Brandenburg Gate, Charlottenburg Palace, and the Reichstag. The Reichstag is an immense, beautiful building and has become my favorite place to visit.

In regards to my internship, I enjoy the people and atmosphere that surround me. On my first day, my coworkers were warm and inviting. They always made sure I was handling everything well and were quick to break the ice. My internship is at dena, or Deutsche Energie Agentur. It is a consulting agency that specializes in the transition to energy efficient technologies and renewable energies. The work done at this business aligns well with my career goals. So far, it seems to be a good fit! I began my week researching U.S. CO2 pollution controls for vehicles as well as federal, state, and private business incentives for consumers to switch to alternative forms of transportation. Later in the week, I moved on to work with the Startup Energy Transition Award. This international award is given to 6 startups working on the transition to energy efficient technologies. I’m excited to work in this area, considering how much innovative work is currently being done.

This is not the first time I’ve been to Europe. In 2014, I went on a high school trip with my French class to France for 9 days. We travelled across France to Paris, Marseille, Arles, Avignon, and so many other beautiful cities. It was difficult at times to move from place to place because we travelled in a group of 20. Since we were only 16-18 years old, chaperones constantly watched over us. We had to adhere to a strict time schedule so it was difficult to immerse myself in the French culture. Moving to numerous cities allowed for more sight-seeing, but such a condensed schedule wore most of us out and caused me to forget many small details of little towns.

The IIP Berlin program is vastly different to a structured high school program and I am trying to soak up every single minute. Germany was a perfect fit for me since I wanted an environment that could feel urban one day and rural the next. Germany is also one of the leaders in the energy transition away from fossil fuels, so that doesn’t hurt either!

I don’t think I have fully internalized the fact that I’m in Germany. The transition from the U.S. to Berlin has been smooth! I’m excited to see what else I can discover about Berlin in the upcoming weeks.