Chapter 1: Hallo

Guten Tag!

My name is Stephanie Rodak, and I am a rising junior at the University of Pittsburgh. I am enrolled in the College of Business Administration studying finance and supply chain management. I am also pursuing the Certificate Program in International Business. Outside of the classroom, I am a brother in the Phi Gamma Nu Professional Business Fraternity. I am also an active member of Women in Business as well as Best Buddies. Currently, I am in the process of opening my own Etsy shop. I have always been an artistic person, and I am passionate about my creations.

I am originally from the Pittsburgh area, and I have grown quite close to the city and nearby neighborhoods. Although I have only left the United States once for a family vacation in Aruba, I have always had an affinity for the diverse culture and experiences found around the world.  I remember growing up watching The Amazing Race and always dreaming of exploring the world and expanding my global perspective (I blame my Sagittarius sun sign). Berlin is only the start to my professional journey, and I am ecstatic to begin this new chapter in my life.

I have accepted a position as a marketing and business development intern at a company called Springtech Partners. The organization manages a collection of companies with the help of their experienced team of entrepreneurs. They finance their companies’ growth with their own capital, as well as through investments from international partners. I am hoping to experience my own bite of Shark Tank while working amongst the individual companies. One of the hot companies Springtech Partners works with is Gourmesso—the leading online distributor for Nespresso® compatible coffee capsules. I’m a coffee addict myself and eager to learn about Gourmesso’s strategies and approach to the world of coffee.

I chose the International Internship Program in Berlin because of the colorful, diverse environment the city has to offer and the unparalleled exposure to international business as a major center of business entrepreneurs. My goal for this internship is to gain insight into unique perspectives by working for a German company that experiences broad levels of global activity. Following graduation, one of my hopes is to work abroad and establish international partnerships throughout my career. Academically, I am eager to demonstrate what I have learned in the classroom by accomplishing real-world projects. By contributing to the online marketing strategies, I will also be able to learn about the amount of time and money invested into each aspect of a company, as well as the daily responsibilities of managing various start-up companies across different industries.

Beyond my academic and professional growth, I am thrilled to experience the unique culture of Berlin. I love exploring the unknown and this opportunity will allow me to discover the visual and cultural creativity of the city, visit museums and parks, and capture an authentic image of Germany through my own lens—as well as my camera’s.

I hope you all follow me on my German adventure, and I will be sure to update you along the way!

Bis Später!