Work Week 1: Excel Spreadsheets and The Berlin Wall

On Monday, my internship at Awin began. I soon realized that I’m working at a very global and modern company, as my experience seemed to differ from other Pitt students with their internships. My colleagues definitely have plenty of small talk and seem to hang out together after work, which my company even encourages. I work for the Retail Team, and it looks like we’ll have some sort of party on a boat in late June. I’ll be sure to give updates about that! Overall, I’ve noticed that my workplace has been very welcoming and accommodating- they all make an effort to speak English to me and translate when I’m left out of a conversation. The first three days, I got lunch with the retail team, and they showed me the supermarket they all get lunch from, and the green space- which they call the ‘visa’- where they all eat when it’s nice out. Luckily, it was nice out every day I worked.

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     The ‘Visa’ 

I have also been going to this gelato place after lunch, which is delicious. My workplace is fairy lax about hours, so often my hour lunch turns into an hour and half. Keep in mind, I tend to work pretty consistently when I’m in the office, so I don’t feel too guilty about taking a longer lunch. Usually my coworkers are wrapped up in small talk, which of course I often can’t join. I have had some interesting conversations getting to know everyone, and many people are from countries all over the world. Workwise, I’ve mostly dealt with learning about the various platforms Awin uses, and handling a lot of Excel sheets. Without boring you, I’ll just leave it at this: Awin currently has three platforms they’re using, and they’re trying to consolidate it down to one. The reason? They recently merged from two different companies, so the process has been pretty extensive. I think I’ve been learning pretty quickly, all things considered. It’s funny because my coworkers all confirmed that they were confused at the beginning too, so I don’t feel too much pressure when I don’t understand something.

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Flowers near my bus stop.

I’d say my biggest challenge the first week was the commute. I didn’t have my international plan yet, so I couldn’t rely on Google Maps to figure things out. I also wasn’t entirely sure where my office was in relation to where I’m staying. I stayed on the bus too long on my first day, and ended up using U-Bahn WiFi to find my way to work, after getting dropped off in a part of the city I wouldn’t recommend visiting. By Wednesday I had it figured out, but of course there was some sort of running/bike relay (?) that shut down half of the roads around Potsdamer Platz. My bus route was closed, and after running around for half an hour to various train stations, I got an Uber. A very expensive one too. Of course the Uber driver struggled with the traffic, and he made a series of illegal moves as he tried to figure out how to get out of the area with so many roads closed. Don’t ask me why they had a race at 6 PM on a Wednesday, when literally everyone gets off work. After that day, I activated my international plan. The commute hasn’t been an issue since, and now I know how to take an alternative route if my bus is ever cancelled again.

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The East Side Gallery ft. Me

After a long work week, on Friday night I met up with the other Pitt students for dinner after not seeing them all week. We got dinner at a Taiwanese place, where I learned that the Taiwanese have a different definition of fried rice than I’m used: it was basically spaghetti. Afterwards we went to this techno place, which may have been nice if strobe lights weren’t literally my least favorite thing ever. I’ve also learned that you can count techno along with country as the only music I dislike. Sorry techno. It was a bit of a misfire for me, but if you like that sort of thing awesome! The next day we visited the East Side Gallery, otherwise known as part of the Berlin Wall. The artwork was incredible, but of course it was mostly filled with people trying to get pictures of themselves in front of it… which I’m guilty of too.

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Some #edgy artwork

Afterwards we walked around the area and got Indian food, which was delicious but so good I needed a nap afterwards because I ate so much. I hung out with the Pitt students again later that night, and the highlight of my night was some people who came onto the U-Bahn blasting The Beatles’ “Oh Darling”- they’re my favorite band. Good to see some Germans who like music with lyrics! (sorry techno I’ll keep trying to like you). Today is a bit of a lazy Sunday, and I mostly just got a croissant and a chai tea latte and napped. I’m trying to think of places to travel outside of Berlin in the coming weekends, so any suggestions would be great!

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Spot the tiny Beatles reference 

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