Hello again! It’s already July now, whaaaattt? Time has been flying ever since, but I probably won’t be any time soon. Why’s that? Well, remember my trip to Austria a couple weeks back? Well, I booked a pretty cheap flight there, that seemed too good to be true. The airline is known for not regulating its air pressure as well as it might, not to name names *cough*easyJet*cough* but basically I experienced barotrauma in my ear(s), and two weeks later my right ear still isn’t totally back to normal. You can look up the symptoms if you really want to, but basically because I had a cold too at the time, I was left vulnerable to infection which resulted in me finally sucking it up and visiting the German doctor’s office today. I was pretty nervous about it, and had horrible images of me pointing to my ear trying to describe what was going on and getting no results. Luckily, the doc knew English and gave me some antibiotics and sent me on my way. I think this experience proves that life can bring you very unexpected things when you’re abroad. Did I expect that the horrible ear pain I felt on a flight would still be causing issues weeks later? Nope! I didn’t even think I’d need my international health insurance, but here I am. Luckily the problem isn’t too serious, no need to worry. I just want to make sure my ears are all better for my flight home…which is less than a month now! Also- never trust a flight that’s too cheap. Apparently, they’re expensive for a reason.
I suppose I should fill you in on last weekend’s activities. On Saturday, I visited Schloss Sansoucci with a couple of the other Pitt students, which is located in Potsdam right outside of Berlin. It was gorgeous, and reminded me a lot of the Mirabell Gardens in Salzburg. I often think of Berlin as a very modern city that had most of its old, gorgeous architecture destroyed in the war, but Potsdam is actually much more like Salzburg than Berlin. While not as bustling, it was so pretty to walk around and a nice change from what I’m used to. It felt like I was in a different part of Europe, and I didn’t even need to go too far. After touring the grounds, we visited an Italian restaurant nearby the water. Who knew Italians could make spaghetti, olive oil, garlic, and tomatoes taste so heavenly? Everyone, probably. Even if I don’t make it to Italy on this trip, I’ll make it a lifelong priority until I do. Sunday, we packed a picnic lunch which we tried to eat in the Tiergarten. Sadly there was a very lively viewing of the Russia World Cup game, prompting Die Polizei to block off the entire Tiergarten and Brandenburg Gate. It was disappointing, but we found a nice green space somewhat nearby and enjoyed lunch. It was a nice weekend, and for next weekend I’m hoping to visit a lake/beach nearby, to take advantage of the fact that summer has returned (finally) to Berlin!
Life at Awin has been rather same old same old lately, which is actually nice because I’m so used to it. We’ve been winding down since Lifestyle Day and the boat excursion, but I’m still enjoying my time there. I’m basically a pro on the affiliate market industry now, this being my sixth (!) week at work. I’d say the industry’s biggest competitors are the self sufficient bloggers and influencers who don’t necessarily need an affiliate marketing network to make it. As marketing becomes increasingly digital and personal, companies such as Awin need to make more of an effort to stand out and prove why they are still relevant. Lifestyle Day is a good example, as clients came from all over Europe to enjoy a day of networking, info sessions, and partying. Awin’s goal is essentially to prove: this is why you need us, this is how we can connect you with publishers or advertisers so that you can become even more relevant in your field. They boast an affiliate network of about 100,000 clients, so they make their case. They once would have been classified as a start up, but they have grown substantially since they began 10 years ago and are more a fully-fledged player in the marketing world. In my first Skype interview, I was told by Awin employees themselves that they enjoy taking on challenges, so it helps them grow. I’d say that so far, they have paid off. For example, their Helix Migration, which is matriculating all of their clients from an old, dusty platform from 2007 to a new and improved one. I’ve worked on some migrations and data collections for this myself, and I’ve realized it’s a big focus of the business right now. In another ten years, I’m sure Awin will have found another way to reinvent itself, because I am sure marketing will have changed even more drastically from now.
P.S. It’s about 85-90 degrees today and the lack of AC and ice cubes in Europe has me feeling like Spongebob in that episode where he visits Sandy’s house without any water and he shouts I NEEEEDDDD ITTTTTT. yeah it’s hot.