The countdown to Berlin has begun and I could not be more excited! My name is Abigail Bultemeier and I am a junior in the Dietrich School or Arts and Sciences studying Economics with certificates in German for Professional Purposes and Western European Studies. I have done a good amount of traveling, but have never made it to Berlin.
I chose the IIP Berlin program because I want to see what it’s really like to work in Germany. One of my goals in life is to work abroad in Germany for a few years, but first I need to see if I really enjoy it. I also need to make professional connections before uprooting to move across the world. This program is the perfect balance of freedom, while still providing Pitt resources abroad. I also want to make meaningful, professional connections with my colleagues. The company I am working for is a smaller team, so it will be great to get to know everyone. I am doing a Marketing internship, so I am excited to learn the various programs and strategies that are used. I think that learning these technical skills will be valuable in the long run. As of now I am considering careers in Marketing or Human Resources, so I want to try to gain as much knowledge as possible to better help me in my job search after college.
One of my other goals is to really immerse myself in the language in order to improve and hopefully become fluent. I have been learning German since freshman year, but learning it in the classroom is not the same as being forced to speak it every day. In almost every German class I’ve taken we have discussed Berlin in some capacity, so it will be really interesting to actually see and experience what we’ve discussed. I am particularly interested in the different museums that Berlin has.
Personally, I want to really get to know the German culture and explore as much of the city as I can. I want to try to see a different area almost everyday in order to better understand the people and the culture. I believe at first it will be difficult to balance work and my personal life, but I need to remember to do things outside of my comfort zone in order to fully take advantage of what this program has to offer. Since it is so easy, I would also like to do a bit of traveling on the weekends to other areas of Germany. Everyone I’ve talked to says that Berlin is much different than other areas of Germany, so I want to see if that’s actually true.
I cannot wait to head to Berlin and share this amazing experience. For me, college has been allo about growth and personal development so I am excited to see what impact this experience has on my personal development. David Bowie once said, “Berlin: the greatest cultural extravaganza one could imagine”. Tschüss!