This week has been so busy and so exciting. I have been working full-time at my internship, and I am really thankful for all of the opportunities I’ve had to learn and develop my skills already. The company is a small start-up, so I have had the opportunity to meet the CEO, COO, and several investors. I am looking forward to hearing about their experiences in the field as well as getting both life and career advice from them.
I have been given many lengthy tasks in my first week, so time management is crucial to completing them all. As an intern, I have been given tasks from several supervisors in different departments, and oftentimes the projects overlap. While I am technically a finance intern, I have been give assignments from the operations and business development departments, in addition to some administrative tasks. It can be difficult to complete the tasks in a timely manner without neglecting any particular project.
In the morning, I start out by checking my email and the company’s internal messaging service to see if there are any new announcements or assignments I should be aware of. Then, I spend the next several hours editing and formatting spreadsheets. After lunch, I usually work on some of my research and presentation projects before calling it a day. I like how every day is guided by routine while also being different than the day before.
The key to completing important tasks this first week has been to put in a few extra hours. I have stayed late at work several days in order to complete the tasks and make sure they are done well. I am very grateful that my supervisors have given me so much to do within my first week. It is nice to have the opportunity to contribute to the team, even in a small way, and stay busy throughout the week.
This past week, I have been given a lot of information to read through in addition to my projects so that I can become very familiar with the industry — and how it is different in Europe and the US. Going forward, I believe it will be easier to manage tasks for several reasons. 1) I will be better settled into a routine and know what to expect going into my work day. 2) I will have a deeper understanding of the business model, company goals, work environment, and the industry in general. With an abundance of background knowledge, I will be able to get started on projects more quickly and have fewer questions. 3) I will be given more long-term projects. This past week has been particularly busy because I have been given a plethora of short-term projects with overlapping deadlines. As I’m given more extensive, long-term projects, I will be able to focus my attention on one aspect of the business and only have one thing on my plate at a time.
As of now, I have been managing the projects by organizing them by urgency. There are some projects I have been given that are smaller parts of a larger project. My supervisor may need me to work on a certain page of a spreadsheet before he can continue working on it. This task is more urgent than others because he is relying on my contribution. Some of my other tasks have involved research, reading published company documents, and preparing presentations for internal use or for future interns. The research and presentations have more flexible deadlines and therefore should be secondary to the more time-sensitive tasks. This simple system has been very helpful in allowing me to accomplish my tasks in a way that is satisfactory to my supervisors.
After work, I have taken a few walks along the Kurfurstendamm and looked at some of the beautiful shops. I’ve been able to go out to dinner with friends from the IIP and try all kinds of delicious foods, ranging from traditional German to Thai to Greek. We are so lucky to live in such close proximity to a popular, energetic area!
This week we are very fortunate to have Thursday off of work because of a national holiday. I think this will be a nice opportunity to either get ahead on any outstanding projects, relax, explore the city more, or all three. I believe that even having this one extra day will be rejuvenating and will allow all of us interns to come back to our jobs ready for new projects.
This weekend I am looking forward to exploring more of Berlin, trying new restaurants (and hopefully trying currywurst for the first time!), going to a flea market, and potentially going to the zoo. There is always something entertaining to do in this city! I am so thankful for all that I have been able to do and see already, and I anxiously await the experiences that are yet to come.
Until next time,