Transitioning to the Work Life

Our first official week has been exhausting, yet amazing. I’m grateful that I am able to explore and travel around Berlin with such a fun group of people. This weekend we spent the day traveling to Potsdam to see the Sanssouci Palace. Although the trip started of rocky since we traveled 30 minutes in the wrong direction, the palace was stunning. Because the design of it was closely linked to the personality of Frederick the Great, it was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.In addition, a small group of us went to the Berlin Cathedral. This has been one of my favorite experiences so far. The Cathedral is Berlin’s largest and most important Protestant church as well as the sepulchre of the Prussian Hohenzollern dynasty.  In fact, at the bottom of the Cathedral there is a crypt full of the coffins of the royal family.

On the other hand, beginning the internship was a tough transition. Each day this week has come with very long working hours that have prevented me from coming back to the hotel before seven or eight each night. Although this leads to exhaustion, I have loved my time at my internship so far. The culture of my company exceeds my expectations. Everyone has made being the “new person in the office” much less intimidating by being as friendly and energetic as they are. In fact, I get an invite to play a game of ping-pong almost everyday. On Friday the company meets together in the office for pizza and beer and goes over all of the successes of the company. This week was especially exciting because me and a fellow intern were given a shout out for the work that we were doing in the finance department. I love that the company takes the time to honor their employees working hard with them everyday. In addition, the company makes an effort to have new employees eat lunch with a different person everyday for at least their first week. After the first week, employees can sign up to be part of the “lunch roulette” where they are assigned a person to get lunch with once a week. Getting to know my coworkers has been extremely interesting because everyone comes from such different backgrounds. I am used to everyone back home being born either in Pittsburgh or Philadelphia, so it’s a nice change of pace to learn about the peers who were born in France, Frankfort or Spain.

Apart from being friendly and welcoming, my company has spent the first week offering me a lot of good tips and tricks to make working the most efficient it can be. Not only have they introduced me to multiple new tools I can use in my personal life as well as my professional life but they have also been taking the time to sit down with me and show me how to use the tools the most efficiently. Some tools include Asana, which is a software that basically organises a well put together electronic to-do list. One of the cool parts with Asana is that you can make group to do lists with other co workers. That way, you are able to communicate with other people on your team when tasks need to get done in a neat template. In addition, the company has introduced me to google calendars and slack. Although I have used these programs lightly before, I am now gaining a deeper understanding of how beneficial they can be. The company has already given me a lot of responsibility already and taken the time to teach me everything that I need to know. One of my favorite parts is how inclusive they are with keeping me updated on the past financial projects and issues. They even give me the option to sit in on the meetings that the head of the departments have so that I am able to have a better understanding. One of my favorite things that I have observed is the way that the teams decide what issues should be prioritized first, since everyone has different opinions.  The company uses a system where everyone is given a deck of cards. Next a certain issue is brought up, each employee is given time to consider and has the option to rate the issue that needs addressed by putting down a card. If everyone’s numbers somewhat match up then we move on. If they don’t, everyone states the reason that they chose their number/rating. After discussing, there is a re vote. Most of the time the numbers move closer together and we can come to a conclusion about what issue is most important.