I can’t believe its already been two weeks. Two months sounded like a long time before I left, but now I can tell that this program is going to be over before I know it. I was sad with this realization at first, but now I am just as determined as ever to make my time in Europe count. I love my internship, but I hope to spend every minute I am not there exploring somewhere new. I keep telling myself that I won’t remember being tired, but I will remember all of the incredible moments I have the opportunity to experience this summer.
Since my last update, I have completed my first week at JUNIQE (I learned they prefer the name in all caps). I was actually really nervous last week at this time. This is my first internship – and in a foreign country the farthest I have ever been away from home on top of that. It turns out I had nothing to worry about though. Every one of my coworkers and supervisors has been nothing but welcoming. JUNIQE is a very international company with employees from all over the world. I think I still stand out a bit as the American, but I am far from the only person who does not speak German.
I spent my first week learning my way around and the different types of systems the company uses. It was a lot of information all at once, but it is beginning to come along for me. I have learned a lot about the basics of running a business and particularly the customer service aspect of doing so. Although these will not be my only responsibilities for the summer, I am thankful I had the opportunity to learn the basics in such a manner.
Wednesday was a wild ride. Every year Berlin has a company 5K run, and I did not plan on participating. About halfway through the workday, someone who was on the team to run asked if anyone wanted to take his place. I did not have my running clothes with me, and my supervisor actually let me run home to get them. I do not exactly live close to my internship site, so this was a good hour and a half misadventure just to get a pair of shorts. Thankfully I had not had my lunch break yet, so I did not waste too much company time.
It was very last minute, but I had a great time during the race. I got to know a few of my coworkers I had not met before and got some exercise which I have kind of been slacking on. I had not really been running in about a month, but Berlin is a lot flatter than Pittsburgh, so I managed just fine.
The course was incredible too! We started at the Brandenburg Gate and ran right by the Victory Column before the finish. I may not have planned on running a 5K with coworkers I did not know for a company I had worked at for three days, but I am happy I did.
Which brings me to the topic of time management at JUNIQE. With the exception of unexpectedly leaving to get my running clothes, I believe I have been effective at managing my time during the day. Today was my first day transitioning into the position I will have for the rest of the program, so we will see just how well I can really balance everything in the coming weeks. Thus far, I have worked in customer service to get a feel for the system and spent most of my time working my way through the tickets that are assigned to me. So there was not really the element of needing to balance my tasks and the time I give to them.
I think that will change very soon. Today, not only did I have my pending tickets, I began work on the business to business accounts for the United Kingdom and Scandinavia. Along with a lot of new information that accompanies this change, we started a new campaign to bring in new business clients. While it was a lot added, I never really felt overwhelmed. My supervisors have done a great job at explaining everything and helping me through the steps of how to get started.
I believe that time management going forward will almost follow an algorithm. We have a standard for how long it should take to reply to every email and inquiry with times varying based on the type of account. So long as I follow this idea and listen to my supervisors, I am sure my time management this summer will be just fine.