Week 2

I can now say that I’ve successfully completed a 45 hour work week, and am therefore one step closer to being a real adult! This past work week was certainly a lesson in powering through exhaustion and remembering how to get to bed on time. However, I have been able to learn a lot and am excited for future tasks I will eventually have!

This week, I continued my market research in real estate in Berlin, and Chinese/foreign buyers of Berlin real estate. I closely examined and analysed Juwai, a Chinese listing website for foreign property. This took a lot out of me, as I had to brush up on my Chinese reading skills, and apply it to descriptors and real-estate specific words. I’ve also drafted several emails this week, and was even able to sit down with my supervisor to talk more about business communication and rhetoric. This meeting, while pretty informal, was still informative. It consciously made me think more about how I wrote in a business professional setting, a skill I can certainly apply to my future at Pitt and in the job field. Overall, the work week could be categorised as a learning experience, and I can’t wait to dive deeper into marketing and the real estate market.

My extracurricular activities at Pitt have helped tremendously in my ability to manage my time and prioritise the things I need to do. While this skill is constantly a work in progress, I am able to bring what I have learned in order to prioritise at my internship and complete my tasks. I manage my time my mostly prioritising the importance of tasks, which I am usually informed of at the start of the task. As a result, I will usually work hardest on the most important one, giving myself fewer breaks. But while this can easily burn me out, I have found that scattering the less important tasks throughout my longer break periods helps me to switch around my mindset and ultimately refocus better when I return to my original task. My time management at my internship usually revolves around when I know my supervisor will be ready and available to go over what I’ve done or give me another task, which also influences a task’s rank in my priority list.

We love graffiti in this house!

Outside of work, I’ve had another great weekend here in Berlin! I’ve been reflecting about my ability to travel to other countries so easily, and I think I have found myself wanting to remain in the city for most weekends. Because so much of the week is spent at work, at the gym, and then in bed, I sometimes feel like I am still in America and not in a bustling foreign capital. I think taking the time to continue to discover and explore the nooks and crannies of Berlin and Germany will help me to really feel as though I lived here for 8 weeks.

ArChItEcTuRe (Or: Mall of Berlin)

As for last weekend, I finally treated myself to a new pair of Birkenstocks, completing my German aesthetic (I was forced to leave my old pair behind…because there was a hole in the heel). I ventured to the Mall of Berlin for this task, which proved to be an experience in and of itself. One thing I’ve noticed about Berlin is that the architecture is meticulously laid out and stunning to look at, and the Mall of Berlin is no exception. Its food court was also on another level compared to American malls, and it feels like something I will definitely miss when I head back to Ross Park Mall. On Sunday, several of us ventured out to Mauerpark. While it takes a bit to get used to and remember that most things are closed on Sundays, especially grocery stores, Mauerpark was certainly busy. It hosts a flea market and karaoke in the park every Sunday, and the attitude and ambiance is so comforting that it is easy to think that one could do this every Sunday. Walking around the flea market made me feel like I was in a Wes Anderson-type movie, and the feeling did not stopped with I purchased an oversized tan leather jacket, possibly the best purchase of my life. The atmosphere in the park was content and carefree, with people eating, drinking, and singing. Walking around made me truly feel like I could see the difference between Germans and Americans. I’m not quite sure I know how to explain it yet, but I felt a little piece of content-ness in my soul as I stared at the green and grey landscape that didn’t seem to be there before. I think there are many more park days in my future.