Detour to Italy

Last Thursday was Ascension Day here in Germany. I ended up taking one of my two vacation days for the summer on Friday to make a four day weekend, and, although I could not be more thrilled to be spending the summer here in Berlin, I knew I also wanted to travel to Italy at some point as well. I was able to make that dream into a reality over the last few days over the long weekend!

I traveled to Rome, Pisa, Florence, Milan, and Bergamo over the course of four days. I was beyond exhausted by the time I made it back to Berlin, but it was absolutely worth it. I could go on and on and fill up an entirely different blog about my time in Italy, but I will try to keep this short. This trip meant a lot to me as there are some strong Italian roots in my family. Everyone I met while I was there pronounced my last better than I do! Plus, my last stop on my trip, Bergamo, was actually the town my great-grandfather was from before coming to the United States over one-hundred years ago. I am so thankful I was able to experience this when I had the chance. It really meant a lot to me and even went beyond my normal wanderlust.

However, I also have some German blood, so let’s get back to my time in Berlin and my internship at JUNIQE! It’s kind of funny; the whole time I was traveling through Italy, I kept thinking of Berlin as “home.” We’ve only been here three weeks, but I guess at some point Berlin became “home enough” at least.

I say, “only three weeks,” but I also realize that means we are coming up on the half-way point of our time here. I can’t believe how quickly this passing. I’m sure that before we know it, we will be flying back to the United States and getting ready to return to Pitt for the fall semester. Sure, there are some things I miss about Pittsburgh and the United States, but I can already feel how sad I will be to leave Europe after what I know will feel like such a short amount of time. I guess that just means we just have to make the most of it while we are here.

Two weeks into my internship at JUNIQE, and I kind of feel like I’m hitting my stride. I mentioned in my last post how nervous I was on my first day. While those feelings have subsided for the most part, there are still plenty of things I have to learn about how JUNIQE operates and how I can fit into the puzzle to help any way that I can. My supervisor and coworkers have been incredible and help me every step of the way with the abundance of new information I am attempting to retain. It helps that I am a quick learner and usually adapt to new situations pretty easily.

This is not to say that there have not been some difficult parts of the last two weeks, but everything is honestly working out better than I had imagined it would. I know this is not the case with every internship, but everything has been pretty straight forward and without a lot of ambiguity. I mentioned last week that I spent my first week working in customer service. I had some loose ends to tie up with the customers I had been contacting with last week, but this past week I began working on the English business-to-business (B2B) account where I will be for the rest of the summer.

Between these two things, I am never really at a loss for how I should be spending my time. When I am not answering emails to clients and customers, I am searching through databases trying to find new leads and ways I can bring business to the English speaking part of the company. There is always something I can be doing while I am at work.

I think it helps that JUNIQE only very recently divided the B2B market up into these language segments. I believe I am the first person to work on the English account, so there is a lot of work to be done and I am responsible for it. This gives me a strong sense of purpose at work each day. I believe that JUNIQE really found a good balance of the level of responsibility they have trusted me with while keeping in mind that I have never done anything like this before and will still need some instruction on the correct way to handle the business situations I am finding myself in. It is all very new, but like I said, I adapt to new situations well.