A Month Away

Before I left the United States on May 13, I told myself, “This is going to be the fastest two months of my life.” A month later, I can say with confidence that this the truth. I cannot believe it has been over a month now since we first landed in Berlin. I have seen so many beautiful places and incredible things that I was never certain I would get to in my life in such a short amount of time. I am so grateful for this opportunity, and although I am sad that the time is passing so quickly, I am ecstatic that we still have about a month left to enjoy it.

Compared to my last two updates, this one may seem a bit slower paced. After Italy and Prague back to back weekends, it was nice to just stay in Berlin this weekend. I want to take advantage of this opportunity and see as much of Europe as I can with the time (and money) I have. However, I realized that there is still so much I want to see and do here in Berlin before the program is over.

Actually, I guess I did do a bit of traveling this past weekend, but it was nothing compared to my previous trips. Friday after work, I went to Poland for dinner with some of my coworkers. I know that sounds absurd and kind of pointless to travel that far for some pizza, but we had our reasons. I would get into it, but honestly, it is a very, very long story. The important part of the story is that I had a great time, and now I can say I have been to Poland. Wow, if I can get to Lithuania at some point, I just might be able to visit all of the European countries where parts of my family were originally from.

I spent the rest of the weekend exploring some parts of Berlin I had not seen yet. On Saturday I went to the zoo, and yesterday I spent a few hours wandering around a ginormous flea market that’s held every Sunday in Mauerpark in the Northeast of the city. I did not buy much, but I still had a great time.

I always try to start these posts with what I have been up to outside of work because as much as I love my internship at JUNIQE, writing about it every day would get a bit repetitive. I did not want to think about how short our time here really is, but I counted today out of curiosity, and it genuinely scares me that I have less than 20 days of work left. It is like I said, this has been the fastest month of my life, and I am afraid this next one will go by even faster.

Before long, it will be time to return to Pitt for the fall semester. I think I will only have two weeks in July before it’s time to move into my apartment in North Oakland. As excited as I was to return to Pittsburgh last year at this time, I think it’s reasonable to say that I would be alright with the summer taking a bit longer this year.

I am extremely grateful to Pitt though. Not only is this a Pitt program, so I quite literally could not be here without the university, but my last three semesters in CBA have really helped me prepare for this. Everything I have learned since transferring from Dietrich has been helping me now that I am working in an actual business.

This is not to say that this last month has been without its share of difficulties that I did not feel as if I was in any way prepared for. I feel like I knew the steps and the theory on my first day at JUNIQE, but a lot of my first month was trial and error and constantly asking my coworkers for help and clarification.

I guess the best way to put it is that Pitt taught me a lot in the classroom, but as this is my first internship, I was lacking the application of those lessons. At first, I began to wonder what I could have done to better prepare, but over the past month, I have come to realize that what I am doing right now is the preparation.

Studying in the classroom can only get you so far. Until you get out into the workforce and begin using what you have learned, you will not be ready for a career. So, although sometimes I wish I was a bit more prepared for my internship, I know that my internship this summer is what is preparing me for whatever lies in store for me this time next summer.