Back In Berlin

This has been my first full week back in Berlin since the first orientation week. I have been traveling so much in the past weeks that I haven’t really gotten to spend too much time in the city I am actually staying in. It has been refreshing to just chill in Berlin. Taking buses and trains to distance places and spending two days in the area has gotten a little old to me. I love traveling but I really like to spend a good amount of time in each place I go to. I want to see the touristy sites just as much as the not so popular sides that make these beautiful destinations actually meaningful. I think many tourists have forgotten that traveling is about adventure, having stories to tell, meeting new exciting people, and experiencing their culture. The big tourist attractions have to be seen of course but there is so much more to each place then could ever be appreciated in two days. That’s why I have resolved to stay in Berlin for another week because honestly, this past weekend was one of the best I’ve had here so far. A couple of the people from the group went to the Badeschiff on Saturday, which is a poolside bar that’s right on the river. We spent the day there and met some pretty cool people. On Sunday, I got to go to Mauerpark which is another tourist attraction, so I know I am kind of contradicting myself a bit, but it was actually amazing. The parks atmosphere was so different then anything I’ve experienced before and once you ventured beyond the crowded stalls where only English is being spoken, you get to see a really artistic and natural community that has been created in Berlin.

I don’t think much of anything could have really prepared me for this experience. A lot of the work I am doing is creative in many ways and a lot of research and learning on the fly. Academically, the classes that I have taken to get my Innovation and Entrepreneurship certificate have really prepared me the most. In my first class, we basically started a business and worked on creative concepts that could differentiate our business from others already saturating the industry. So I’ve gone through that process before and know that I can work well in dynamic teams. The team I am working with on Brili is on a whole other level though. They are are all experts in their fields and absolutely incredible at what they do. In my corporate entrepreneurship, I learned a lot about different roles that are taken in innovation teams. It’s been interesting to see actually how people from such different backgrounds can fit together and use their individual skills to make the entirety of the group that much stronger. I’m still figuring out exactly where I fit but I think I am close.

I can think of one other class that has prepared me in many ways for this internship at Brili, and that would be my Strategic Management class. Honestly, taking the class was pretty interesting but the data we were working off of was outdated and it wasn’t very engaging. By the end, however, I was well versed in strategic initiatives and how to think tactically when making large and small decisions within a firm. The big project I am working on right now is developing a marketing plan for the Back to School season coming up. I have been commissioned to research effective strategies and purpose actual possibilities the team could carry out. I can see where the knowledge I gained from Strategic Management has helped me.

As for preparation I also think my experience outside the academic world has given me a bit of an advantage as well. I have been involved in many different “start-up” like projects before and understand what it means to work on smaller teams. It’s always going to be tough work and putting in the extra hours after work is important. It also gave me the knowledge that on this level communication is key to success. Brili is a smaller start-up and is stretched across two cities here in Germany so It can be difficult sometimes to actually schedule things and get everyone in one place. I’ve had to make my presentation that I prepared last week about four times now. I don’t see it is a bad thing though. Each time I give it, it’s to a different person and they always have new and interesting input on what I could focus on next and what they liked about it. Each time I give the presentation, I tweak things and refine what I thought was already finished. It has really given me a good sense of what entrepreneurship is, ambiguous, ever changing, and always improving.