Week 8 – Coming to an End

It really is hard to believe that there is only one week left for us in Berlin. Although it feels like the time has gone by quickly, there is so much that we have done on this program. On a personal level, this has been the first time I have travelled to Europe, my first internship and I have experienced so many new cultures and met many new people. It’s sad to think that we will be leaving soon but when looking back on what has been experience so far it’s hard not to be happy. The last week has been no different from the rest of the program for me. Work continued like usual, I explored more of Berlin and a few of us took a trip to Budapest to see more of what Europe has to offer.

From last Saturday until Monday a group of four of us went on an excursion to Budapest. I had never been anywhere in Eastern Europe before, so its as a very interesting experience seeing an entirely new place. The city of Budapest was an eclectic mix of beautiful history and architecture, sights and a grittier side that offered a more down to earth view of what life in the city was like. It was great to have a decent amount of time to try new foods, explore the parks and even visit one of Budapest’s famous “bathhouses”.

The city at night, however, was in my opinion the most lasting image. With a number of nice restaurants to try on the Danube River, a few of us decided to spend an evening enjoying the historic city on the river, eating a nicer dinner and ending the night with an hour long boat tour that gave us beautiful sights of the city lit up at night. My favorite building which I have featured on this post was definitely the Hungarian Parliament building, however, much of the rest of the city was comparably beautiful. Overall it was a great adventure, spending time with people and seeing new things is in my opinion never a bad experience.

Besides Budapest, however, there’s still other things that kept me excited and engaged during the week. I do have to say though that it was weird being outside of the United States during the 4th of July for the first time, however, we did have cake at the office to celebrate a birthday so in the end I can say I celebrated. Aside from that work was normal as usual, I received and completed a few more assignments and have continued to get to know and have fun with my coworkers.

Another element that made last week particularly interesting for me was that a longtime friend from childhood arrived in Berlin on Friday. He is here on a program from his college and will be spending the next 5 weeks studying abroad here in Berlin so we have almost two weeks of overlap where we can hang out and I can help him learn about and discover some of the great things about living in Berlin. It’s really fun being able to show him the city and to catch up since we usually only see each other during the holidays. On top of us hanging out in Berlin we also have fun plans for this coming weekend.

Although it’s a little hard to decide not to spend the last weekend in Berlin, my friend and planned a trip to Latvia that would coincide with the end of my program and his first free weekend of his weekend. I’m honestly really excited go experience Riga, because in all honesty I never thought I would have been there ever in my life. Our plan had originally been to go to Moscow, however, with difficulty getting visas we decided to basically pick somewhere random that neither of us would have any reason to go to otherwise. Although it will be a little tiring to travel for one more weekend, I think that its will be a great experience to discover a culture that is entirely new to me and one that I have heard many good things about.

With all these fun things haven been done and a few more to look forward to, it again comes time to really reflect more broadly on what it is I have done on this program. It has always been important to stay focused on the fact that this is not a vacation, but an opportunity to grow on individual, interpersonal and professional levels. Having had that in mind over the course of my time at Residea, I would say that I have done a pretty good job of finding out how I can define and ultimately be successful on this program and in my internship. What I have experienced through my work and what I have observed while here, is that success here is defined through doing things properly, working diligently, communicating and keeping a positive attitude that is open to growing and learning. In my industry being “successful” is getting the job done promptly and according to the request. It is important to stay focused and be professional and to learn. This would not be possible without receiving the feedback which I have been given by my coworkers that has been effective in helping me learn what I need to to continue to be successful at my internship and elsewhere in my professional life.