Here it is, final Monday here in Berlin. It is truly a whirlwind of emotions: excited to return home and see family and friends, while feeling deeply saddened to leave this new home I’ve come to love and cherish in the past months. I’ve always found it quite astonishing how quickly a place can start to feel like a home. I think traveling itself gives the word a new meaning; it’s no longer some singular, specific geographical destination but rather a term for people and place surrounding you for a consistent amount of time. A place you have come to understand and feel comfortable in. In this sense, you can have many different homes.
Last week was our final week of working. It was hard to say goodbye to my internship. Being a more introverted or reserved person, I sometimes feel as though I’m leaving just when I’m getting started or feeling adjusted and comfortable with my new environment. Not particularly with Berlin itself, but more with the work setting. It is a socially and professionally exhausting and consuming experience entering a new workplace and job. Exciting nevertheless, but certainly draining.
I was saddened to say my goodbyes as I was just beginning to feel more comfortable being myself around the conference team I primarily worked with. However, I do hope to stay in touch and continue to network with them in the future. I was truly humbled when they took me out for a goodbye lunch on Wednesday afternoon and presented me with a small but meaningful gift. It represented their gratitude for the work I did in my time there, and was touching for me to know that my presence was valued and appreciated. This has really resonated with me and I will carry this experience on through future jobs, hoping to maintain similar connections.
Several of us enjoyed the last few days exploring Berlin. Many left on Saturday, whereas my roommate and few others stayed a couple extra days. My roommate and I head home tomorrow. We were saddened to say our goodbyes to friends on Saturday morning but were excited to reunite back at Pitt in a few weeks. On Sunday, Abby and I took a day trip to Hamburg. I was really glad I was able to see another German city before heading home. It was certainly smaller than Berlin but a very interesting port city.
When it comes to the professional goals and successes of my company much of it is rooted in politics and development. Evenson GmbH is the New Mobility World project office of the VDA (or German Association of the Automotive Industry). Currently, we invested time in planning and organizing the IAA Conference 2019 showcased at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany this September. It has promoted the development of mobility across the globe, building on the success of past ´IAA expert events. This conference brings together revolutionary minds from all over the world—from industry to academia, and policy makers to visionaries. This September of 2019, the 68thIAA is taking a progressive step towards shaping the future of mobility by creating the first official IAA New Mobility World. Through this conference, my company has the has the opportunity to bring together international creators, thinkers, and stakeholders, including prominent representatives and newcomers from the automotive, energy and technology sectors, cities and governments, as well as the international media, to discuss the future of mobility trends. These themes will not only change how we get around, but how we live, work, and interact.
I think the language barrier had initially presented some challenges in terms of developing contextual clues for quick problem solving. But having lived in the city for two months now, we have all developed a better understanding of the culture and “rules” of the city. Being forced to learn to live as a local, especially working full-time internships, we have accumulated a contextual skillset for getting around and communicating within Berlin. I am both amazed and proud of how integrated into the city I feel. I know the public transportation and can get myself around very well. I’ve learned a basic skillset of German to communicate on a very beginner level. And I feel like I know and have seen a fair amount of the city. This is mainly why I am so saddened to leave it. It has become my new comfort while also still an excitement everyday.