Auf wiedersehen, A bientot, Good bye

It is amazing how quickly two months had gone by.  Upon initially arriving in Germany in mid May, eight weeks of work looked like an incredibly long time.  However, now that it is over and I am back in the US, it seemed to be only a small blip of time, but one that I would never forget.  

My last week in Berlin was a great one, and while still providing its fair share of work and responsibility, was also one that just as many fun events and memories.  One of the greatest events was when my work placed paid for Kayla (another person on IIP who worked at Acatus) and I to go into Potsdam on Thursday. It was incredibly nice of them because they wanted to show their appreciation for all of the work that we had done.  So they ended up paying for our additional transit costs and day passes to visit all of the old castles and palaces in the city. And there were many, 16 in fact. Despite already having gone to Sanssouci the previous Saturday, I was incredibly excited to go back. I was incredibly enriching to be able to go back a second time because there were small details that I noticed and did not pick up on the first time or that Kayla was able to point out to me.  This ranged from various painting to architectural details.

One of the things that I was most excited to do thought was to go and visit the New Palace, which I was not able to see on the previous visit because of time restrictions.  Located at the opposite end of the garden from Sanssouci Palace, the New palace is built in stark contrast to Sanssouci. While Sanssouci was built in a very nature inspired style with color palates and themes that evoked a sense of nature and leisure, the New Palace is built with some of the grandeur and stateliness that can be found in the other great palaces of Europe.  Originally built to celebrate the success of the Kingdom of Prussia in the Seven Years War, the intention of Frederick was to use this palace to evoke a sense of success and awe in all who visited. This can be reflected in the fact that its primary use while Frederick was alive was to host state functions and diplomatic receptions. However, after his death, it fell into disrepair from lack of use.  It did not again receive much use until the ascension of Kaiser Wilhelm II, when he made the palace his preferred place of residence upon his coronation and conducted massive renovations. What makes the interior especially special is that it is almost all of the original furniture from 1918. Upon the Kaiser’s abdication in the waning years of the First World War, the furniture was shipped with him to the Netherlands where he would spend the remainder of his days.  However, It was eventually discovered by the Dutch and returned to the palace so that it could be set up the same what it looked in 1918. This helped to provide a really interesting look into the lives of what was one of the most powerful men in the world at the time and to get an in depth look into the time of the German Empire, a time period that is not talked about too much in Germany.

From my time in Germany, there does not appear to be much of a difference in what makes a successful employee.  This might be due to the company at which I work at and the field I work in. Because my company is a finance company and one in the finance field, I feel that the measures of success are similar to what you would expect to find in any start up that you would see in America.  This is also helped by the fact that many of my coworkers have worked in either in the United Kingdom or the United States, so they have experience working with the Anglo sphere. And because of this, I feel as though feedback has been provided to me pretty directly. Whenever I would finish a project, my supervisor would give me directly feedback as to what she thought I could improve on but also on what she thought that I did well.  I thought this was most reassuring, and effective, because of my inexperience in the field, hearing that you have done something right and have done it well was a real confidence booster. The direct feedback was also a great way to help no not only improve the current project, but the subsequent projects.