Begin in Berlin!

Hello! My name is Benji Gluzman and I am a junior at the University of Pittsburgh, and I am a double major in marketing and supply chain management in the College of Business Administration (CBA). To talk a bit about my self from a personal perspective there a some things you should know. I have lived in Pittsburgh, PA my whole life and I’m 15 minutes away from Pitt’s main campus. I consider myself as someone who is caring, attentive, friendly, stoic, and a more so introverted person. Some hobbies of mine include both playing and watching sports, occasionally reading, video games, poker, and spending time with friends. A (sort of) fun fact about myself is that I have had four concussions up to this point, and hope to keep it that way.

Speaking a bit more about my academic background I came to Pitt as a freshman in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences with the intention of transferring to the College of Business Administration, but that was about it. Upon transferring to the CBA I didn’t know what I wanted to major in so I took many of the baseline courses offered and hoped to find something I was passionate towards. Today, I’ve found my passion in studying marketing, but I haven’t quite figured out which aspect of marketing I would like to make a career of. This is something I will talk about later. So to wrap up my academic background I double major in marketing and supply chain as mentioned earlier with a minor in econ.

Moving on to my professional experience I’ve been fortunate enough to work as an intern for a growing Jewish esports organization called Lost Tribe, but not too much else past that. Talking more about my time at Lost Tribe I joined back in December of 2020 and just recently stopped working there because of this program/internship. I initially started on the social media team helping plan out posts for our socials, determining our target audience, collecting past game play to share on such socials, and even making some content myself. However after a few months I wanted a change as I don’t love being in front of a camera, and this is when I joined the gaming department. From there I began to flourish as an intern. I started by running some of our weekly tournaments we held for our community which led to me becoming an official tournament administrator for the rest of my time at Lost Tribe. Another aspect of my internship which I really enjoyed was when I joined our Pass the Rock team which was our very own weekly sports podcast live streamed on Twitch. I mainly worked during the NFL season as I closely follow the league and mainly did a lot of behind the scenes work planning out different conversation topics that were filled with hot takes or debatable points. I also joined the podcast multiple times to either fill in for one of main hosts or for a special event like our staff fantasy football draft. All in all working for Lost Tribe was an incredible for me as I learned a lot and truly enjoyed my time there.

Now switching gears to this internship I am a part of IIP Berlin and am very happy to be here. I chose this program as I really wanted some work experience and what better opportunity than to do so in another country as well. As you can tell by now I am lacking in work experience in marketing and would like to gain some before graduating college. I chose Berlin out of the other cities as I’ve never been to Berlin before and understand it is both a major city and hub for many industries and businesses. I also know people who have traveled here before and had nothing but good things to say so I felt Berlin was a clear choice and good fit for what I am looking for. Thankfully I have landed an internship with a company called plista where I will be working with the marketing team and starting with social media given I have some experience in that area.

I have done a lot of thinking as to what I am exactly looking for our of this experience personally, professionally, and academically. Personally I hope to learn new things about myself, challenge myself by willingly being in uncomfortable scenarios, and ultimately becoming a more well-rounded individual. I am someone who really tries to be reflective and understand who I am, and I feel this program will uncover some things I never knew about myself given all the firsts this experience will provide for me. I am also someone who feels that one truly grows when being in uncomfortable scenarios, and sitting here right now as far as I’ve ever been from my friends and family will definitely challenge me in ways I’ve yet to experience. Those who travel I believe become well-rounded individuals given the many cultures, people, societal values/norms, and experiences one encounters which I hope to see for myself while in Berlin.

Professionally this program is a big step for me and my future as I ultimately hope to discover or at least narrow down what about marketing I love and wish to pursue as a career. By working with plista I know I will learn so many things about marketing in the real world as opposed to material learned in class for example, and I plan to be a sponge trying to soak up as much information as possible. On top of that there are also fundamental things I hope to learn through this program such as what a work environment feels like, how to work effectively with a team, and how to become a strong communicator. I feel given my character I can be both a good team player and communicator, but this program will truly put my beliefs to the test given the language barrier and my overall slight discomfort settling in to a big and entirely new city.

Academically I hope to learn more about the history of not just Berlin but Germany as well. I plan to visit different museums and historical landmarks to familiarize myself with Berlin’s past, and I also want to truly immerse myself within Berlin’s society so I can experience the culture, values/principles, and people of the city. I wish to learn more German so I can hopefully be able to communicate well before my time comes to a close in Berlin as having even a baseline understanding of another language can separate myself from potential competitors in my professional work in the future.