Becoming a Berliner

As we come to the end of our second week here in Berlin, I have had many interesting experiences to reflect on. First off, just exploring the city has been really eye opening. My favorite aspect of the city is the contrast of the architecture between the buildings in West Berlin and East Berlin. You can clearly see the influence of Communist party from the 1900’s compared to the more elaborate and exciting buildings on the western side of the wall.

              On Thursday there was a national holiday in Germany, so we all had work off during that day, I was also given Friday off as well because my company gives that day to all their employees. During my extra day off I hopped on the train and went to one of the many famous lakes on the outskirts of Berlin. The lake that I went to explore was Wannsee. It was interesting because the public transportation of the city brings you right to the lake front for free with your U-Bahn pass. It was neat to see more the countryside of Germany. The harbor was filled with sailboats and chartered boat trips. The lake is surrounded by different walking and hiking trails which provide a nice quite getaway for Berliner’s who want to get out of the city.

              As a group we all visited an international food market on Thursday night. There was a bunch of food trucks from all different cultures in the same building. We were able to walk around and try foods from all over the world while being in the heart of Berlin. I thought this was cool because we were able to see how diverse this city is. My favorite part about this experience was that I was able to try traditional German cuisine as well as other ethnic foods that are not as common in the US such as Turkish food. This food market has been one of my favorite things that we have done so far over the last two weeks.

              As a group we also went out and experienced some the world-renowned Berlin night life. This was very interesting and exciting to see the difference between here and the US.

              Although I have been having a lot of fun exploring the city, I have been given a good amount of work to do at my internship. My bosses have given me quite a bit work to do throughout the week. Typically, I am given a set of tasks to begin research with. I have spent a lot of time researching and finding leads that fit the overall goal of my firm. This has been difficult because ImpactHub Berlin is focused on creatin sustainable business practices by connecting small businesses and allowing them to use each other to work out ideas and find sustainable solutions to practical business problems. In regard to time management I feel as though I have done a good job of making the most of my office space. Each day we have a morning meeting as a sale department to ay out what we need to accomplish for the day. During these meetings I often take notes for the group so that we have an accurate account of what was said throughout the meeting. After the meetings I find a quite spot within the office to start/continue my research. I typically spend the rest of the morning until about 1pm working on the research until I leave for lunch. Each day I try and grab lunch with a different member of the ImpactHub community. With so many different people there it is interesting to chat with various small business owners and hear what their companies do and how they are working to create a more sustainable future.

              After lunch I get back to my research and usually start to formulate my deliverables which typically consists of an excel sheet with leads and description of why they would be a good fit to join our community and a suggestion of some projects that they might fit well on. About three times a week we have community event at the office as well where everyone can get together and meet each other learn from each other. This is usually my favorite part of the day because I can meet interesting people that I do not work directly with. I had an intriguing conversation with a man who started a company based on regifting presents that people didn’t want.  People would donate things they were gifted that the had no need for and his company would get them to people who needed them or would help get them recycled.

              Working at ImpactHub has been really eye opening to the amount of creativity in the world and what we can accomplish when people work together.