Correcting My Lack of Balance

Hallo! I am now 2 weeks into my program and one week into my internship at LÆMON, a tech-jewelry startup in Berlin. This past week has been so eventful and it feels like multiple weeks passed since my last post. On Monday, I started at LÆMON as a finance intern. After work, we decided to go celebrate our first day and got schnitzel at a great little restaurant close to our hotel. We stayed up talking a bit too late, but it is really nice to have a group of people doing the same program as me so we can talk about our workdays. At work for the week, I fell into a daily routine and am now used to what each day will look like. I wake up and take the same bus to work every morning, so it was easy for me to get settled into a schedule.

After starting the week out settling into my new internship, we all had Thursday off for a national holiday. That gave us the opportunity to all hang out and have fun bonding on Wednesday night, which I followed up on Thursday with a visit to Museum Island. I went to the Altes and Neues Museums, which have a lot of rich history and were decently busy with tourists. It was interesting to see the artifacts, especially the Nefertiti Bust, which is probably the most famous piece of history kept in Museum Island. I have been wanting to see it since I found out I was going to Berlin for the summer, so I’m happy I could check that off of my sightseeing bucket list. Later that evening, we went to a street food market and had dinner at one of the dozens of stands in the market.

I had a jam-packed weekend as well, trying to balance the social aspect of Berlin with assignments and the necessary sleep for work. Time management has been almost-nonexistent for me in Berlin so far, which is a very bad thing. As you can see, I am posting this blog about an hour before the deadline. I am starting to correct my schedule, so that I can come home from work, be proactive with completing my assignments, and then get enough rest to be productive at work the next day. Berlin is such an interesting city and I have gotten a bit sucked into the exploration part of the program, but it is so easy to do. The important thing is to prioritize school and work, but not to the point that I miss out on experiencing Berlin.

Since realizing that my time management skills were severely lacking, I started planning out my days and allotting time for my necessary tasks throughout the week. This includes time to get ready in the morning, my commutes, and time to run any errands that need to be completed. Something that is easy to forget when planning out the week is that errands such as laundry and grocery shopping have to get done at some point, or else I will be stranded without clean clothes or food. Leaving breaks or even scheduling time for fun activities after work is really important to ensure that I have a well-rounded experience. At work, I become so exhausted and drained because I am doing a lot of research and work each day. It sounds obvious, but getting 8 hours of sleep is a necessity to make sure that the rest of my day is utilized to its fullest.

Managing my time at work has proven an easier task than managing my entire week. My boss will give us assignments to complete with a tentative due date, which leads Dylan and I to decide on the most efficient way to complete the tasks and complete them well. So far, we have been splitting the work evenly in regard to what we are best at, which maximizes our time usage and is a key part of time management. I think that this happened almost naturally, but it is still up to us to continue this teamwork in order to remain efficient with tasks throughout the internship. Balancing work with my own time has luckily been easy. because we manage our time well enough during the day that we do not have to allot extra time towards tasks outside of work. The key to maintaining this rhythm is to actively make the decision to be efficient each day so that I do not fall behind on my sections of the jobs as the summer continues.

I hope that you are enjoying reading about my time in Berlin, and maybe even learning from my mistakes. I’ll update you again next week, hopefully not an hour before the deadline!


Caitlin Jarrell

Highlights from Museum Island