Finally Settling In – Berlin

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Willkommen zurück!

This week has been less eventful but still going really well. It was nice to slow down an experience some of the more relaxing day-to-to day intricacies of life in Berlin. I went to the laundromat and had a laugh because I didn’t know what the symbols on the machine were so I had to look them up to figure out which compartment was for the soap. I’ve learned my way to work a few different ways without Google Maps so despite using more data than I should’ve early in my trip, I can still get to and from work fine. I will be going to the street food market again this week which is a really great place to try food from all over the world and it’s all so good. Unfortunately, it would require extreme hunger to try more than a few things in one trip so I didn’t try everything last time. On the flip side, it means I can try really good food several times and I know where to find it. I’m excited for the coming weekend because it’s Pentecost so Germans have Monday off for the holiday. This weekend I plan to keep myself busy with different things since we have an extra day as well as catch up on sleep. I’m finally starting not to constantly be tired so I’m thankful I’m adjusting to the time zone. Also, I love when people speak to me in German. I’ve had several instances in the past few weeks where people will speak to me in German and while I’m nowhere near fluent I can understand what they’re saying! It makes me feel a lot more immersed in the culture.

My internship is going really well. I’m making progress on the project I was assigned for the summer. One thing that is challenging is that my project is up to me to figure out the solution to a problem they are facing. My supervisor has told me the end goal, but I have to figure out the steps in between. The uncertainty that I’m experiencing is that he didn’t explain how he wanted the project to be completed. While that’s not a bad thing, it’s just very different than anything I’m used to doing. For example, my primary experience with larger projects is in school which are structured. There is a very linear path to follow and doesn’t allow for much deviation. Even in past jobs, I have found that most of my tasks have had a list of steps to do with little room for my own input. The new freedom to complete my tasks the way I see fit is both rewarding and a little scary. I think that I am doing really well navigating without any direction and I do think I’m going to be able to finish my project but also, I have done some trial and error. I started with research and presented the ideas I thought would work and what I didn’t think would work of his ideas and he gave me the “go-ahead” so I started and now I’m going to make some adjustments to cater it closer to what he would like to see. I would say I’m doing a good job navigating this project although I find it challenging.

Going forward, I want to ask more questions when we have our meetings so maybe it can eliminate some of the guessing what he would like the project to look like. I know my supervisor really wants me to fulfill this requirement with my ideas of how to do it best. Therefore, I am trying to make the most efficient system possible that reduces the time that they have to expend doing updates. I’m trying to learn new skills along the way to apply a technique that will be more helpful. For example, for my project, Visual Basic and macros are likely going to be the most efficient route so I’ve been trying to learn enough over the past week to try to be able to utilize visual basic for the remainder of the project. Overall, I’m meeting uncertainty in my internship with questions and more knowledge. My goal is to be able to complete this project on my own even if that requires asking for a little direction.

Upcoming, I have my first company meeting to attend. The meeting will include more information about the company retreat I that I will be attending in the beginning of July! Following that will be the start of the long weekend which will be nice. I plan to see some flea markets and maybe a food market. Until then, I’ll catch you next week.

Schönes Wochenende!