Developing Skills in Berlin

Benji Gluzman

Professor Koller

International Internship Summer 2022

June 20th, 2022

Developing Skills in Berlin:

My friends and I have been in Berlin for roughly a month now, and we are essentially halfway through the program.  It’s such a bittersweet feeling (more bitter than sweet), and I have loved my time in Berlin, but also miss some things back at home.  I find it fascinating how over the weeks myself along with my friends have adjusted to being in Berlin, and with that comes the decline of that initial excitement and shock that comes with living in a new city.  I would say the initial shock is past me, but I still remind myself of the incredible opportunity I am living through right, and this pushes me to continue to make the most out of this trip as opposed to getting comfortable and losing sight of what I hoped to do heading into this program. The past week has been really enjoyable, with the highlight being a company event I went to last Thursday, with the theme being an Italian night.  I was able to enjoy drinks and snacks with people from plista I had yet to meet which was great, and I even spoke with plista’s CEO for a portion of the night which I found to be very interesting.  He is a man who has lived in multiple continents, and was able to provide some interesting insights about his time in the places he has lived, and I was also glad to receive some advice from him related to my future career plans. I also went to Mauerpark flea market with a couple people from the program, and even though I bought nearly nothing I still had a great time exploring the flea market along with the other events happening around me, such as a live performance and karaoke.  Work has been exciting for me lately, as I am working with my mentor to revamp our current content and social media strategies.  As someone who enjoys mapping these things out I made a content calendar for the rest of the year, and am excited to start adding plans for posts this week. 

Italian Night at plista

Beginning with soft skills, I am happy to say I have further developed multiple, but none may be as apparent as adaptability.  Being in a new country presents challenges one has never faced, and it takes adaptability to be able to sort through such challenges.  During my time in Berlin I have definitely faced my own challenges, and although I am still figuring some out and there are likely more to come, I still feel I have been handling these challenges well, and am learning a lot as a result.  Another soft skill I have developed is critical thinking, as this is something I have developed mainly through my internship.  A good deal of work I have done and that is still to come requires some level of critical thinking on my end, and this is something I have little experience with in a true work environment.  During my internship I have needed to use my critical thinking skills, which is something I’ve been very pleased with as it’s such an important skill to develop.  Another soft skill worth mentioning is communication of course.  Being is a country where the native language is one you don’t speak can be quite challenging, but it forces you to find other ways to communicate which I find to be interesting.  Fortunately, many people in Berlin speak English, but communicating with those who don’t has forced me to improve my communication skills.  A big part of communicating with people is also being a good listener, and there have been many times where being attentive to someone I am trying to communicate with has made all the difference.  I may not know most of the words being spoken, but if I can understand bits and pieces it makes things much easier.  As important as speaking is to communication, I feel my ability to listen has improved by a great deal over the past four weeks.

Moving on to hard skills I have improved upon, one skill that has been tested a lot is proofreading or screening content.  As English is not the primary language of anyone in the marketing department, I have had to proofread content various times to check for mistakes or places where wording can be improved.  Although this may not be the most important skill to develop, I am still happy to do so and I’d argue it is making me more knowledgeable in how to use effective wording for things such as a website or social media content.  

A classic doner kebab meal