Learning to Love Office Work

Hello all,

After five weeks in Berlin and four weeks at LÆMON, I am fully settled in to Berlin.  This past week has been incredibly busy, and I am still burnt out.  Our boss was gone for the week for a couple different business-related conventions, so we were left to manage our own time and tasks for the week.  Now that we are settled into LÆMON, we are starting to far some very serious and important assignments.  Our assignments for the week consisted of restructuring our pricing strategy for three different products, putting the costs and revenues into our business financial plan, and rewriting and adding our new marketing and pricing strategies to our written business plan.  These are core attributes of a business, so it is clear that our boss has developed a good amount of trust in us.  The written business plan has been difficult for us to rewrite due to two factors, the only business plan they had was a business plan in German, and it is just a super long document.  Translating and rewriting 30 pages takes a super long time, and it takes a lot of thinking to rewriting the translations to sound better and more proper in terms of English writing.  This has been a very difficult assignment and it is something I am still working on as there is no one to really check our work other than ourselves because we are writing a document in English for our German company.  Therefore, we will have to revise the document three or four times and make sure that our work is perfect before we give it to our bosses.  Because of how busy we have been, I was not able to do much for pleasure during the week, as I would just finish every work day very tired.  All I was able to do this week was go shopping at Zara and get some clothes, and also make my first German doctor visit.  After going to the beach on Sunday, my ear plugged for some reason so I had to go to an ENT on Wednesday.  I expected more of a culture shock but it actually wasn’t that much different from an ENT in the US.  I expect something like an emergency room rather than a specialty doctor would be more of a culture shock.

Since this is my first internship, I have developed endless “hard skills” at LÆMON.  I have learned so much about business operations at this job as I just did not know that much before coming to this job.  Since LÆMON is in the seed stage, and has so few employees, we are getting tons of hands-on experience with really important pieces of a business that are already established with larger companies.  Working with things like pitch decks, business plans, and pricing strategies are not really touched if I am a finance intern at a bigger company.  This is something that will be super beneficial in jobs in the future, as I will have some knowledge that many other people never get.  My “soft” skills have also developed greatly as I have just learned to manage multiple tasks, manage my own time, and work in a team environment in the workplace.  This was very important this past week as none of my superiors were in the workplace all week, this meant that I had to delegate my tasks throughout the week and make sure I kept my focus in a basically empty office. I think if I had to do something like this last year I would mess around and not get enough done.  I know this because I was faced with this difficulty a lot at my residential construction job last year, as I went left to work on my own at a couple different sites weekly.  I would not get enough done, and I would leave early.  At this job I have been getting work done at a great rate, which maybe shows that I enjoy this work more than construction, or maybe it shows that I have grown as a worker.  I know that when I look back after this job, I will be grateful for the amount I have learned from this job, and I don’t think I would have learned more at a bigger company. These hard and soft skills I have developed will be super helpful in the future at my next internship, as well as in school and at different jobs in the future.