Heat Strikes Berlin

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Hallo wieder!

This week has been quite exciting. Last Thursday, I attended a networking event hosted by the ambassador of Botswana. It was a really lovely evening where I got to speak with former Pitt students of both the College of Business Administration and Katz School of Business as well as some Pitt staff and faculty. While on campus I am typically not one to attend networking events, but this one piqued my interest. I am so glad I went because I enjoyed hearing where the Pitt alumni ended up after finishing their degree especially because I will be starting my career so soon. On Saturday, I visited the Wannsee Conference which was a fascinating museum. In my high school history classes, we learned about Germany and the Holocaust, but we didn’t learn about the Wannsee Conference or any of its history. It is a substantial building in the history of the Holocaust and the Jewish people. I thought it was important to see understand the expansive history and the planning of the genocide. Such a beautiful mansion became a building that hosted so much hate.

House of the Wannsee Conference

I also caught up with an old high school friend for dinner. It was nice to see him after all these years and hear about his experiences in Berlin. On Sunday, I visited the Mauerpark flea market which is one of the biggest flea markets in Berlin. It was so awesome to see all the different stands and foods available. While some of the goods were secondhand goods that people brought from their homes, there were a number of new items and some were even handcrafted. This weekend was so hot and there is no air-conditioning here! It is common for Europe not to have air-conditioning; however, it also typically doesn’t get as hot as in the United States. The weather got up into the high 90s both days so I didn’t want to be out in the sun for too long but I’m glad I got to do two more things in Berlin. The time is passing so quickly so I’m trying to do as many more things as I can before I run out of weekends to do them. I’m super excited to be going to Budapest this weekend. German labor laws require full time workers to have two vacation days for each full month worked. So, I am using my days for the trip to Budapest. I have never been so I’m really excited for the new experience. Although, with the time quickly coming to an end, I plan on spending the rest of my weekends in Berlin and trying to see and do as much as I can. My goal of living like a local hasn’t exactly worked out yet; I’m still pretty busy seeing tourist attractions and packing things in to an already busy schedule. Maybe someday I will be able to enjoy the more relaxed European way of life. Graduation is just around the corner, so who knows what will come next.

Before this internship, my leadership style was very collaborative. I was fine taking a turn as a leader, but I was always welcoming to others ideas and allowing other people to be leaders. I firmly believe that it’s okay for not everyone to be a leader because if everyone is a leader than who will follow. Therefore, I think it is good to have qualities of a leader but not to be a leader all the time. This has challenged me because I have taken roles in which I was a leader for a group, but I viewed it as an experience to help the group accomplish a task together. This internship abroad has not really challenged my approach to leadership. I still think that although there may be one person to voice ideas and thoughts that it is primarily a collaborative effort of a group that is most effective for accomplishing a goal. Although, leadership is not always as big as it’s made out to be. Each person can show their leadership despite the role that they are in. This job has challenged me to really anticipate the next steps of the project and work through those steps before my boss asks me to do them. At my previous jobs, it was always the expectation to ask for the next assignment but this job allows more freedom as well as leadership. I am becoming a future leader by anticipating next steps, making decisions, and working through issues as they arise. These qualities will prepare me for a future leadership role as well as for a job in my near future.