2 Weeks to Go!

As my time here is coming to an end, I am bummed to say that I am burnt out.  Berlin is a great city, and my job has been great, but working a 9-5 desk job is exhausting and I have started to want to just lay around during my free time.  I am working on getting motivation back, and I expect it will come back, but it’s been a long couple week.  Over the past weekend I took Friday and Monday off and took a trip to Budapest along with some of the others in the group.  Budapest is now my favorite city I’ve been to in Europe, and I hope I can go back again soon.  We spent the weekend relaxing and seeing the city, as well as having a couple great meals. I had one of the best breakfasts of my life at a restaurant in downtown Budapest, as well as a spectacular Hungarian beef cheek stew and bone marrow for the first time for our final dinner in Budapest.  One of the biggest things that stood out to me was how cheap everything was in Budapest, about a third of the price of life in Berlin.  My favorite thing that we did was going to a party in the Szechnyei thermal baths which were basically in a castle.  It was a crazy event with many cool dancing and acrobatic performances, and the venue was just beautiful; it was something that cannot be done anywhere else in the world, and it was incredibly memorable.  During the week I did not do anything other than really work as I was just exhausted, and this weekend I didn’t do much other than checking out a new bar with some friends and going to Schlachtensee, a lake outside of Berlin, for a few hours.  As we wrap up the last couple weeks, I am going to try to do some things that I should have done earlier in the program, like visiting one of the concentration camps outside of Berlin, as well as maybe spending some more time in the Tiergarten.  The kids in our program also have a plan to have dinner at the top of the East Berlin TV tower, which is apparently one of the coolest experiences in Berlin.  I am very excited for this; I expect both the view and the food will be awesome!  We are also meeting with our program manager, Britta, a couple days before leaving at my favorite Biergarten as a separate sendoff with some of the other kids in similar programs. 

I have talked about this many times in different blogs, discussion posts, and my actual opportunity/challenge paper, but communication has been one of the biggest challenges within my company.  A lot of times assignments are given to us with quite vague instructions, though a lot of times it is simply due to a bit of a language barrier.  At the start of our internship that caused some problems in the work we did, as we did our first assignment completely wrong.  Like we weren’t even close.  Since then, we have learned from our mistake and make sure that nothing is lost in translation, and we know everything that we are doing.  It may get annoying sometimes, but I ask lots and lots of questions to make sure I am giving my boss the best work possible.  Rather than trying to pump work out as fast as I can I go over my work over and over and check with my boss here and there to make sure I am doing the right thing, and I will not leave the work alone until she praises it.  I would say on the scale of low context to high context communication our communication is low context at first, but as we get into an assignment communication is far higher context, as we want to make sure we are giving our superiors exactly what they want.  In terms of hybrid communication, I have only worked from home three times during this internship, so I have experienced few problems with that, but communication is far lower when I am working from home compared to working in the office.  I had a day where I was not feeling well and worked from home and asked my boss for assignments and she responded saying get well soon then did not respond to any of my texts for the rest of the day.  I am still not sure if she just wanted me to recover or that was a communication issue.  Until next week!