This past summer has been filled with experiences that I am never going to forget. I was able to travel the world with a group of amazing people and work for a company that does amazing things. This is something that I never thought I was going to experience in my life. The people I met along the way are going to stick with me forever. Everything about my journey was amazing and it has taught me so many different things about myself. I want to start with what I learned from my internship. ImpactHub Berlin was a place unlike anything I had seen before in my working life. Everyone was happy to go into work and wanted to be there. This culture inspired me to want the same. I learned that I enjoyed working in a smaller company where everyone knows each other, and people want to be a part of everyone’s lives. I was inspired by the work that was being done and want to continue to work in a similar field after graduation. Outside of work I grew a lot too. I spent some time after the program traveling alone. I ended up in Rome as my last stop before heading back to the states. During my time there I really learned a lot about myself. I was walking around the city looking at the sites and I lost track of time and let my phone die. I did what any person born after the year 2000 would have done in this situation and panicked. I was lost and had no idea where I was or how I was going to get home. I ended up wandering the streets stopping into every store and shop I could find asking if anyone had a phone charger that I could borrow. It wasn’t until I found an ice cream shop filled with people that I was able to be saved. Once I was able to figure out where I was, I calmed down and enjoyed a nice ice cream and had a conversation with an elderly couple. They were very nice, and I explained to them what just happened. They laughed a little at me because they said that all “kids” now are too into their phones. While technology is great, I realized they were right. I needed to look up every now and again to see where I am. Whether its in the literal sense of directions or more metaphorical, I learned that I often get lost in the future that I need to look up and see where I am at right in the moment.
While I didn’t take any classes while over in Germany, I think that I grew a lot academically. I learned that there are so many ways to teach and be a student outside of the classroom. My entire life I have constricted learning and academia to only be in a classroom. This trip showed me that there are more ways to learn that do not involve classrooms. I think the biggest step I took as a student on this trip was getting out of my comfort zone. I did a lot of things that I do not typically do on this journey, and they have given me the confidence to continue to step out of my comfort zone in the future. For example, having the confidence to speak up and suggest that the on-boarding process for my position should be changed. I have never really done something like that out of fear of making my co-workers upset. I think working in the environment that I did gave me the opportunity to make a change I stepped and did so. I now know that I have the confidence to speak out when I think change is needed. Whether it is something as simple as that or an issue much larger. This new confidence that I have found is going to carry me far at school and in my future career.
I wanted to remember this experience for the rest of my life, and I know that everyone that I have met this past summer and every place that I have visited is going stay with me for a long time. Berlin Germany is a city that is so unique and so different from anything that I have ever known there is no way that I could ever forget this experience and what it has done for me.
Danke Berlin for all the memories.