The time has finally come, it is the final week in Berlin. It really has been an incredible experience, not only Berlin, but Europe, traveling to Dresden, Prague, Munich, Salzburg, and Potsdam. I saw so many incredible sights and interacted with a ton of interesting people, inside and out of the group from the University of Pittsburgh that I traveled here with. Some of the strangers I connected with the most are my coworkers. I had to work with them every weekday for eight weeks straight through these interactions, I was able to pick up certain priorities within German culture, especially within the business world. The most prominent priority of German professionals in business is completeness I would argue. I have noticed that projects must be thoroughly checked through and have zero errors before saying it is finalized. I have handed in multiple projects that have been handed back with a ton of edits and a tone that exudes needs excessive improvement. Obviously, this happens in the United States as well, but when I compare what the feedback was from this to my summer internship last year, there is a difference in the intensity and demanding for completeness. I don’t mind this at all, and I actually applaud it because I think it creates better work overall. Because of this priority of completeness, there are certain characteristics necessary for German workers. I find to fit this priority of completeness; dedication is an important characteristic in an employee. To be dedicated to your work allows employees to make more complete work and are happy to do it. I think this creates a better product. I feel like this differs only slightly from workers in the United States. In the United States, dedication to the company and its products is definitely valued, but there is more openness to shopping yourself around the job market while still working the job. This shows less loyalty to the company and less dedication to the work that the worker in the United States has. One other different definition of success in German is sustainability. I see this in my workplace where were not utilizing paper or any physical materials, rather just the stuff on our computers to work. However, when I am in the United States, there are still people (mostly those from the older generation) who want stuff printed out on paper so they can tangibly see and feel the reports. Though I personally don’t see this as a big difference, especially with my company, my co-workers have stressed that outside of work and with other companies, sustainability is a high priority for German companies.
For my last weekend in Berlin, I like to think I spent it well. I went to a rooftop place and had a great sunset view of Berlin. It was so cool I that am making that picture the photo for this blog. All of the buildings are silhouettes because of the lack of lights, and the coolest part was that the TV Tower stood out among the rest of the buildings in Berlin, which are usually capped at a certain height. On Saturday, I once again went to the lake at Wannsee. It is quickly becoming my favorite place in Berlin because I love hanging on the sand and being in the water. It reminds me of spending my summers at the Jersey shore at my beach house, even though there are no waves here. Unfortunately, we had to leave a little early and cut the day short because it started to rain, which I have noticed it does here a lot. It will just randomly get cloudy so quickly then a downpour will ensue, so we wanted to make sure that we got away before the downpour. Finally, I finished my weekend on Sunday with a flea market in Mauer Park. This was definitely my favorite flea market that I have been to here in Berlin. Not only was it more spread out and easier to walk through, but there were also incredible products and food sold. I had possibly the best pizza I have had in Europe, (which is saying a lot and not a lot at the same time because I have had a lot of pizza here, but it is Berlin and not Italy, so it is something I have to consider). I also had a Brotwurst, my favorite of the classic German foods. Hopefully my last week here at work lives up to my entire first seven weeks here in Berlin.