It is the last week in Berlin! My internship at Sirius Facilities is coming to a close after almost eight weeks of hard work. I have learned so much during these past two months, and I have gained so much confidence and independence. I have met a lot of amazing people, and it has been incredible to explore a new part of the world. I feel bittersweet about this program almost being over.
Since this weekend is our last, we made sure it was a good one. I spent time with other interns, and we did all of our favorite things in Berlin to say goodbye. We went to Thaipark, which is only about a 5-minute walk from our apartment. Thaipark is an outdoor food market featuring different vendors all serving Thai food. We have been meaning to go all summer, so we finally went because it was our last chance. The food was really good!
We also went back to Wansee Lake on Saturday because it was really hot outside. The lake is so beautiful, and we had so much fun. I was able to meet some other Germans at the lake, which was great because I have been wanting to meet more locals.
On Sunday, we went to Mauerpark to see if there were any last-minute souvenirs we wanted to take back with us from the flea market. There are many food vendors at Mauerpark, so we ate empanadas, pizza, and Vietnamese food. We also went to Hokey Pokey to get ice cream – it was amazing!
This week my roommate and I are trying to squeeze in everything we still want to do and see in Berlin. We are planning to go to the Pergamonmuseum because it will be closed for 14 years for construction. We also have to say goodbye to all of our favorite restaurants. We are all going back to the Greek restaurant by our hotel, Samos. We went there when we arrived and several times throughout the program. I also want to get one last currywurst, one last doner kebab, and one last burger from Burgermiester.
I am sad to think that I only have a couple of days left in Berlin. I think saying goodbye to my coworkers will be sad because there is a high chance I will never see them again. Although I had an incredible time in Berlin, I am excited to go back home. I miss my dog, my family, and my friends. I also really want to eat my favorite foods, like Chick-fil-A.
In Germany, success is defined as being accurate and efficient. The most successful people at my office are efficient, ensure their work is accurate, and communicate directly with others. Especially in accounting, it is essential not to make mistakes. One mistake can create problems because all of Sirius Facilities’ finances must be audited by EY. Therefore, one mistake may cause EY to investigate the issue. Also, it is crucial to be efficient. When I am working on a project, my supervisor often asks for updates. Also, when my coworkers take too long on a project, other employees in the office come into our department and ask for updates. This is because the work in accounting is chronological, so sometimes, one person cannot do their job if someone else is taking too long to do their job.
I would say that success in Germany is similar to success in America. The only stark difference I have noticed is the lack of a competitive environment in Germany. In America, I think students and employees often compare themselves to their peers or coworkers. Sometimes we even view our peers as our competitors. I have not seen this culture of competition present in Germany. Employees seem satisfied with where they are, and other employees help each other out. I think having satisfaction at your job is less common in America. Most people I know are comparing themselves to their peers and continuously trying to compete with them.
Another difference I have noticed is the communication styles. In Germany, being direct is expected and appreciated since direct communication is more efficient. However, in America, respecting one another’s feelings is usually more important. So, coworkers will speak to each other more politely and indirectly, even if it takes longer to get the point across, in order to spare the other’s feelings. I would say that being a successful communicator in America means that you are empathetic and considerate of others’ feelings.
I can’t wait to see what the final days in Berlin have in store!