Success can be defined differently for everyone, from earning money, doing what you love, or just small accomplishments. This trip to Berlin has been a success for me, and I can’t believe I am starting my last week here. I will definitely miss my time here, but glad with everything that has happened the way it did.
Time always seems to go fast, but I have done and accomplished a lot when I think about it. I got to travel around Germany, meet new people, try new things, and experience something I had never experienced before, which was leaving the USA and working in a different environment. I think I have learned that success is just the satisfaction I get from learning new things.
When finishing my second to last week, I had a check-in with my supervisor, as we do weekly, to follow up on my tasks and what my last week would look like. I was nervous because in my task assignment box, I still had many things I had not started or I knew I would not be able to finish as they were bigger projects. My supervisor reassured me that when she assigned me these tasks, she knew not all of them could get done, but they were just there in case and everything so I could see what type of things she and the rest of the team work on. Some of the tasks seemed super fun, but there wasn’t enough time for me to work on all these projects because eight weeks really do fly by. I chose what tasks I wanted to finish this week: social media research and video projects. I felt way better that my supervisor was happy with what I did and got done. She made me feel less stressed because I really want to make sure I am making the best use of my time working here.
I feel like there is still much to learn, but I have learned a lot. During my last week at work, I am having a final lunch with the team to say final goodbyes and an exit interview. During the exit interview, I am meeting with my team, where they will give me final feedback, and I can talk or bring up anything with them. They want to make sure that I feel accomplished and successful from spending my whole summer with them in Berlin.
How the individuals at my company seem to define success is more than just the actual work. It includes relationship and network building, balancing work and personal life, and lots of effort. Besides just doing my tasks, I made an effort to meet others and get to know them, and my team calls this success. In addition, going out of your way, the extra mile on something is praised.
In German, I have also found that being ecologically friendly is a huge success. Like returning plastic bottles, getting change back, riding bikes, or taking public transportation. In my internship, I learned a lot about sustainability and how my company defined success in coworking areas. In the US, in places I have worked, success is measured by status and titles. It is interesting to see the more laid-back culture and culture overall when comparing and measuring the success in the US.
When I have hung out with my coworkers, some say they do not make as much money as they wish, but they are comfortable and love what they do, so that’s all that matters. In addition, they love working and being in Berlin. I have met so many Americans and people from other countries who have moved to Berlin or Germany after visiting or working for a short time because they are happy here and love the culture and vibes, o that’s all that matters. Overall in Germany and Berlin, success has a wide range of definitions, but I mostly found that making relationships and being confident and happy is the biggest.
Since this was my last week and weekend, I wanted to do as much as possible. Although I have done a lot in Berlin, I made a list of some things I still wanted to do and try, like going to parks, lakes, flea markets and trying specific foods. I still want to do and try lots, but I overestimated two months here. I thought it would be long, but there’s just so much to do I’m Berlin and Germany overall. I went to Rostock, Germany, and hung out at the Baltic Sea, which was great! I had some northern German food which was good to try. The whole group also met for our last goodbye with our advisor.
I will miss Berlin and am so grateful for the amazing summer. I had so much fun.