I can not believe this program is over. It did not feel like I was in Berlin for 9 weeks. Time really did fly by, especially the last week. During the last week, I wrapped up my internship. I finished the tool I was working on over the span of 8 weeks. On the last day, the office threw a small party. They brought cake, gave flowers, and wished me luck in the future.
Aside from my internship, during the last week I hung out with the other Pitt students and my parents. In the beginning of the week a bunch of us went to a Greek restaurant near the hotel. We had a great time spending time with each other. My parents got to Berlin Wednesday night and we went for dinner at a German restaurant. I hung out with them throughout the week getting dinner and walking around Berlin. On Friday my parents joined me for lunch at San Marco. I ate at San Marco pretty much every other day. It was exciting to bring them there. On Saturday, we went to the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. After that, I took my parents to a currywurst place near our hotel. Some of the Pitt students said this is their favorite place for currywurst, so I thought my parents would like it. On our last day, we went to the Charlottenburg Palace and tried to finish up souvenir shopping. Our flight was late Sunday night, so we were able to do things during the day. Once we got to the airport, I was sad to be leaving Berlin. I was happy to be going home to see the rest of my family and my dog. When I was finally home at almost 2am, I was so drained from traveling all day. The rest of the week my sleep schedule was kind of messed up, but it was not too bad. The best part of being home is being able to have yellow Gatorade again, and being with my family of course.
Throughout my time in Berlin, I think I developed greater communication, problem solving, and time management skills. Since I was in an office of mostly non-native English speakers, I had to make sure I was communicating in an easily understandable way. I realized that saying exactly what I mean is better than adding in extra words and making things complicated. It is better to get right to the point. My problem solving skills evolved because of the project I worked on. There were days that my supervisor was not in the office, so I had to answer the questions I had myself. For time management, this improved from many things. Mainly it evolved because of the messed up train system in Berlin. There were days going to work that would take 20 minutes more than others. The trains were not always reliable, so I learned to account for that. Leaving early helped to try to fix this problem, whether if it was work or going somewhere else. These skills evolving have made and will continue to help me in my personal, academic, and professional life.
Another way I developed personally was gaining a greater appreciation and understanding for other cultures. I really got to emerge myself in the German culture from living in Berlin and traveling to Hamburg and Munich. I also got to see the French and Czech culture as well from traveling to those countries. I think having an understanding and appreciation for different cultures can help in a professional way as well. I am not sure what I am going to do after I graduate yet, but if I end up doing something with an international company I will already have some knowledge about different cultures.
From my internship, I have developed hard skills that will help academically and professionally. The greatest hard skill that I developed was learning Excel VBA. Before my internship, I did not even know there was a whole coding platform within Excel. I think this is something I can use that will be helpful with projects in classes. I think it also can et me apart when applying for jobs later on.
Overall, this program was a great experience. It is weird to think I am done with it. There was so much I learned in my time in Berlin and at my internship. I had so much fun with all of the other students on the program. It was great to be able to travel to other countries. I will probably never have an opportunity for an experience like this again, so I am very grateful for it.