This summer I am working at an interactive climate change museum in a small city on Germany’s North Sea. I am working with the marketing team in an effort to better the name recognition as well as attract more people to the “Klimahaus Bremerhaven 8 Ost”.
My first week of work was about as stressful as it was exciting. I received my internship offer on a Thursday and was expected to start on that following Monday. Luckily for me, I was in Berlin at the time, taking a language course so I did not have to fly in from the states. I did, however, have to move from Berlin to Bremerhaven in the course of a few days. Naturally, I had no idea where I was going to live so I stayed in a hostel for a couple nights and then a very old fashioned hotel for about four to five days. Not having a good place to stay was very stressful but luckily my coworkers were more than willing to help me find my accommodations, which I found about a week after I arrived in Bremerhaven.
My first week of work was great and it was an entirely new experience for me. I was working with social media. I was learning about how to work with the press, and I was also learning about all the detail that must go into a successful business, which was a little surprising to me. As someone who is not the most organized person in the world, I felt as if I must improve my organizational skills. I was also focused on improving my German, and with me working with all Germans and them speaking nearly exclusive German to me, my German is bound to improve. And I believe that it did. I picked up on various quirks with the language, such as the phrase, “Moin”. This means “hello” but is only spoken in North Germany. However, being immersed in the language was also anything but easy during my first week.
As a fairly well-spoken individual, I felt frustrated that I was unable to say exactly what I wanted to. Part of that was my insecurities about how well I spoke the language and the other part was that I just am not close to being able to speak the language on a fluent level. It was especially difficult during social breaks during the day or during lunch. I felt awkward and often did not say very much as it was difficult to jump in on conversations. I did feel that, however, I was able to communicate enough in the language to say what I needed to. And with coworkers who are very willing to help me learn the language, as well as help me with anything else that I may need help with, I should be able to learn a lot about Marketing and a lot of German as well.