Kate Miller, Open Campus Student: “I have had a life changing experience during my time here”.
Kate Miller is one of our Open Campus students of this Fall Semester 2023. She has been studying and doing her internship at a local startup called Tuesday Coworking, environmentally-conscientious space. She has been able to learn and enjoy Berlin during this months. Here, Kate tells us more about her experience!
- Can you tell us more about yourself? where are you from and what do you study at the US?
Hi I’m Kate Miller! I’m a Cal Poly (SLO) student studying Environmental Management and Protection. I am from Oakland, Ca. and I have been studying this Fall through CIEE's Berlin Open Block Program.
- How has been your experience in Berlin so far?
While it may seem cliche to say, I have had a life changing experience during my time here. The combination of the wonderful CIEE team, students, and of course, Berlin itself, have shown me new ways to engage with life.
This city seems to be defined by the people who find creative freedom in both the physical and social structures of it. By just attending classes like "Radio Production and Digital Storytelling,” walking down the graffiti coated streets or through the green parks, and memorizing the U-Bahn route to my internship, I have begun to understand the rhythm of the city.
It seems that Berlin is a living painting that encompasses all the harsh and beautiful realities of urban living, and all someone has to do to be a part of it is to be here.
- Can you tell us more about the internship you are doing, and which is your role there?
One of the experiences that has made me feel like more of a Berliner is my internship with Tuesday Coworking. Having an internship in which my role is majorly in-person and hands-on has helped me engage with a community that is quite separate from the one I have built at CIEE. Tuesday is an environmentally-conscientious coworking startup providing office spaces and community to freelancers and remote workers of Berlin. It’s run by a small but awesome team of 3 (+ me) caring and smart people.
My job consists of 2 main responsibilities: to provide in-person tours to potential new coworkers, and build a small-scale aquaponics system for their space in Neukolln (basically an aquarium that fertilizes a countertop herb-garden). The tour-giving aspect has meant that I lots of chatting with people at varying states of career development, age, and nationality. The project aspect of my role has meant lots of independent researching, crafting and FB Marketplace sourcing.
- How has the experience to work in other country/culture been and which would be the main challenges/ opportunities?
While I feel confident in my ability to fulfill this role (and honestly enjoy it), the process of defining it has been the most challenging part of my internship. I knew going in that working at a startup would entail far fewer guidelines than a job in a larger company, and that was a bit stressful as I wasn’t purely handed expectations of what my job would look like.
The process of working with my supervisor to co-create my job meant that I had a lot of control over what I would be helping the company out with. It was a lot of work to define an enjoyable role that makes use of my strengths. Doing so required that I be intimately familiar with the multidimensional roles of each of my team-members, which, put together, was effectively a crash course on all the ins and outs of the business.
I am thankful to say that after a week and a half of this crashcourse, the majority of the stress disappeared, and I started seeing the benefits of putting in the extra-effort.
Though the transition into a new job is never easy, interning at a startup provides the challenge and opportunity of being able to co-define the content of one’s responsibilities.
Thanks Kate for sharing your experience with our CIEE community!
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