Friday, July 31, 2009

Putting the "G" in LGO

If you're not hip with the name change, the "G" in LGO stands for Global. And, I am doing all that I can to live the Global of the program.

First, and the most obvious, I am living in Germany for my internship. This means (as you might have read in my previous blogs) that I am learning a new language and a different culture.

Additionally, I am traveling like a maniac; so far I've been to Stuttgart (Germany), Dublin, Liverpool, Frankfurt (which is only an hour or so from Marburg) and Budapest. Upcoming travel includes trips to Siena, Italy and the US. And, there are still some trips remaining to be planned to France, Amsterdam, Rome and Spain... plus, other cities in Germany that have been raved about... and possibly other locations if good plane fares turn up. To be able to travel and explore Europe to this extent is awesome. Being a West Coaster, travel to Europe never seemed easy, so it's great to be able to take a 2 hour plane ride to anywhere on the continent.

In addition to the obvious travel aspect, I have the unique experience of working on a project that spans across countries. A lot of LGO internships may be site focused, but mine is anything but, which makes me pretty lucky because I get to travel to places like England and Italy for work. Naturally the travel is fun, but the really cool thing is experiencing first hand the different work environments of each country. It gives you some great insights into cultural difference (good and bad) and adds a whole new level of complexity to my project.

MIT offers a lot of different classes on international business and relations.  With my schedule being so busy, I haven't taken advantage of those... BUT, this internship experience is really invaluable. I am not sure that a class or case study could teach me some of the thigns I am learning now.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Free Time...What do I do with it?

After a year of taking classes and working on two degrees, internship comes like a breath of fresh air. I think every one of us was looking forward to a break from the chaos of classes. The non-stop projects, homeworks and exams are tiring. And, even with a relatively "light" semester (which I think I had last Spring) there is still tons to do and no down time.

Now that internship is here, and I'm 6 weeks in... I am "overwhelmed" with FREE TIME. Being in a different country makes it even worse, because the things you might normally do to occupy yourself (TV, join a club, etc.) are not as easy to do when you don't speak the language. It's a tough thing because you go from being extremely busy to very NOT busy. So, the question is how do you fill the time?

Being in Europe, filling the weekends is A LOT easier than filling the weekdays. Drew and I are taking day trips and traveling often (he's even posted about our recent trip to Dublin on his blog), but what to do after work?

Drew's trying to teach me tennis, which I am loving... and he might not be.

I'm reading a lot and plan to read the Harry Potter series, just a few years after the hoopla... ;)

I should be exercising more, but it is odd that with an abundance of time, it's hard to fit in.

Learning the language, I spend a minimum of an hour with Rosetta Stone each night, but there's only so much that can be done before I'm over saturated...

Cooking dinners... something I did MAYBE a dozen times during school.

Stalking my friends on Facebook. Well, I made time for that even during my busiest days, so I've become rather efficient at it. ;)

I suppose as my project gets rolling along, I'll be able to spend the evenings working on my thesis, but still, it's quite a change of pace from school days, and although I'm not complaining, I am still trying to get adjusted.

But, for now, off to search The Internets to see if I can find any after work activities near by...