04 April 2010
My Internship - The Beginning
The old Krankenhaeusle, the project group office
To those of you who do not know, dear readers, I am working as Bauingenieur Praktikantin for the Projektgruppe - Neue Stadthalle Reutlingen.....*ahem* sorry, English translation: Civil Engineering intern with the project management group for the new city concert hall construction project in Reutlingen. The first few months have been an interesting mix of challenges and rewards, especially regarding my German skills, but as with any other job, it has given me the chance to grow and expand my understanding of not only engineering and German, but of myself.
I wasn't really sure what to expect when I started. Other than my interview back in December, I had only been in contact with the secretary, and it was basically "give us a date and show up"...not very informative. The first week ended up being spent with general orientation - more reading than actually work. At the time, it made me extremely impatient. I'm one of those people who hates reading instructions and perfers to jump headlong into something...leaving the overanalysing, thinking, etc to *after* the fact. Yup. I love reading too, but I wasn't very happy sitting still - where was the work, the action!? Ahhh.....very typical Erin. Looking back, however, the first few weeks, although slightly "boring" and "unexciting" sometimes , were invaluable. The reading I did - presentations, brochures, proposals, reports, general information, etc. - gave me a chance to transition into the language while familiarizing me with the project on all different levels. In turn, the small workload of minor tasks gave me the time to adjust to the all-German working environment and get to know my co-workers. Considering we are a relatively small group, the latter was not very hard to do. Everyone was friendly and patient with my language skills, which I appreciated especially the first few weeks, when the German was a bit
overwhelming and it made me stressed.
The German aside, learning about the project has been absolutely fascinating. From an engineering perspective, the project is modern, innovative, and well...interesting! The construction idea is a classical-inspired modern concerthall-multifunction building. This will be surrounded by a community park extending along towards the river; an underground car garage is also planned to be constructed under the hall, which will increase the parking availability downtown. The location itself is quite ideal too - in old town, right across from the bus station and a close walk from the train station, so it will attract people from Reutlingen, as well as from the surrounding region. Regarding the Stadthalle itself, it will utilize many new technologies, like photovoltaic solar cells and cutting edge energy-efficient windows. Materials like the stone and wood come from the region and from local firms, so the project promotes the local companies and industry. The plot of land is also large enough that even after the hall is finished, there are room for plans in the future for a possible cafe and/or small hotel. It is exciting to see a project such as this; one that provides for the current needs of the city and stimulates the local economy, but also has a vision for the future and how to attract and encourage the growth of the city!
This is just a sneak peak into the first few weeks of the job...I promise there will be more to come, both about what I am currently doing and have done!
Pictures, My Internship at Projektgruppe Stadthalle - Part 1:
at 3:17 PM