Final Reflection

When it came to deciding whether or not to participate in the 2011 Study Abroad Program with Robert Morris University, my ultimate decision was based upon the quality of education as well as the focus of the material. Finding out that the first half of the program would entail working for a German company that we were able to choose, helped me to make my final decision. I was looking forward to all of the knowledge I would gain in addition to the experience that came along with being in a different country.

My main focus with Funk-Gruppe (The German Company I had an internship with) was software development and broadening my knowledge in more programming languages. I spent the majority of my time learning from the employees and the MSDN website on object-oriented programming and structures using Microsoft Visual Studio, focusing in C#. I also assisted my German tutor Julius Walther in designing, developing, and testing an internal tool and configuration console that collects text fragments from an Oracle Database, groups the fragments, converts them into structured XML-Documents and imports them into a DMS.

In reflecting on my experiences at Funk Gruppe, I could not have asked for a better experience with not only broadening my knowledge, but also introducing me to the IT field in general. Each day was more exciting than the next, and I enjoyed every day’s 9-hour shift in front of the computer. I would love to be in an office environment where the entire office goes out to lunch together, and even has a convenient coffee room right down the hall. Having coffee in an IT Department, especially one focusing on Software Development is a feature you never thought you would appreciate. This internship opened my eyes to a whole new world, a world that I feel I would never work a day in my life. From this experience, I have made it my ultimate plan to have a job; however, I will not work a day in my life.

Hamburg, Germany is a great city filled with beautiful architecture, great food, easy transportation and a fun-filled night life. Being a working city with a large harbor to generate its economy through, you really see the type of people that either shuttle or drive into the city. It is not a popular tourist area; however it is a beautiful place to see that nobody really talks about. When I make my next trip to Germany, I will without a doubt, stop by Hamburg and say hello. I will never forget all my memories and friends that I attained while being in Germany. It was a long six weeks, however, now that I am back in the United States, I really do miss the people and the experiences I had. Thank you, Robert Morris University.

I will leave you with some things I would recommend to do not only in Germany, but in all of Europe. My first recommendation is to not be turned off by the site of the food; try it all. The food not only in Germany, but in Europe in general is delicious. Secondly, I would recommend seeing Paris. After I had visited Paris, I thought to myself, “I could live here the rest of my life”. In addition to seeing Paris, I would recommend experiencing the night life in Germany, especially the beer. Also, you MUST go to the Hofbräuhaus that is located all over Germany. Finally, I would recommend learning the language. Most of the other students would not take the time to really get into Germany and speak their dialect. I truly believe this adds to the experience of being in another country.





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