Category Archives: Hamburg

Lessons: Where the magic happens

Two things I’ll be discussing and sharing my experiences with you are:

Getting out my comfort zone and not waiting for people to explore (They kind of intertwine)!

These two things are extremely important to me, because I learnt that when I started to take these things on board (in Germany), it really helped me  adapt, settle in and just experience new things. I was where the magic was happening (I love this phrase, and you’ll see that I willl use this often, just to emphasize how good life is outside the comfort zone haha!)

The Comfort Zone

1-ZFbPcBiPZkLA1PzRE3hXHw

noun

  1. a situation where one feels safe or at ease.
  2. a settled method of working that requires little effort and yields only barely acceptable results.

You see the term I just defined above – RUN, FLEE, ESCAPE, JUMP, out and away from this “zone” as far as you can. Doing this will help you develop yourself as a person, grow in different areas of your life, being open to new things which can yield new opportunities, meeting new people who can be useful in the future, adapting to new environments. The list is endless!

Getting out of my comfort zone meant that I had to do things that were new to me and made me feel uneasy. A prime example for me was speaking German (in my silly British accent lol, you can imagine how uncomfortable that is). This was not an easy task, because I tend to be a perfectionist = I didn’t want to make mistakes, I wanted everything to sound perfect and most importantly I didn’t want anyone to laugh at me.. soo that meant I chose what was comfortable for me and I spoke English. But because of this mindset, I was trapped in my comfort zone and I was hindering myself from being in that place “where the magic happens”, which for me was developing my language skills and being confident speaking German. Recently, I was in a situation where I was forced to speak German because the customer service advisor only spoke German (In my head: How can she not speak English? What’s all this?). Usually when people tell me this horrific line, I don’t even give them the time of day, I’m just like bye Felicia. BUT this time I stayed on the line (Mate, I ordered new products and I didn’t have time for it to get sent back). If you heard our conversation you would’ve laughed. I was stuttering, I was piecing sentences that I learnt in my German class together, praying it made sense – fam I was sweating (BUT, I came out of my comfort zone just to rescue my products being sent back haha!). As our weird conversation went on, there was this sudden feeling of victory, fulfilment, confidence, knowledge and wisdom (All in one, I tell you!) because No.1 I just had a flipping conversation in German pat yourself on the damn back Temz, well done! No.2 GUYS SHE ACTUALLY UNDERSTOOD ME!  She even said to me in German “I thought you couldn’t speak German, your German is good”, No.3 I rescued my babiessss from being sent back into the wilderness of the DHL supply chain! I was where the magic was happening baby!!!!

But going back to my point, clearly it was fear that hindered me from recognising my own ability to hold a conversation in German and put it to use!  Since then, I’ve gradually tried to get myself out of that zone permanently and speak the language as much as I can, even if I sound silly or make a mistake – because I was always corrected and I just learnt from this!

2c80cb23b75a772842a33aee9993f564

From this experience I can boldly tell you that, once you get out of your comfort zone its like life just starts flowing. You become more open to try new things, meet new people which makes it easier for you to adapt and settle into a new environment (especially abroad). You kicked out the spirit of fear, and in came the spirit of confidence which has stopped you from doubting your knowledge, skills and abilities. Going back to the 2nd definition of “comfort zone”, once you get out of this,  you stop yielding average/barely acceptable results and you begin to yield unimaginable results and have new opportunities! It is easier said than done, I for one know this,  there may/will be bumps along the way but you can only learn from these and carry on.

EXPLORE: DON’T WAIT!

IMG_4359

Someone: *SHOCK HORROR* You’re going XYZ place (usually a restaurant) on your own?!!

Me: Yes…..

Someone: ON YOUR OWN???? Rahh you’re on it boy or wow, I could never do that

Seriously guys lol you need to stop asking me these questions in such shock. So because I have no one to go with me to eat or do things, I should now stay in my room?Do not rely on other people to have fun, to explore, to go out, because if you do this you are only going back into the forbidden comfort zone.

For e.g. Let’s say there’s this meet and greet event or something of the sort going on and you reallly want to go, but your friend doesn’t want to go. Do you also say you’re not going? Let’s say you don’t go, and the next day you find out there was someone important there who was giving people the opportunity to… I dunno, get some experience with them  (or something sha you get my drift!) That’s an opportunity just missed there (there will be more of course, but you never know when the next one will come)

Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity

If you want to go somewhere/do something don’t have the mindset that you need someone there with you (Unless you’re going on a night out, and its unsafe lol). Learn to be independent, especially when you’re in a new environment (because most of the time you won’t know anyone or have friends). You really wanna see or do something, make plans for yourself and if someone else wants to come along then heyyyyy why not? Just don’t make your plans solely based on whether or not you have someone to come with you.

I’ve missed quite a few opportunities being in Hamburg, it hurts, but now I’ve realised where I went wrong. The two points I just mentioned above is where I went wrong and it’s still a working progress for me but I’m really encouraging myself to get out of my comfort zone and not waiting for people to go places so I can open myself up to new experiences and opportunities. I hope this post has been helpful in someway!

Till next time x

May/June Highlights: Summer is that you?!

IMG_4359

This was my favourite picture of the month at Planten un Blomen

Helllooooo guys!

So much has been going downnnnn in Hamburg since May 1st; it was like 1st May just marked summer for us here. It was like event there, event here, mate I can’t complain. Anyways I’ve decided not to write too much in this post and instead have more pictures (because I’m soo lazy to write I won’t lie lol). Anyways, relax yourself and enjoy the pictures!

May – Hafen Geburtstag

One of the first events in Hamburg this may was the Hafen Geburtstag (the Birthday of the Harbour) and to celebrate it there was a festival/carnival along the Harbour, which went on for the weekend and it was unforgettable! It felt a bit like Notting Hill carnival, just smaller, along the harbor, and people were fully dressed.

It was filled with beer huts, food stands, ships, souvenir shops, clothes shops, lights, huge speakers, music stages etc. Carlos Santana performed on Friday, but I didn’t know so I missed this 🙁

(You guys: Who’s Carlos Santana? Me: The guys that sings Maria Maria! You guys: Oh yeahhhhh him)

and if after this you still don’t know………. then this is awkwarddd.

Continue reading

Germany: Looking for accommodation

Okay so you’ve done the most challenging/rewarding part and secured yourself a work/study placement in GERMANY….

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYY!!!

giphy

So now you’re like okay.. “Where am I going to live…………”

Confused-Cat-Meme-2

Don’t worry chilee, I’m here to help you!

In regards to accommodation, 1 bed student en-suite rooms/apartments aren’t too popular in Germany like they are in the UK (Unite, Canalside etc) and they are really expensive like the link I share with you below:

1-bed Apartments – Smartments:

SMM-WEB“Smartments” offers one bed apartments: http://www.smartments-student.de/smartments-standort-hamburg.html. The rent and deposit is a bit pricey, but hey if you got the money go for it!

They have apartments around Germany!

WG – Wohngemeinschaft

wg-gesucht-logo

So usually students/interns look for WG’s. WG is the German abbreviation for Wohngemeinschaft which means “shared flat” in English(flat share between maybe 2-5 people) and it ranges from 300 euros and above.

Here is the website I used to find my flat share: http://www.wg-gesucht.de/  I chose Hamburg for the city and WG-Zimmer (Room in a shared flat).

Other WG links I used:

http://www.homecompany.de/en/index

http://www.medici-living.com/

http://www.studenten-wg.de/

http://www.easywg.de/

https://www.wg-suche.de/

http://www.christophorus-haus-ev.de/ (Just in Hamburg)

There are loaddddss more, these are just the ones I have experience using!

 

Student accommodation provider:

Studierendenwerk_Hamburg_logo.svg

http://www.studierendenwerk-hamburg.de/studierendenwerk/en/wohnen/aktuelle_infos/

I believe you have to be a student in one of the universities in Hamburg to get a long term accommodation. However they do offer short term rentals to students/trainees doing internships for 6 months of less. These rooms go SO SO FAST so its best to apply early!

 

Different cities will also have a student accommodation provider so you could change Hamburg to the city your in i.e “Studierendenwerk Berlin/Cologne etc etc.”

Google search:

If you search “WG Hamburg/Berlin/Stuggart/Cologne/Munich etc etc” “Studenten Wohnheim” then you should also get other search engines too.

QUICK TIP!!!!!

DO NOT not to send any personal details (Card details & Passport) because there are a few “frauds” on these websites.

 

Please feel free to message me if you have any other questions or help searching!

Peace and love x

Don’t spend that money all at once chile!

Regardless of what situation you’re in I hope this post can be of good use to you. Although we all know the importance of budgeting some of us still don’t take it into consideration.I thought I would share some of my “experiences” with my spending and budgeting whilst I’ve been abroad.

istock_000018628914xsmall-300x199

I was off to a new country and my parents, aunties & uncles had already given me that money handshake before I went (IF YOU KNOW YOU KNOW). So at this point I felt like I was the Queen’s daughter with all this cash on me. Of course I knew majority of it would be going to my rent and my maintenance but I was still a rich girl in my head. For my first month I told myself “Temi don’t worry, don’t expect to save anything, you’re in a new country there are loads of expenses to be paid and things to buy.” This was literally the excuse I was using throughout July and into August, and the fact that there were delays with me opening up a bank account meant that I had all my cash on me which led to me spending even more.

After paying all my expenses I still had a substantial amount left over, so what did I do? SPEEEENNND like a MUMU!! Listen I wasted 95% of my money on restaurants, takeout’s and drinks and the other 5% on random things. I was lonely and was missing home – so the next best option that made me feel comforted was food. Lol when I say I was taking myself out to all of these fancy shmancy restaurants to keep myself occupied. I really couldn’t care less on how much I was spending because it was the only thing that was making me happy at that point. There was not one weekend where I didn’t take myself out to eat – if I went sightseeing I’d tell myself “yeah girl you need a snack!” lol. (DISCLAIMER: I don’t have an eating disorder loool, but I love food).

One mistake I made was not planning for contingencies or “just in case” scenarios which dealt with me severely at the end of my first two months. I remember after my first pay I was literally left with zilch as soo much had been taken off my wages (Transport, deposits, additional rent costs etc.). I was left with €150 for the month! Sorry, but what was that chicken change going to do for me? I was depressed just looking at my bank account. Then I was really forced to BUDGET!! No more dates with myself and I didn’t even bother leaving my room because then “I’ll deserve a snack lol”.

You would think from that situation I would learn my lesson. WRONG. Why was I still out on the strip every weekend, partying and spending like I was related to Richard Branson? It was not until my birthday (which was 4 days before pay day) that it hit me. Lol I saw €5 in my account I was soo stressed all I could do was laugh. I felt like the prodigals son at this point. How was I leaving my teen years with €5 please, even my little brother had more money than me and he’s unemployed. This was me on my birthday:

post-8148-go-out-tonight-let-me-see-if-i-4liv

 

We thank God my sister came to rescue me from this financial problem lol. Think about it, if I had set out a budget and didn’t spend all my money on invisible restaurant dates lol I would’ve had some emergency cash to fall back on. I literally had no excuse for the foul spending I was doing, because my company provides me with A LOT of financial incentives. Budgeting is so important especially when you are away from home and have to be independent.

QUICK TIPS!

  • Be responsible with money. Budget how much you’d need for the month (inc. bills, utilities, necessities, groceries etc), you can put a bit aside for leisure (restaurants, clubs, activities).
  • SAVEEEE the rest/Have contingency monies. (You don’t even need a reason to save because either way it will benefit you!).
  • Save also before you go abroad! ERASMUS payments were DELAYED last year because so much people applied. Don’t make the same mistake I did and solely rely on them, because I didn’t save money before I went, when the payment didn’t come on time, I was screwed and I had to go to the Bank of Mum.

 

Sweet Like Chocolate? A trip to Chocoversum!

 

chocoversum_lecker

A few weeks back we went to a chocolate museum called “Chocoversum” in Hamburg. This was a different experience for me and I loved it! Normally when I think of museums I’m like “YAWWWWWWWWWWN” but this proved me wrong!

2461568_web

So Chocoversum is under a German chocolate company called “Hachez”, according to Wikipedia Hachez is the second largest German manufacturer of chocolate products. It’s situated in Messberg which is in the city and close to the main tourist attractions! It’s 12.50 euros for students and 14.00 for adults!

716px-Hachez_Logo.svg

 

Continue reading

The Ugly – Finding Accommodation in Hamburg

Finding accommodation here is NOT EASY AND it is different to finding one in the UK. There isn’t a “Unite” or “Canalside” type of accommodation here. 90% of the time students/interns/trainees live in a shared flat (WG).  When I first got to Hamburg I didn’t have a permanent place I was staying somewhere temporarily. Overall I have moved 4 times – I just moved again two/three weeks ago.

Now I had no idea where to start looking when I got offered the internship. I didn’t even know what to type into Google. I was the definition of lost. I will split up my experience into 3 sections:

  1. FRAUDS

frauds

Yes guys, it’s not only Nigerians who are fraudsters. But omg the amount of fraudulent activities I experienced (especially on the Erasmus website). It’s not Erasmus as an organization, but more of the “frauds” who sign up and advertise fake flats. Don’t get me wrong, I also experienced fake adverts on the other flat rental websites but the ERASMUS website was the worst. The ERASMUS website didn’t do quality checks for fake accounts, whereas the other websites did and they would send you an email to warn you.

These frauds really take advantage of the fact that you’re a foreigner and have no clue about the city you’re about to move into. We’re like fresh meat to them.

Some fraudsters will send you “pictures” of “them” and “their fake family members”.  Honestly these pictures looked so legit I never imagined for them to be fake. I was sent pictures of the different rooms in the flat etc and they were all fake like seriously where were they getting all of these pictures from. After all the picture sending they’ll then ask you where your work location is and then BOOM! miraculously the next email from them will be a random house address near your workplace and because you don’t know any better you’ll just be so happy of how lucky you are that it is walking distance from your workplace and how decent the price is. Then I said I’d like to come and visit and then all of sudden they were on “business trips” and never returned. I lost count of the amount of times this happened to me and from then I knew it was fake.

Continue reading

Application/Interview Tips!

Hey guys this is some quick CV & interview tips for when applying for internships. This month and last month my department held interviews for the next intern to take my place for when I leave. Lucky me, I was able to sit in the interviews with my two bosses and pick up some good knowledge on what applicants need to do to get further in the assessment stages.

I cannot stress how IMPORTANT it is for your CV and Cover Letter to be top notch when applying for jobs – especially if that is all the company requires from you.

  1. CV
  • In the education section of your CV always state the modules that could be relevant to the job you’re applying for.
  • STATE GRADES by them – even if you haven’t received any maybe put down your predicted grades.

Some of the placement opportunities offered on the Aston Futures site are exclusive to Aston students only. Imagine a whole load of ABS students send in their applications; of course they all do the beloved “Business Game” and many other modules – so you need to differentiate yourself. Your grade could be your selling point!

  1. Cover Letter

STATE YOUR INTERESTS FOR THE JOB! WHY THIS ROLE? WHY THIS COMPANY? RELEVANT SKILLS? OR YOU ARE WILLING TO LEARN MORE SKILLS? If you are struggling, go to the Aston placements office – THEY ARE THERE TO HELP YOU!

Do not send a basic cover letter please I beg of you – those do not get looked at.

Continue reading

A Day In The Life

A typical day in the life of… Me? I guess

5:00am – My body wakes up without permission 2 hours before my alarm, I AM NOT IMPRESSED. I either try to fall asleep and  if that fails I say my morning prayers so I don’t forget. Then I PREEEEE what the owls on twitter who never sleep at night have been saying or I watch some YouTube tutorials or vlogs

7:10am*vibrates vibrates* ALARM goes off. Today the snooze button got abused till 8:30am lol.

* Side note to make you all VERY jealous* I don’t have a fixed start or end time at work. I can come in when I like. Why? Because I’m just that guyyyy – I’m too cool for rules……Or how about we have a flex-time system where we clock in and clock out, and as long as we do our 7.36 contracted hours a day then we good! So I guess the earlier you get in the earlier you can get the hell up on outta there.

7:15am – bath, brush, make myself look good (if I want to), make breakfast. And voila here’s the end product after all that

After I get myself together. En route to work!

After I get myself together

8:05am – Leave for work which is a 15 minute walk. You see the red path in the picture below, that’s the lane for the cyclists and the grey pavement is for the pedestrians of course. 10 marks for the person who answers this question correctly.

Why do the silly cyclists drive on the grey AND the red path?

image

8:20am – arrive at work. *another side note to make you all jealous, I hope it’s working lol* We have a wonderful canteen that serves breakfast, hot lunches, salads, confectionery delights, alongside with different hot drinks and soft drinks. So if I’ve missed breakfast I’ll just grab something at work.

8:35am – Leave canteen with breakfast and a drink. Go up to the office and have a chinwag with my supervisor about our weekend and evenings. Then the day of work officially starts. But my supervisor is on holiday right now so I’m left in charge 🙂

So what do you ACTUALLY do? What’s your role?

Continue reading

So they didn’t tell you?

….Tell me what?????

Before I get into the nitty gritty of this post I’d just like to say two things:

  1. Guys I have been in Hamburg for 6 full months and two weeks! (Everybody blow your trumpet!! Pa na na na na na). 2015 let’ssss go!
  2. AND also let me take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy New year, full of good health and I pray that God continues showering you down with blessings!!

Now that that’s done…. into the nitty gritty!!!!!!!

Well this post is to tell you what previous interns may/may have not told you. Because at open days/career fairs, they always seem to forget to mention the dullest and slowest part of their placement – THE BEGINNING. So because of this you start work with the highest expectations on your first day or month, Lord knows I did. I had expectations of walking into work on the first day with an atmosphere like:

BUSY WORK ENVIRONMENT

“BAMMMM LET’S GET TO WORK PEOPLE!!!! *claps hands rapidly*” “Oi you, what’s the update on Americas region?!” (As you can probably tell, I watch a lot of movies)  

Continue reading

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

If you know me or you follow me on Twitter, you will know that I am so excited about Christmas this year. I’ve never felt this way about Christmas before! I’m so excited that I get to experience it here in Germany. Before the opening of the German Christmas Markets I saw loads of white and red Christmas huts being set up (unlike the ones in Birmingham sorry, not sorry!!) and I was just screaming internally. Honestly if you don’t feel festive after walking through one of these Christmas markets then I believe you are a spawn of Scrooge – it’s just so magical, carols, lights, food urgh everything!

Continue reading