Post | July 2022 | Reports | 3 min read

My time as an intern at the MI Headquarters in Cologne | Part 2

Written by Jacob Solf

Welcome back! This is the second and last report about my time in Cologne, and it could not be more different from the first one. And first off, while I am sad that my time at this organization and in this city is coming to an end, I am very grateful for the experience and the opportunity. I have met very interesting people and learned skills that I pray I will remember them when I need them.

Now what did I do in the last few weeks? Quite a lot. After my stint in semi-academic research, I assumed that I would do more in this direction, which certainly wouldn’t be boring but rather so of course, I got several other jobs, which couldn’t be more different than my task before.

One of those jobs was to organize a Team event for the entirety of Malteser International in August. Now that seemed like a fun idea and a fun thing to organize. And it was by all intents and purposes. I got to brainstorm with several of my colleagues about which activities to plan, what we could do in the evening, I had support from an amazing event organizer that took care of the tedious parts and left me with the fun bit. Now there was just one hiccup. I am not going to be there. I always knew that I wouldn’t be an intern there anymore, but it was always assumed, that I would join. Sadly, due to a change of plans from my upcoming Uni semester that would not be possible. And there I was, organizing and planning an event where I would never see its final form, which felt just absurd enough to warrant a pretentious glance at Albert Camus easiest book.

Another thing I had to do was to install framed annual reports in the common area kitchen, which was a lot more fun than it sounds like, since it was a lot more practical than the tasks before. It was always very fun when people walked past the office, looking inside, and waving hello and then realizing five steps later that what they saw weren’t two people, writing emails or being stuck in a conference call, but rather one person doing that and the second one sitting on the floor surrounded by plastic foil, pictures and looking visibly defeated because the Passepartout simply wouldn’t go back into the frame. Good times all around.

When I finally proved my superiority to those smug picture frames, it came to hanging them on the wall and then making them look good. Thankfully the hanging was done by the custodian of the building, which made me think that the job was done and that I could move on to a different task. This was…. A misconception, as I then spent two days, rehanging the frames, moving the furniture in front of the frames, and adjusting them to make it all good. Who knew that you couldn’t just hang them however you wanted, and it would look alright? Everyone knew. But I got a lot of positive feedback from my colleagues, and I did enjoy it, but I don’t need more work as an interior designer to be honest. But that’s one of the many things I enjoyed during my time here; I was able to do very different jobs on a weekly basis, and sure I didn’t enjoy all of them but that’s first of all, not what I expected when I started at MI, and secondly, I see that as something far better than if I did the same task day in and out.

My time at MI is almost over, I have three days left to wrap up all my tasks. And I don’t feel great about leaving. I enjoyed the last few months, I learned a lot of very necessary skills that I will need in the coming years, be it in university or a different job and I met great people that always helped me as much as they could even if I had nothing to do with them previously.

I have grown to love Cologne, and it is now one of my favourite German cities and I am sad to leave it. But I am also excited to start a new chapter of my life and apply the skills that I have learned in the last few months. 

I know I will be back, but nevertheless this is a goodbye. For now. 

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