So, as always let’s start by letting everyone know a little more about you! Can you give everyone a little bit of background as to where you’re from?
‘I was born and raised in Massachusetts, not far from Boston in the US. I have a German father who spoke in German with my two brothers growing up and every summer we came to Germany to visit my grandparents so I always had a connection to Germany and the language- I was also just always interested in learning new languages. When I graduated from high school I knew that I wanted to do something different and not stay in Massachusetts, or the US in general, so I decided to move to Germany to further my education. I ended up going to a Studienkolleg in Munich for one year before going to university where I studied cultural science.’
That’s so interesting! So considering you studied cultural science, how did you come across SPRT?
‘Well, after I finished my studies last year I decided to do an internship in Berlin in Intercultural Consulting and Management. I moved to Berlin on a Friday and didn’t know anyone (my internship didn’t start until the Monday) and so, since I have always loved working out but don’t want to buy a membership to a fitness studio, (I thought I would only be in Berlin for only three months (haha!!)) I looked up fitness Berlin and sports Berlin on facebook and found the #MotivatorMonday workouts right on the next Monday- the first day of my internship. Ever since then I have been to every single Motivator Monday!’
Wow, that’s dedication! So, what drew you to SPRT?
‘Ever since that first #MM I went to, I was so amazed by how welcoming and energetic everyone was. I loved the workout but I really just loved the people and I could see how much they loved being there. That first day I met so many people and each week I kept on meeting new people, the #MM events also brought my attention to other groups like Midnight Runners.
I have moved around a lot in the past few years and always ended up in cities where I didn’t know anyone – for example when I first moved to Munich, when I moved to Koblenz for my studies, when I moved to France for Erasmus and now Berlin- and as everyone knows its hard to meet people right away! One thing I always did was exercise and I wish that back then SPRT had been around because I would’ve loved it so much and so I think the fact that I just love the idea and support it wholeheartedly is really what drew me to SPRT.’
Now that you are here with us, what are you hoping to achieve from your internship here?
‘One of the core disciplines of my studies were media studies and I had many seminars on organisations’ use of Social Media but everything was theoretical so I never actually got the chance to be in charge of the social media of an organisation and I’ve noticed that it’s not as easy as it may seem! Nevertheless, I’m really enjoying learning new things every day and trying to figure out how to get more followers and how to get more users on our app!’
What’s something you’re looking to personally add to the marketing team?
‘I’d like to bring the users into what we’re doing more since that what it’s all about. I’d like to stray away from just featuring our own events and instead feature the events of people who are actually using the app too. I don’t want our social media content to appear too edited, it should be authentic since these are exactly the users we are trying to gain and that’s our target group. I try to think back on how I found SPRT and what kind of content made me want to come back each week and I also try to think about people like me who have just moved to a new city and don’t know anyone but love to work out!’
That sounds great, speaking of you more specifically, what’s one thing that really defines you?
‘I’ve always been someone who has traveled alone a lot- mostly in my school years. I would go to language schools in Europe and always did these things alone so I always found myself in new cities. I think that has taught me to be very independent and not mind moving somewhere new.’
And what do you do in your down time?
‘I love to read, I usually read two or three books at once from different genres and I am a huge dog person, I have a golden retriever and he’s like my third brother haha! I also like to cook a lot, I wouldn’t say that I’m the best but I do enjoy finding new recipes and trying out new things.’
Nice! So since you have traveled a lot, where feels most like home to you?
‘This is tricky I’m not even sure exactly but I think that in the first two or even three years of living in Germany I would have said America right away but now Germany feels more like home. When I’m here I do still feel a bit more American and when I’m in the US I feel more European so I’m not quite sure.’
Sounds like you’ve got the best of both worlds! Keeping on the theme of travel, where is the best place you have visited?
‘I went to Beijing three years ago and it was the first time that I was an outsider and experienced culture shock. As someone who studied cultural science I thought I had learned so much about it that it wouldn’t pertain to me but of course, it did! No one is immune! But also it was such an amazing experience for me to get out of my comfort zone and I learned so much!’
Where’s next on your list then?
‘I would still love to travel around Asia a lot more but I don’t have one set destination in mind.’
In terms of 2019, what’s one thing you want to improve on or a goal you have?
‘I’d like to try to read more and not watch too much Netflix!’
Wouldn’t we all! Haha! Any future goals after SPRT that you have in your head already?
‘My masters! I’m not sure exactly where yet but I will be applying in the coming months.’
Great, because you’ve lived in so many different places how have you found Berlin?
‘I had been to Berlin years ago before I moved here and I never actually liked it but now that I live here I’ve seen so many different sides to the city that I really do love it- there is always so much going on! I have always found something to do every weekend.’
What’s your favourite thing to do in the city?
‘I love going out to eat especially for Asian food so that is one thing I do quite often with friends: Berlin has sooooo many Asian restaurants so I am really thankful for that! I also love going shopping and Berlin has so many cool shops that you don’t necessarily find in other parts of Germany.’
As expats we both know by now that starting a life somewhere new can be tricky, what has it meant for you to find a community as someone new in a city?
‘It’s very important to find friends and a group that you enjoy doing things with that have the same interests as you, I think if you don’t have any real solid friends then you won’t enjoy your time in a city. You also just experience so much more in a community because there are a tonne of things that you just don’t do if you’re alone.’
That’s very true, so just to finish off what tips do you have for anyone moving to a new city?
‘You have to be open- like I said I moved on a Friday and didn’t know anyone. I was actually really nervous about not meeting friends and spending the whole weekend alone and had I not been open I would’ve spent the whole weekend by myself but I didn’t. On that Friday I looked on Facebook for international or new in Berlin groups and immediately saw that a girl my age had posted about being new in the city and wanting to meet new people so I messaged her and that night we met for a drink and she introduced me to so many other people. Now we are such good friends that we do things together every weekend.’