As I sit here, filled with excitement, packing for my second regional alumni conference, I can’t help but reflect on the incredible journey that led me here. This particular conference holds special significance, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Programme that transformed my twenties. It’s been a year since I completed my internship, and every day, my phone reminds me of the cherished memories made during those amazing three months. Photo gallery that worths a fortune. A tradition among Alumni of this Programme is the unique introduction ritual: when you meet someone new, you briefly introduce yourself with your name, company, and the generation you belong to. Allow me to do the same, with a story behind it. ]
I am Emir Šahinović, and I had the privilege of undertaking my internship at IASP Berlin, proudly representing Generation 2022. IASP Berlin is an Institute for Agricultural and Urban Ecological Projects, rooted in Berlin, with its experimental station in Nauen, in the Havelland district of Brandenburg.
From July 1st to September 28th, those three months became packed with activities for me. I worked from 9 to 5, and after work, I’d hop on a 30-minute train ride, either to explore the vibrant city of Berlin or to meet up with friends. Berlin, often dubbed the “European New York,” truly captivated me with its rich history and incredible diversity. No matter your interests or hobbies, you could easily find a community that shared your passions. Fun fact: Berlin has around 170 museums. Capture that.
As the clock neared midnight and I returned to my lodgings, I would just collapse into bed, trying to have a good night’s sleep to gear up for the challenges of the upcoming day. Some days, I felt more prepared than others, but I discovered that sometimes, a little extra sleep could do wonders to help me face the next day with renewed energy.
Working at IASP was a blend of fun and enlightenment, even on scorching summer days when the fieldwork felt particularly challenging. But that’s the essence of any job—some days require a little extra effort. Interns at IASP assist a small team of four in carrying out day-to-day tasks on the research station. These tasks evolve annually, depending on the projects received from various companies and institutions. Typically, five to six interns from around the world gather here, fostering a truly international environment. Day by day, I developed a deep appreciation for farming, understanding that putting food on our tables is no small feat. I also found joy in the serenity of village life, waking up to the calmness of mornings and appreciating golden sunsets over vast fields.
After a demanding workweek, the most cherished aspect of the Programme unfolded—traveling. Nearly every Friday, I eagerly hopped on a train, going on exciting journeys to cities where my fellow interns were stationed.
My very first adventure took me to Düsseldorf, and to my surprise, that weekend around 30 interns came to the city. It’s truly remarkable how close you can become to people you’ve spent just ten days with. I could have never imagined that I would be a part of such an incredible journey. My travels took me to Hamburg to celebrate a friend’s birthday, Goettingen for our mid-term gathering, Amsterdam with two dear friends, and many other charming German cities. Germany, with its rich cultural heritage, proved to be an extraordinary country to explore. What makes it even more special is the exceptional Deutsche Bahn rail network, which whisks you away to every corner of this amazing nation. Over the course of those few months, I forged friendships that are destined to stand the test of time, enriching my life in immeasurable ways.
In the end, my internship at IASP Berlin was more than just a professional experience. It was a transformative journey that allowed me to embrace Berlin’s vibrant culture, appreciate the hard work of farmers, and form bonds with extraordinary individuals from around the world. These connections, forged through shared experiences and the beauty of the unknown, are the true treasures of my internship, and they continue to enrich my life in countless ways. So, as I prepare to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Programme, I can’t help but smile, knowing that I am part of an international family that transcends borders and time. My internship was more than an internship—it was a life-changing adventure filled with inspiration, growth, and enduring connections. It pays off.
Emir Sahinovic, generation 2022