Passport to Red Velvet
Say hallo and lei hou to Karina Bergt, our first international employee! Despite being born in Houston, Karina spent her entire life in Hong Kong, and attended an international school in Hong Kong with a focus in German. Talk about cultural! This week, we sat down with Karina to learn more about her and get a feel for her experience at RVE before she heads back home.
What made you want to take a semester to intern here?
I knew after graduating that I didn’t want to jump into university right away. I wanted to take a gap year, but I wasn’t sure yet what I wanted to study, so I thought doing internships would help me narrow down what I like and what I don’t like. So, I decided to come to Austin!
Living in the United States for an extended period of time must be different.
It definitely is. I miss my German breakfast. Maybe that’s just because I really love breakfast, and my family always made it a point that every weekend we’d have a really nice breakfast with so much cold cuts. There was so much to choose from, it was like a mini buffet for ourselves. It was GOOD!
Did you have any difficulties once you got here, moving across the world and making that transition from graduation to an internship?
It was odd being away from the only place I’ve ever known as home because I did grow up in Hong Kong and I never knew anywhere else. I only moved once within Hong Kong, so it was always the same for me. I guess here, the biggest difference is the fact that I don’t have a driver’s license and I can’t get around without people chauffeuring me around!
Did you expect anything from the get-go with this internship?
Knowing Cindy, I expected to learn a lot, and that I would be working hard. That’s what I wanted to do, and I knew that coming in, so it was expected. Overall, great experiences with lots learned.
What do you think about your time here at RVE and in Austin thus far?
It’s been amazing. Everyone is so welcoming! Not like I didn’t expect it, but it’s always great when you arrive and everyone is immediately welcoming you to the team. Living in Austin has been good because it’s such a young city and there is so much to do all the time. Almost every weekend I had some sort of activity to entertain myself, so it’s been good! Not a boring day, that’s for sure.
What do you think now when you look back at the past four months?
It went by way too quickly. It feels just like yesterday that I arrived, and was getting used to everything, and going through RVE Boot Camp. But it’s been a pretty amazing experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything. I’m so happy I came here and got to do this internship. I learned so much, and because I never had much event experience beforehand, it gave me an insight that the event industry is something I might want to get into.
What did you think about Austin when you first arrived?
I just took everything in. I didn’t know we had so many bats here! Seeing them made me so happy. Then, one of my first days here, I was helping out at an event and we went on a Texas history tour, so I got to learn a lot about Austin early on. We went to the capitol, which was beautiful, and our tour guide was excellent and very knowledgeable. It was a great experience to introduce me to Austin.
How would you describe Austin to someone who doesn’t live in the U.S.?
A city that’s big enough for you to always be entertained and find new things, but small enough for you to not be swallowed up in it.
What are you taking away from this experience, and how has it affected your life goals?
Well, growing up I always thought that I wanted to live in the U.S. Maybe not indefinitely, but for a small period of time. Now, that is confirmed. I want to come back and live here at some point. I still don’t know how long, but I know it’s a great place to live when you’re surrounded by the right people, with minds of innovation and ambition. Austin is awesome, and everyone’s friendly. I can take away everything I’ve learned here for the future.
Did anything stand out to you, or did you get to do anything that you didn’t expect to?
Coming here knowing it was an internship, I didn’t expect to have as much responsibility as I did. Being given that responsibility made me ecstatic because I’m someone who needs and loves to work, and if I’m just sitting there not doing much, I find it unfulfilling. People warned me before I started to “remember you’re an intern,” so I knew you have to work your way up. I wasn’t going to have a problem with doing work that wasn’t the ‘most important.’ But coming here and having the complete opposite experience? I really enjoyed it.
Anything else before you jet off to your next adventure?
Thank you. Thanks to the team for being so great, and so sweet, and making it so easy to transition into living in Austin.
Danke schön, Karina! We’ll miss you!