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Katie McCarthy – Intern at the DDR Museum

We are pleased to introduce the DDR Museum's new intern. Katie McCarthy has been supporting our team since August and has answered 10 questions for us. (12 Sep 2022)

Katie McCarthy is originally from Essex near London and is studying German and History in Leeds. Since mid-August this year, Katie has been supporting the DDR Museum as an intern and will be working in all departments during her 9-month internship. However, Katie is particularly interested in the area of Social Media and Content Creation, as this is an area where she can combine her linguistic and historical knowledge. After just one month, Katie has already settled in and fallen in love with the city. We are very happy to have Katie in our team. 

Katie McCarthy in the exhibition of the DDR Museum

What are your tasks as an intern at the DDR Museum?

As an intern, I am not tied to a specific department and often have the opportunity to decide which tasks I would like to take on. Social Media and translation interest me the most and I hope to work primarily in these areas for the next 9 months. I also hope to work in the museum’s archive every now and again.


What do you like most about your internship?

I like the fact that I work in Mitte and have a great view of the city from our office windows. However, what I like most is that I can speak in German every day and follow my progress from week to week. I'm very lucky that my colleagues are very patient and help me when I can't express myself properly in German. It's a very international office and everyone is welcome.


Do you have a personal connection to the GDR?

No, but I study German and History at the University of Leeds in England and have always been interested in this part of German history.


How do your spend your lunch break?

During my lunch break, I like to sit by the River Spree and catch up with my friends. Many of them are also on their year abroad and adjusting to German culture, so there’s always a lot to talk about! When I’m not catching up with friends, I like to explore the area around Museum Island. I have been vegan for 6 years and recently discovered an amazing vegan café near Hackescher Markt. They make really good coffee and offer the best selection of vegan cakes and treats, so I am definitely planning on becoming a regular customer there!


If you could take something home from the collection of the DDR Museum, what would it be? 

I would probably take home the souvenir of the TV Tower. When I came to Berlin for the first time in 2017, I completely fell in love with the city and decided that I wanted to move here one day. Every time I thought about the city and my dream of living here, it was always the TV Tower that came to mind first. So, when I moved here in August, it wasn’t until I saw the TV Tower again that I truly felt at home. It will always have a special place in my heart and represents my deep love for the city.


What background do you have on your work computer right now and why did you choose it?

The background on my work computer is a photo that I took at Engelbecken yesterday. I chose it because I like to remind myself every day of how grateful I am to be living here in Berlin and of how beautiful the city is. 


What are your interests besides your work?

I like to write, do yoga every day and spend a lot of time in nature. I've also been vegan for 6 years and always like to try out new vegan recipes or go to vegan cafés - very easy when you live in Berlin!


Which famous historical person would you like to be?

Probably Queen Elizabeth I, because it amazes me that she held so much power and importance over such a long period of time, even though she lived in a male-dominated society and had a father who didn't want her to be queen.


What did you want to be when you were little?

When I was very, very little, I wanted to open my own sweet shop. And then I wanted to be a doctor, and then a film producer. But not long after that I started learning German and the rest is history. 


If you had an extra hour in the day, what would you do with it?

Probably sleep in!

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