By Kamran Mahmood, Lauder/Wharton Class of 2015 and member of Lauder’s German program.
Throughout the Lauder summer immersion in Germany, we could feel the role America plays in the world. Especially in Berlin, America is everywhere. From Checkpoint Charlie to the U.S. embassy at the Brandenburg Gate, America not only lives in prominent landmarks, but also the hearts of Berliners. Coincidentally, Barack Obama also visited Germany for the first time as President while we were there in June.
Just as omnipresent as America is the powerful Wharton/Lauder network. Our Lauder group was invited to the US Embassy in Berlin by His Excellency the Ambassador of the United States of America, Mr. Philip Murphy, who is also a Wharton alum.
We also had the honor of joining the official Fourth of July celebrations organized by the U.S. Embassy! The celebrations took place at the American Academy in Berlin, located at the historic Wannsee, and served as a modern symbol of the amicable relationship between America and Germany. The beautiful evening with the American community in Berlin culminated in fireworks. Fireworks usually signify something important—they mark the beginning of a new life, new pledges and goals, and important events. To me, these fireworks signaled a new chapter in my life. I had packed my bags; said my final goodbye to Singapore, my adopted home for the last eight years; and was about to begin my new life in the U.S. For at least the next two years, while I study at Wharton, July 4th will be an important date on my calendar.
About Kamran: Kamran was born and raised in Pakistan and attended the National University of Singapore. Prior to Lauder/Wharton, Kamran worked at Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) out of Singapore. In addition to speaking Urdu, English, and German, Kamran also speaks intermediate Spanish and Mandarin Chinese.