È difficile a credere che febbraio sia già qui, e che a quest’ora la settimana prossima sarò a Firenze per più di un mese. Le settimana stanno iniziando a passare velocemente, ma con questa velocità ho ottenuto maggiore familiarità e comodità con la mia nuova città. Credo la cosa che mi ha aiutato adattare a vivere qui, e stato la scelta di camminare ovunque vado, piuttosto che usare i mezzi pubblici. Camminando vedo molto di più della città, divento familiare con i punti di riferimento e in generale riesco a capire meglio dove mi trovo. In aggiunta, l’abilità a parlare italiano mi ha aiutato a evitare qualsiasi shock culturale. Ovunque vada fuori classe o mio appartamento parlerò italiano e anche se non conosco una parola specifica (di qui ce ne sono molte) proverò a descrivere di cosa sto parlando in italiano, piuttosto che usare l’inglese.
Before coming to Italy I learned that I would be working with an accounting and consulting firm and I pictured a very formal setting, where I would have a set schedule of when I would need to be in the office to work on projects. However, upon arrival, I discovered that I would be able to work on the projects from my apartment, on my own time and at my own pace, so long as I finished by the deadline. Additionally, I had this preconceived notion that business here in Italy is heavily based on relationships, not in the sense of nepotism, but in the sense that the people who work together also know each other very well. Up to now I have only met with my supervisor for about 30 minutes each week, but now being in my third week of work with the firm and having gotten to know him better, my supervisor has invited me to come in to the office and help draft new projects. While this could be different for other offices or business in Italy, my preconceptions did hold true for this specific firm because my supervisor wanted to get to know me first before inviting me to work in the office itself. Going forward, the opportunity to work in the office with my supervisor with greatly improve my understanding of how a consulting firm in a foreign country operates, how it might differ from those in the US, and I will greatly increase my knowledge and familiarity of Italian business language.
Outside of school and work, I was able to visit Siena and San Gimignano with CAPA this week. These two walled medieval cities were stops popular stops for pilgrims in the middle ages, each with an interesting and colorful history. San Gimignano having some of the most well preserved medieval towers in Italy and Siena being home to the famous Palio and also the site of several relics of the Catholic Church. However, because of the rain I decided to remain in Florence for the rest of the weekend, but the bad weather is finally giving way to warmer temperatures and sun. Hopefully this coming weekend I will be able to travel.