If I were to describe my international experience using only one word, the one most fitting would have to be ‘fulfilling.’ And it was, in every way. Broken down into three parts, after my semester of exploring Italy and other European countries, I see fulfillment and growth in myself academically, professionally, and personally.
Academically, I am immeasurably more knowledgable towards European and Italian history, culture, cuisine and language. Because of my coursework and moreso my viewing of historic sites in person, I not only retained so much more than I would have at home, but I became encouraged and motivated to continue learning about those topics and sites that I had discovered. Looking back, for example, I can’t believe that I ever came to Florence not knowing that it had been a site of attack during World War II. And now that I’m home, I’ve picked up a few books on European history, and I can’t wait to learn even more. Along with this, I have continued learning about and practicing making different Italian dishes. Through my internship at Eataly, I learned so much about the origins of, differences between, and even recipes for Italian foods. I hope to always remember and further these lessons. Lastly, I have continued practicing the language now that I’m back in the states, and intend to even take more courses so that I can continue to further my Italian, as well.
Professionally, I grew not only in my ability to work internationally, but I gained, too, future work opportunities while still abroad. During one of my shifts, I had the chance to meet and speak with a businessman representing an international company based out of Philidelphia. He was impressed with my international internship, and asked me to send him my resume so that he might forward it to HR. The company then reached out to me asking to interview for an internship position during the following summer. Before ever leaving Italy, I had seen growth in my own professional prospects.
And lastly, personally, I have seen growth in my confidence, independence, resourcefulness and optimism. As I had said in a previous blog post, a lot of the time, most things will go wrong. And it doesn’t matter so much that you stop them from going wrong, but that you react effectively when they do.
In short, my takeaways are a (believe it or not) deeper love of learning, international work opportunity, and a fresher mindset and assured self. And these are all examples of how PittBusiness is so effective in creating a holistic learning environment that enables us students to become as well rounded as we are.
As many times as I’ve said it, it will never be enough – I am so grateful for this opportunity, and all that it has given me in each aspect of my life. Grazie mille!