In Florence through the CAPA program, I am attending classes as well as completing an internship! I saved most of my gen ed classes for this study abroad experience so that way I can balance the extra hours that I am spending doing an internship, with a lighter course load. My courses include Exploring Florence, Renaissance Art, and Italian! So far I have loved my classes. They are designed to truly enrich the study abroad experience. What we learn in the classroom can be directly applied to our lives as we walk through the streets of Florence to discover the city.
I am completing a marketing and sales internship here in Florence with a company called Tornabuoni Tuscany Leather. I have certain responsibilities for marketing Tornabuoni such as creating content for their Instagram, Facebook, and website. Also, taking photos, videos, and leveraging SEO skills to increase Tornabuoni social media brand presence! In terms of sales, I am responsible for certain tasks like helping out around the store and prospecting for new markets and ways to reach these consumers.
From my brief time interning with Tornabuoni it is clear that I need to be strict with my time management. There is a lot of responsibility that comes with interning, adding to it the fact that it is being done in an entirely new country, definitely creates an interesting challenge. I have to be very disciplined about what time during the day I am getting my internship hours in, doing my coursework, and attending classes. This is all while taking the time for fun activities in Florence at night and on the weekends! It is also important to be open minded and adaptable as an intern. Coming into this experience, I have had to be willing to alter the lens that I normally approach the work that I do professionally. Being willing to take constructive feedback when my way of doing something may be different than what is custom in Florence, has been critical. As a defined “achiever” and “relator” by the Clifton Strengths test, these talents have come into play when being diligent in completing all of my responsibilities and building healthy relationships with my coworkers and peers!
The academic and professional culture of Florence is simply unparalleled to anything that I have experienced in the States. It is clear that Florentines take on a different approach when it comes to work-life balance. The practice of taking time out of the work day to get an espresso with your coworkers or sitting down in a cafe to enjoy a coffee before heading to class are just two examples of how in Italy it is important to slow your life down. Prioritizing building relationships and personal time outside of work is crucial in order to assimilate into Italian culture. Coming from the States where life moves extremely fast, learning to slow it down a couple notches is an adjustment that I have been working on.
After just two weeks of adapting to this new academic and professional lifestyle, I can certainly say that the experience has exceeded my expectations. I am excited to see how this internship will challenge me, and in what ways my skills will develop over these next 3 months.