Adapting To The Italian Work Culture

This semester I am interning at 440 Industries in Florence, Italy as a Content Specialist Intern. After completing over half of my internship here in Florence, Italy I have already developed soft and hard skills. 

The biggest soft skills I have developed are my time management and my cultural intelligence. It has been very difficult to manage working 20 hours a week on top of taking 4 regular classes and trying to enjoy my time abroad. I have had to be aware of my schedule and carve out specific times to work on my internship and school work while still leaving a healthy amount of free time for myself. Additionally, working abroad has definitely built my cultural intelligence. I feel that I can interact professionally much more effectively and comfortably than I could when I first arrived in Italy. 

The main hard skill that I have gained from my internship has been professional writing. I had never written professionally before and had barely written academically since high school so the first half of my internship I asked for and received a lot of feedback to improve my writing skills. I now feel confident in the blogs I am writing but am also aware there is always tons of room for improvement. 

One of my biggest ways to navigate cross-cultural situations is to observe what the other people are doing and to ask people in the culture that I am working in what the norms are. I think it is important to have these conversations to grow as a professional and individual and be able to communicate respectfully with people of all cultures. 

My interactions in Florence have definitely shaped my own identity. I have met so many different people with different viewpoints and it has definitely opened my eyes to different topics and opinions. It has made me more open minded and eager to meet new people than I have ever been before. 

My experience in Florence so far has been extremely insightful and has already pushed me to grow as a person. I am very excited to continue the second half of my semester abroad!