I am the Brand Marketing Intern for a very successful jewelry shop in Piazza Santa Croce. Essentially what I do is run all the social media of the store as well as being the medium between clients and CEO when they conduct communications through email and Facebook. I also do product marketing. I take pictures of a lot of things in the store and advertise them on the website. I am in charge of creating the monthly newsletter for the store, which I'll be doing through January, even after my internship ends.
Have you learned anything especially interesting?
How to identify gemstones. I was taking pictures of jewelry in the store to post on the Facebook page, and I labeled one piece as a sapphire, but really it was a tanzanite. My boss wasn't mad, she thought it was really funny. But now I know all the differences between the different stones.
What are you studying at school and how did that lead you here?
My major is Healthcare Management and Policy. I know it doesn't exactly relate to my internship, and it's kind of funny what happened… I found Istituto Europeo online because I had studied in Florence in the fall and wanted to return because I really liked it. I didn't feel like I was here long enough the first time, and I also wanted to continue learning Italian. When I was accepted into the internship program, there weren't any internships available in my field of study, so my resume was sent out to several different companies. This store was interested in me because I had experience in social media communications, so that's how I got to work here.
Tell us more about why you came back to Florence after studying in the fall.
Well I wanted to learn Italian really badly, and I also knew that this would be more of a life experience, and more fun that doing an internship at home in New Jersey. As for my Italian, it's definitely improving although i'm nowhere near fluent because that takes years. But I think that the class I took at Istituto Europeo was great because it taught me a lot of grammar that I didn't know before. Now I can understand a lot more in conversation and I can speak more which is awesome.
What is the best part about living here?
There is always something going on in Florence! Whether it's a festival or some type of exhibition, there is always something. The food is definitely a great thing too. It's incredible! I don't have a favorite restaurant, because I try to eat at different places all the time. There is a panini place I really like though, called Pane e Toscana where they have a sandwich with wild boar salami, pecorino cheese, and blueberry jam. It doesn't sound like it would taste very good, but trust me, its fantastic.
Do you have advice for a future student or intern in Florence?
Well first of all, its really hot here in the summer so make sure you come prepared. More importantly, if you are coming for an internship, be open-minded. Don't think that if you come for an internship that isn't in your field of study that it won't benefit you. Any experience is good experience, and here especially you are getting more than academic experience, you are getting life and cultural experience. You learn how to function in a work environment that's based on different cultures and values. Learning the language is definitely a plus because it will give you more to offer. I think everyone should experience living in a different part of the world at some point in their life, otherwise you can't really understand how the world works if you never leave your home country. You will become more understanding of other people, and I think it makes you friendlier too because you want to meet people and talk with them and learn about their different experiences.
Do you think you'll come back again?
I love Florence. I'd like to come back, but I don't know when because I'd also like to experience other parts of Italy that I haven't seen yet. Florence will always have a special place in my heart though, so I will be back at some point in my life.