Today, marks exactly a month away from being in Bologna, and I’m more than excited to officially start my abroad journey. Although it’s not until next month that I will be on Italian soil, it seems to me that my trip started a long time ago. It started with my internship at IACC. As soon as I walk in to the office it like I’m in Italy. Everyone speaks in Italian, eat Italian food and of course projects/assignments are in Italian or about Italy.
I have learned lots about Italy and its culture by being part of IACC, its either from questioning everything that I have no idea what is it or the reason behind some actions to having small random conversations with professionals at IACC.
In one of my random morning conversations with Alessandra, about the weather in Houston- extremely hot- we were talking about how in the United States we use Fahrenheit, but in Italy it is Celsius. Something that I knew about but had totally forgotten. From there we decided that to make my change easier, I should start with something easy and simple. Which was to change my phone’s settings from Fahrenheit to Celsius. This although annoying at time because it is something I’m not accustom to, it has been helpful. Now it won’t be too much trouble to adjust when I go to Italy.
With small tips like such, everyone at IACC has made me feel more comfortable about my journey to Italy.
Have you ever tried preparing something in advance and testing it so for when you need it, it would work? Well if you have then you will understand our struggle.
This is what happened to us on the day of the Webinar. Francesca, my colleague, and I were trying to find a website that would work for the Webinar IACC wanted to create. Which would work as an informational segment about their biggest event in Houston, ‘Taste of Italy’. After days of research we finally found a website that offered everything we were looking for. From there, Francesca and I, initiated the process of figuring out how to make this webinar work. By creating many webinars and testing them, with everyone in the office participating, on different devices. Until we were able to figure it out and have it schedule and send invitations.
Finally, the day came, and I arrived early to the office to help Maurizio, with the Webinar. Also, because I really wanted to learn more about their ‘Taste of Italy Houston’ event. But, just a few minutes before we were about to stream live, we realized there was something missing. This was a very stressful time at the office because everything and everyone was ready to go, except that we couldn’t hold as many individuals on that webinar.
However, we had to act quickly, and try to create a new one in less than then minutes, while emailing the new data to the members who had register. After a couple of troubles, because trust me there were plenty, we worked as a team to make it happen. And finally, everything turned out great. Once it was done, we had a good laughed.
As you all know this summer I’m an intern at Italy-America Chamber of Commerce, IACC, but I’ll like to take this time to tell you how I ended here. It is really thanks to my Italian Professor/ Advisor Lanzilotta. Without his support I wouldn’t have even known about IACC, and I wouldn’t of had such an amazing experience like the one I’m having now. It all started with another internship which he had also recommended. But after the long process we hadn’t had a response from them, therefore we decided to withdraw my application. However, my professor being the great person he is, was not happy with that.
I remember exactly that day he informed me that he had found this internship with IACC. It was a Wednesday, mid-April, and I had just arrived at the gym. If you know me, well that took much convincing from my part, so when I received his URGENT email, I took a “break” to read it. In less than 2 minutes I got my things and left the gym to go see my Professor before he left campus. That’s when he gave me more details about the internship and I accepted to give it a try. After a short and easy process, I officially had an internship waiting for me when I returned to Houston. So far, it’s been such a great opportunity and would recommend it to anyone. The environment it extremely friendly and calm. I truly thank Professor Lanzilotta for being a great support.
The World Cup is what mostly everyone speaks about this summer, with each day having a new match. Everyone is rooting for their home teams, or cheering for other teams since their own didn’t made the cut. Sadly, for my IACC colleagues this was the case, Italy hadn’t made it to this year’s World Cup. Which made think I shouldn’t bring soccer up, but I was mistaken. Last week at my internship I heard two of my colleagues speaking in Italian, which is normal at the office, about Argentina’s game and about my favorite soccer player, Lionel Messi. I instantly turn around and say “oh dio mio, mi piace molto Messi” (Oh my god! I love Messi) which made the entire office turn around and looked at me surprised. Then we started talking about Argentina and Messi, and turns out we had one more thing in common. Our passion for soccer made us more united and we decided to watch the game of Argentina vs. Nigeria. However, although we were watching the game we were all working on different things. As I practice my Italian writing skills with another translation, I was also having a great opportunity to practice my language skills in the subject of soccer. Now I feel a bit more comfortable watching games being narrated in Italian, and that’s very important for me since I will be in Italy and hope to see a game or two at my visit.
Being part of IACC Texas has been amazing. These past weeks I been learning a lot of different things that have open my mind. Although most of the work load is not related to my Political Science major, I have had an exposure to new projects. From creating welcome kits for the new members of the organization to translating a variety of official documents from Italian to English or viceversa. Which this helps me a lot on my Italian language skills. This past week I was given a big important translation project. Which consisted on a five page European income tax transcript. My colleagues were really supportive while I was trying to work on it, they were there to help me understand words I wasn’t aware of in Italian. It took me about three days to fully complete the translation, it was such a great feeling. During the weekend I received a message from my Italian advisor/professor letting me know how proud he was for making a translation without any errors. He had talked to the IACC director Alessia and she was telling him about how I was doing and how well I had done on my first translation. It’s an amazing feeling knowing you are doing a good job and others seeing the work you do.
Continue following my experience throughout my internship.