My summer experience with IACC Texas has been great. I would like to take some time and thank them for accepting me and letting be part of their team for the past 3 months.
It has been a pleasure to learn more about what IACC Texas does as well as a little bit more about Italy in general. The office was always very welcoming and vivid, which made each day a good day. I have loved working with each and everyone in the office. The different amount of work I was doing with them has thought me a lot this summer. From working with codes to translations to data bases. Nothing was easy at the beginning, but they were very supportive and patient with me. They were always very cheerful when I would accomplish a new task, which made feel very happy and motivated to continue doing my best.
It’s really sad to see this journey come to an end, because after so much time together I have grown to love my internship, I know very formaggio (cheesy), but its true. This bond will be missed, now that my time is done. But thankfully I have their contact information and they will be waiting for me to send them pictures of me in Italy as well as they are very excited to hear about my experience in Italy. Additionally, since they always travel back to Italy, we might end up catching up while we are in the same country once again, which I’m totally excited for.
Grazie a tutti.
Throughout my time with IACC Texas I have done so many translations that I have lost count of how many in total I have done this summer. It was a variety of documents, some of them where pretty easy to make and others were very difficult. Some would take me 30 minutes, while other will take me two days of work.
I still remember my first translation, I was very nervous when doing it. Obviously, everyone was telling me to try my best and if I didn’t know something to just skip it and they would help me. But I was the one pushing myself to not only try, but to do my very best. I liked the challenge that I was getting, not only was it one of my jobs as an intern, but I knew that I was going to prepare me for the future. I knew that it will help me throughout my experience abroad, since I I will be writing and reading much more in Italian, therefore I needed all the practice I could get.
No lie, at first it was a struggle, I was mixing up some words and I would think it was too hard to do, but eventually I got the hang of it. I was doing Birth Certificates, Marriage Licenses/Certificates in less time and I was able to take my time with other documents such as financial statements, divorce papers and resumes without being too frustrated since I had much practice with the language.
Translating from English to Italian or from Italian to English, isn’t easy but with practice it was possible.
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.
First time entering to the office of Italy-America of Chamber of Commerce here in Texas was really nice.
I instantly felt welcomed into the environment. I was received by Alessandra, Alesia who is the Executive Director had already mentioned me to Alessandra. Alessandra was very enthusiastic to get to know me, and right away went to announced to Alesia that I had arrived. They both sat with me and made me feel welcomed, and part of the organization. They were willing to work around my schedule and teach me everything they wanted me to help them out with. This internship was different, they introduced me to everyone in their office and everyone was really excited to work with me. They were more excited when I told them I was able to speak a bit of Italian and that I would be visiting their mother country on the fall, for school. I spoke a bit in Italian, but to be honest I need lots of practice because they were just too fast. But, the great part is that I get to listen to them speak and be at least able to understand what they are talking about.
They have also been really helpful on trying to speak a bit slower for me and have conversations with me in Italian, which I believe to be a great way to get ready for my academic year in Bologna, this fall.