During the summer of 2013, I joined the summer program of Sant’Anna Institute in the beautiful city of Sorrento. I opted on a 3-credit course, Modern Italian Literature, and a 3-credit internship, which turned out to be both fun and productive. My internship was in the Hotel Excelsior Vittoria, which is a 5-star luxury hotel, and also a member of the Leading Hotels of the World chain. I was situated in the marketing office, and interned on event management. The hotel is one of the most popular venues of the Peninsola Sorrentina, especially for weddings. I had the pleasure to witness around thirty weddings, and the whole process of preparations behind them. All throughout the process I learned a lot about the hospitality and tourism sector, as well as public relations and crisis management. It was like having a full-time job; six days a week, seven hours a day, that were programmed according to the scheduled events. Even though the internship program requests a minimum of 150 hours of work, I ended up interning for 3 months to maximise the experience and to get a deeper understanding.
The best part of my internship was that I was actually involved in the work done, rather than the “observer” role that an intern usually has. I had my part of responsibilities, made my mistakes, and learned how to fix them. I had my up and down moments like in a real job and realised that I actually loved working in this sector, which is surprising for an IR major. So much so that I’m actually considering the possibility of another internship this summer, always with the guidance of the Sant’Anna Institute. Overall, as someone that spends an important part of her year in Sorrento, I can say that Sant’Anna’s summer program is a great opportunity to get a life time experience. The internships are organised in important structures of different sectors and provide a lot of real-world practice, while spending the summer in Sorrento opens a new window to the Italian culture. All together, it was a memorable summer.