WRITTEN BY STEPHANIE KESSELEM, 2017 SUMMER II
I feel as though I speak on behalf of most twenty- something’s when I say I’m at a point in my life where nearly everything is uncertain. I’m an incoming senior at my university and I have no idea what the next year has in store for me. We are bombarded with questions: do I go to graduate school? What company will hire me? How do I excel at the interview process? It is not hard to see why stress is at an all time high.
Nevertheless, my internship here at Sant’Anna Institute has significantly prepared me for my future career endeavors. As a strategic and organizational communications major at the University of Akron when I came to Sant’Anna they placed me in the communication and marketing department where I worked to develop ways to get Sant’Anna’s name out there. I fully expected to be shadowing someone throughout my five weeks and being given specific workloads per week. This, surprisingly, was not the case. Sant’Anna provided me with a very self- motivated and independent internship. Though I had supervisors, they allowed me to take control of my specialty and chose what plans I thought would benefit the Institute. Internships are typically stereotyped in two extremes: the job that takes full advantage of the free labor or the business that coddled their internships. Sant’Anna on the other hand lets us embrace innovation and actually have a say in what we can do to help.
My first day as a communications intern I was able to participate in a meeting with the Founder/ President of the Institute, Cristiana Panicco, the Study Abroad Coordinator, Serena Vacca, and the Director of University Relations, David Black. They immediately looked to us interns for “big ideas”; however, they actually listened to what we had to say and genuinely wanted us to implement our plans. It is rare to feel like you have aided a company in five weeks of work but Sant’Anna allows you to work hard and have something to show for it.
The Institute held mandatory weekly intern meetings in order to recap what strengths and weaknesses were appearing throughout our time here. They set up multiple outlets in order to help prepare us professionally. For example, Sant’Anna brought in a guest speaker, Professor Paloma Rodriguez, to show us to optimize our resumes through e-portfolios. She showcased her own personal wix.com templates that allow for a clean, organized, online resume. With the use of personalized links, examples of personal work, and accessibility of the website, it is a game changer in the world of job applications.
While my own internship consisted of journalism, marketing, and planning I was pleased with the general air of acceptance that Sant’Anna gave off. With a plethora of internship opportunities at local businesses as well as at the Institute, itself, there is no better international experience available in beautiful Southern, Italy. A conversation starter and a resume booster, Sant’Anna internships offer a multicultural experience that permeates the average professional boundaries while preparing their students for prospective careers.