I truly loved my entire internship experience. At the beginning, I felt like I had all these ideas and very little time to execute them despite working almost every day for 9 hours. On top of that, I was uncertain of the role I had and how my projects would fit into that. A week and a half in, I hadn’t really worked on any of my projects because my supervisor’s answer was that we had to ask the boss.
Thankfully, the first morning I was down at the port I took the initiative and asked my boss to look at my plans, which he immediately approved. From there, I worked hard to bring those ideas to life and through that dedication, I enjoyed all the hours I put in.
I enjoyed the morning walks to the port, meeting all the skippers, getting to know the business, learning random Italian words from my supervisor, getting 3 euro panini’s instead of 5 euros from the nearby shop, having such kind and supporting supervisors who wanted to see me fulfil all my projects, and just being in Sorrento. (And of course, going on the boat).?
My time here was too short. But it was not lost. I made sure to go places, try new things, and see the beauty in all that Sorrento and Italy had to offer. One of the things that made me appreciate it the most was the fact that almost everyone I worked with didn’t even live in Sorrento. They all commute long hours to work every single day. They have no days off from April to October.
They are surrounded by these beautiful clear waters and some of the biggest travel destinations, but they work long hours so that others can enjoy their culture and their home. It is truly humbling to think about. Reflecting on my internship, I think I have learned to be confident of my ideas when taking initiative, be inquisitive, and be self-aware of the privilege I have to work an international internship.
Some of the other things I will take back with me to the U.S. and apply to future work is patience and willingness to learn about the work culture as well as a constant enthusiasm for the work I am given.