Why did you decide to intern abroad with Global Experiences in Florence?
Andrew: My law school offers a Global Externship program for students to intern abroad for a summer with Global Experiences. As a former foreign language major interested in international law, I immediately applied for the program with the hopes of landing an internship in a law firm with an international focus. I knew that I could get actual international legal experience that I just could not get staying in the United States. Fortunately, I was accepted into the Florence program and ended up working in an Italian legal studio that focused on both domestic and international cases.
What made this experience unique and special?
Andrew: Working as the single intern for a Tuscan law firm is unique and special in itself. But there were so many other components that made the trip truly unforgettable. The people I met, both through Global Experiences and at the language school, are some of the greatest and closest friends I have ever made. I was truly fortunate to be able to travel across the Italian peninsula and explore all the culture Florence has to offer with an amazing group of people. I was also incredibly happy that I was able to visit the cities from which my ancestors had emigrated. Connecting with my family roots was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life so far.
How has this experience impacted your future?
Andrew: Aside from gaining great friends and invaluable and connections with my colleagues at the firm, the experience improved my Italian-speaking skills, enhanced my legal education, and definitely gave me more confidence in myself as a professional. The unique nature of my internship and the responsibilities I had there led to numerous interviews for a position for next summer. I am very happy to report that I will be working as a summer associate for a top international law firm in Manhattan in summer 2014.
What was the highlight of your experience?
Andrew: I would probably have to say going to visit the areas that my family came from. I did weekend trips to Naples, Bari, and Sicily. Each had its own beauty and unique feel. Although Florence is a beautiful city, there is nothing like southern Italy. The atmosphere, the sea, the people, the food…it’s just indescribable.
What is one piece of advice you would offer someone considering interning abroad in Florence?
Andrew: Become close with your supervisor! The number one key to success at an internship or any job is to get along with your boss. It is very important to form that bond with your supervisor so that you can get the most out of your internship. However, it is also important to note that internships in Italy start out slow. You will get few responsibilities or tasks in the first couple of weeks, but before you know it you will be swamped with work (which is a good thing!). Also, even your supervisor speaks English, it is a bonus if you are able to speak with him/her in Italian. They will appreciate your efforts in learning the language and will further strengthen your professional relationship.