Nothing compares to strolling out of an interview in complete confidence.
Only issue is, today I was completely confident that I did not get the internship I was interviewing for.
That may sound presumptuous and negative, but as Haley, Danica and I entered our group interview for a potential internship, we were greeted by employers expecting fluent Italian speakers. We awkwardly informed them that was not us, and like any three strategic communications students, talked up and spun our strengths to the best of our abilities.
Based on the lack of eye contact, sighs of disappointment and phrases like, “I am going to have to see” and “I think the decision is pretty clear,” we have a feeling our pitches didn’t quite cut it.
It’s actually entertaining that earlier in the day I thought my decision between wedges or flats would actually matter (wedges prevailed as always).
It’s obstacles like these that can make you doubt your capabilities in a different culture, language and country. While I wrote news releases on a weekly basis at St. Jude, the reality of the situation is, I’m not ready to do that in Italian.
However, it’s also obstacles like these that make you appreciate the things you can do, and teach you to celebrate the small victories. Here’s some of things that have become wildly exciting in the eternal city:
1. Running errands
About two weeks ago, I bought tape and I still haven’t gotten over it. The quest for Scotch-esque tape was a difficult one seeing as there aren’t places like Target & Walgreens/CVS that carry everything under the sun. Finding this specialized supply store was a win in itself, but to make it even better, my entire interaction at the store was completely in Italian. So rewarding.
Considering shopping for our apartment is one of my biggest stress-releasers, you could say I’m a bit of a natural host (one of my many Mom qualities). This weekend was prime for hosting as I had two of my best friends visiting and was able to show them around Rome. Showcasing my favorite places and hole in the wall must-see’s made me feel like the love child of UrbanSpoon and Google Maps.
3. Street Interactions
Coming to Rome, I was very concerned about aggressive Italian men. Luckily, I have nothing negative to report back. Who doesn’t want to be greeted as “Bella” everyday by strangers and our to die for elder doorman, Bruno? Not complaining. Furthermore, I made someone laugh on the metro today with my Italian know-how rather than my lack thereof. Bliss.
4. Waking Up Before Rome
Unlike most Romans (or normal people), exercise is my one true love. So signing up for a half marathon in northern Italy sounded like heaven. Little did I realize, training in Villa Borghese early in the mornings would also offer me a snapshot of a different Rome. Workers clean the windows of vacant Via Del Corso high end stores, awaiting the stains of envious hands. The Spanish Steps are completely empty, the air is a cheerful calm and dog play-dates run the social scene. Swoon.
5. Becoming A Regular
Blame it on Cheers, Starbucks’ sharpie on holiday cups; whatever it is, everyone wants to go somewhere where people know their name. That’s why walking into Cafe Amore every morning and hearing, “Ciao, Sarah!” (Slight roll of the R included) is so life changing. Additionally, being recognized at yoga by the sweetest people is beginning to remind me of the sense of community I have at studios at home.
These little things add up and are able to outweigh the unfortunate instances like getting lost, being sick or feeling impatient. And while I worry about finding summer internships back in the US, I am now reassured remembering that I can in fact fluently speak, and even write news releases, in the expected language.