Finding Your Roman InternshipRome, Spring 2009

Author: Heather Karschner
Placement: Istituto Affari Internazionali (Institute of International Affairs)

Before I came to Rome to study abroad with IES this semester, I thought a Roman internship sounded great. But I was worried – swamped with fall semester work and all sorts of study abroad paperwork, would I have time to find a good internship placement? How much help would IES give me anyway? Did I really have to translate my whole resume into Italian?

The process of finding an internship wasn’t nearly as daunting as it sounded. Silvia, the internship coordinator for IES Rome, will do whatever she can to help you find a placement you like. I filled out the internship program application on the IES website before arriving in Rome, but plenty of my friends joined the program after we got to the city. Of course, applying ahead of time helps Silvia look for placements related to your academic or career interests.

After orientation, there is a week of advising and Italian classes at IES Rome. During this week you can meet with Silvia in her office and look through her book of possible internships for the semester. If you apply for the program ahead of time, you’ll probably even get this listing in an email. Once you tell Silvia your top three choices, she’ll try to get you interviews with those organizations (or an informal meeting if the placement doesn’t require an interview).

My interview with my top-choice organization, Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI), happened only days after meeting with Silvia. Other IES students were there too because many of us were interested in the internship. Silvia gave me directions to IAI, but I still managed to get a little lost (it was the bus’s fault, I swear). But after asking directions on the street, I arrived and had a short interview much like any in the U.S. My interviewer was my potential boss, who speaks fluent English.

And that was it! Nothing too painful. Silvia emailed me with the results of the interview a few days later, and I was excited to learn I got the position. Silvia and IES guided me through the next steps of how to get started with my internship, and before I knew it, I felt like I knew my way around just as well as at any U.S. internship.

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