When I first got hired I was told my “exotic” American profile was out of the ordinary for Trento, and likewise interning at the Federazione Trentina Pro Loco was also an unordinary and unexpected choice for me, but it seems our paths met, and like many unpredictable or different choices I have taken in my life this one turned out to be a good one. I had graduated in May 2016 from an American University in Rome with no plan or idea of what would be my next step. All I knew and was sure of was that I had and still have a hunger to learn and gain experience in areas having to do with my degree in Communications. A friend of mine mentioned servizio civile, and I applied not knowing what to expect or if I would even be accepted.
In the United States the closest program to servizio civile is a standard internship. However, there is a big difference. In the states once you have gotten an internship the rest is up to you. Meanwhile with servizio civile you have a certain amount of responsibility, but you are not left alone, actually you are given the chance to enhance your professional skills through different modules. One of the biggest differences is that you are told you are not guaranteed a position afterwards, so it is up to you to find your next job or internship. At first the idea that I would be working in a place that had no future seemed pointless to me, since most of the times in a standard internship the possibility to continue working there is likely. However in the last four months, I have realized that this very fact is what has motivated me to apply for jobs and internships. Servizio civile already got me off the couch at home, and now it is pushing me to search for jobs while still gain experience.
The project itself was interesting to me and I can say I have learned some essential skills on graphic design and social media marketing. Is digital tourism a field I see my self working in the future? Definitely not. Are there some aspects of this field that I enjoyed that could be utilized in another field? Definitely.
Part of my experience here at the Federazione Trentino Pro Loco was less about what activities I accomplished but more about the relationships I was able to form and how I grew professionally. A work place is made up of people of all different shades, attitudes, and personalities. The secret is to be able to find a common ground and communicate, which is always easier said than done. I definitely feel that I have improved and grown in this regard and that it is not only something I will take with me to my next job or internship, but an important skill to have in all relationships. I knew I wanted to contribute something and feel like I had a purpose here since after all 12 months is a long investment. At first, it was hard, but gradually as time went on and I received good feedback from my colleagues, I felt more and more like the work I was doing mattered, which in turn gave me a lot of self satisfaction. I am half Italian and half American and have been living in Italy for quite some time, but I never really immersed my self in an Italian context. Servizio civile gave me that opportunity, and I feel my Italian improved as well as my cultural knowledge on Trento and Italy.
My servizio civile is ending earlier than i had thought because I will be going to do an internship at a film festival in Paris for a short period. I know that had I stayed longer I would have grown more professionally and personally, but life is also about taking opportunity when it comes your way. I want to thank everyone at the Federazione Trentina Pro Loco for making these four months meaningful.