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Public relations major interning in Florence, Italy

In our interview with Emma Canniff, she tells us how she landed her internship at the Chefactory Cooking Academy in Florence, Italy, and gives advice for other students seeking internships.

Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Emma Canniff and I'm an upcoming senior from Chicago, IL. I am studying public relations and Spanish. After my time at Auburn University, I hope to attend law school and become a sports and entertainment lawyer.

How did you find out about your internship?

As my time at Auburn University starts to come to an end, I knew I had to have an internship to graduate. I also knew I still wanted to study abroad, despite my original attempt being cancelled due to COVID. So what is better than an internship abroad? It took a lot of planning and preparation to find an internship and then interview for it. I found an amazing company called CEA that helped me with the process and matched me with companies I would be compatible with—major, career and personality wise. That is when I found Chefactory Cooking Academy. Chefactory strives to teach guests about the traditions and culture of Italian food through cooking classes. It's a great experience and if you are ever in Florence, check it out! Anyway, I had to interview with my (now) boss, Francesco, three separate times before I found out I was accepted. Since he was based in Florence and I was in Auburn, there were often times when I was interviewing early in the morning or later at night. But, nonetheless, it was so worth it. Now, I work as his social media marketing manager.

Did CLA Career Services help you prepare for your internship?

CLA Career Services helped me perfect my resume before I started the interview process. My advisor, Lori McLean, was also very helpful. She was always one email or Zoom meeting away and ready to answer any of my questions or sign any forms I needed. She's the best!

How is your internship experience?

I have been in Italy for a little more than three weeks, and I have enjoyed my time here more than anything. I have met amazing people and other interns who have made my time adjusting so much easier. My internship is very fun, and I genuinely feel like I am learning a lot. I'm managing all of the company’s social media accounts: Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok, and Yelp. I also have been researching and analyzing advertising methods. Lastly, I have been contacting and working with tourism companies in the United States to form partnerships and encourage tourists to visit our cooking school.

Do you have any advice for students seeking internships?

My advice to other students looking for an internship is to step outside your comfort zone. I was so nervous to go to Italy and work because I don't speak any Italian. The workplace culture is also so different from the workplace culture in the United States; however, I feel like I have grown so much and have never been so happy to go to work each day. So, step outside of your comfort zone, push yourself and watch how far you’ll grow.

Tags: Students Communication and Journalism Career Services

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