My internship at The Italian Banking, Insurance, and Finance Federation (FeBAF) revolved mainly around economic and finance rather than international relations (my major), although international relations was incorporated in many aspects. Starting my internship, I was not expecting my tasks to be so heavily focused on economics, but looking back, I am grateful to have had this experience, as it brought another subject to my attention, one I’m now interested in studying. As a result of this internship experience I declared a minor in economics at the beginning of the Fall 2017 semester. During my internship, my main tasks were to translate documents, attend seminars and write summaries for FeBAF’s two newsletters - Lettera F in Italian and Spotlight in English, or carry out research on requested topics. I had various research assignments, all of which needed to be presented in English and Italian. During my internship, I was mostly working with the communications and logistics team although I was also asked to do research for Paolo Garonna, the Secretary-General. A lot of the research involved helping organize events. One of FeBAF's main areas of interest is holding forums/ events for discussions on economic policy, both in Italy and elsewhere in the European Union. Most of my research concerned economic policies, financial instruments, companies such as pension funds, and the upcoming Estonian Presidency of the European Union. I prepared and presented my research every few days to whomever had requested it; they would give me feedback and let me know if additional work was necessary, tell me what should be cut, and which areas needed more supporting research.

During my time at FeBAF, I learned a lot and gained practical experience, new skills, and was exposed to an area of study I now have a passion for.  Although I was pushed out of my comfort zone, I was able to adapt to the environment, I gained new skills and knowledge that I would have otherwise not been exposed to. Although everything that needed to be done at the office had a pressing deadline, and the number of people working in the office was enough to count on one hand, the environment was filled with joy, laughter, and good times. It was truly, a thrilling environment to be in. It was an environment with people who took their jobs seriously and were highly qualified. Because of my internship at FeBAF, I was able to make many connections for my future and gained experiences that will benefit my future as a student, as an employee, and as a human being in all aspects of life. Although this was not my first internship, it was by far the one that gave me the most practical, real-life experience. They did not treat me as an intern, but rather one of their own; meaning that they had high expectations for the work I was performing, but also made me feel included in their small but loving FeBAF family. I truly enjoyed every minute I spent at FeBAF and am grateful to have had this experience.

Julia Spina, International Relations and Global Politics, 2017