A unique part of Cornell in Rome, the internship program allows students to gain professional experience in their fields, earn one elective credit through the adjoining class “International Professional Practice,” build their resumes, and gain a new perspective on what it’s like to live and work in Rome. Open to Fine Art and Liberal Studies majors, interested students are placed within a range of opportunities under the guidance of professor Shara Wasserman. Professor Wasserman has lived and worked in Rome for years, teaching at Temple, Cornell, and RISD study abroad programs. Her knowledge of the Roman art and design scene and connections to the top players in these fields make the International Professional Practice Program possible. This semester, three Fine Art students and two visiting Liberal Studies are participating in internships. In addition to working 10 hours per week, we also meet once per week with Professor Wasserman to reflect on and share our experiences in a small group setting. I sat down with each of the interns to learn a bit more about their internship experiences so far:
Gabrielle Manoff, Brown University, BS in Neuroscience, 2016
- What is your internship? I teach science to fifth year high school students in the Monteverde district.
- What does a normal day entail? Normally I go two days a week and make a powerpoint presentation-style lecture to six different classes. My presentation generally lasts around 40 minutes and then we’ll discuss the material for another 20. The program is part of a mandate that schools should have instruction each subject in English as well as Italian. I teach science material, so students will learn this kind of terminology in English.
- What is the best and worst part of your internship? The best part is being able to teach here. I love teaching kids—it’s something I do at home too. I’ve also learned so much about Italian culture in a different way. The worst part is that this is the first time these teachers have participated in this internship so sometimes it feels disorganized.
Isabella Masiello, Brown University, BA In International and Comparative Politics and Architectural studies, 16’
- What is your internship? I work for the artist Pietro Ruffo. Currently, I’m helping him with his commission to design the sets for Valentino’s spring fashion show in July.
- What does a normal day entail? There is no normal day at the office. I usually go there in the morning and then I’m given specific tasks for the day. Recently I’ve been helping with the design phase. Now the project has just entered the architecture and engineering phase so a local architecture studio has taken over. My next projects will probably involve assisting him with his usual studio work.
- What is the best and worst part of your internship? The best part is getting to hang out in the studio with a lot of cool and interesting artists. The worst part is that the bus has been late every time so it takes me an hour and twenty minutes to get there.
Hyunseok Seo, BFA, Cornell University, 16’
- What is your internship? I work with the free-lance curator and art manager, Jessica Stewart. I am assisting an artist she is working with.
- What does a normal day entail? We help the artist sell her works, pack pieces for shipping, and prepare for a show in April in Portugal.
- What is the best and worst part of your internship? The best part is that now I can see the real art world—not just studying as a student. I realize what I face when I graduate. The worst part is the location—it’s very far from studio.
Jungbin Seo, BFA, Cornell University, 16’
- What is your internship? I intern at Il Kino. It’s a nonprofit cinema organization that shows independent movies.
- What does a normal day entail? There’s no such thing as a normal day. I basically help out with whatever needs to be done to keep the place up and running smoothly. This could mean doing projections of films or working the sound system. There is a special event every day so I take photographs of whatever is going on and help update the website.
- What is the best and worst part of your internship? The best part is being introduced to the contemporary cinema scene and meeting a lot of new people. The worst part is the language barrier. I don’t speak Italian so sometimes it’s difficult to communicate.
Melody Stein, BFA, Cornell University, 16’
- What is your internship? I’m a research and design intern at Studio UAP: Urbanistica, Architectura, Paesaggio.
- What does a normal day entail? Studio UAP enters a lot of competitions so the last project I worked on was very research intensive and centered around analyzing precedents of urban agriculture and how it can be incorporated into city planning and landscape design. This week I just began a new, very different project. Studio UAP is hosting a special tour of edible food gardens along the Via Appia Antica in conjunction with the 2015 Milan EXPO, so I am designing brochures and maps showing the different tour routes.
- What is the best and worst part of your internship? The best part is getting the opportunity to try out another aspect of a field I’m considering pursuing. The worst part is that by the end of the day I’m so tired I feel like I’ve run out of energy to do homework.