By Nikki Warren

ITALIA- Myself and four other recent Paul Smith’s College graduates took on a three-month marketing internship in the Tuscan-Emilian Apennine National Park located in northern Italy. The Adirondack and Appennino Sustainable Parks and Communities Project has been in the works since 2014, when the first group of students and Professor Eric Holmlund made the initial trip. Four of the five interns that went this year had also participated in the three-week study abroad program in 2015, when we were all students.

Each of the three trips to Italy has had the objective of researching and developing ways to get more American tourists to visit the Park in a sustainable way. This year, the work that we conducted for the Park was broken down into three different phases:

The first, and longest, phase was designing an English edition of the Park’s website with Adworkshop. Before any writing began, we had to do research which consisted of looking at competitive sites and reading articles about website design. After this initial research we began to write the copy. The final part of creating the website was uploading all our content to the new website template. Although there are additions that the Park may want to add in the future, the website is ready to go online.

Next was translating some of the Park’s brochures. Five of the seven brochures were already in English so the translation mainly consisted of making the words flow better and focusing on the parts of the Park that need to be highlighted. With Professor Kelly Cerielo, we decided who the target audience of each brochure was, as well as the goal. This helped narrow the focus of whom each brochure should be written to. About halfway through our time in Italy we began re-writing these brochures, and now they are ready to be re-printed.

Finally, we conducted client prospecting. Interns were responsible for cold calling US and Italian travel agencies to inform them about the Park. Cold calling can be daunting, as some people don’t take kindly to getting random sales calls. In the end, each of us were able to conquer the task and we were able to present 53 clients, who then can be contacted again when the Park is ready to sell packages.

The Adirondack and Appennino Sustainable Parks and Communities Project was an awesome experience where interns from all sorts of academic backgrounds joined together to market a beautiful Italian national park to Americans. The unique experience of living abroad will stay with us forever as we move into the real world and begin our careers. We would not only like to thank Paul Smith’s College for setting us up with this amazing opportunity, but especially the Tuscan-Emilian Apennine National Park for allowing us to be immersed in their beautiful park and culture. We hope that the Park and PSC continue their relationship so other students get to have the same experience that we did.

My name is Nikki Warren, and I recently graduated from PSC with my bachelor’s in Hotel Resort and Tourism Management, and a Business Administration minor. After getting back from my internship in Italy, I returned to Rochester, NY, which is my hometown. I’ll be in the Rochester/Syracuse area until I take on my next adventure, come January.