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St. Bonaventure University

St. Bonaventure University journalism students intern at Positano News during Summer Study in Sorrento, Italy, program

Jan 31, 2023

Positano News office for webWhile studying abroad as part of the Summer Study in Sorrento, Italy, program conducted by the Jandoli School of Communication at St. Bonaventure University, two SBU seniors served internships with Positano News, an online newspaper serving the Amalfi Coast and Sorrento Peninsula

Senior journalism majors Marnique Olivieri-Panepento of Orchard Park, New York, and Elizabeth Egan of Fairport, New York, received their internship placements through Sant’Anna Institute, which hosts students in the Summer Study in Sorrento program.

Olivieri-Panepento and Egan (second and third from right, respectively, in the accompanying photo) took on new adventures and learned to adapt to the Italian journalistic process and culture over their five-week-long internships.

Almost every day they'd take a train two towns over and soak up the passions of European culture. What they learned as "traditional journalism" in the classroom was put to the test, as intern program Director Michele Cinque took them to meet individuals and explore places the majority of aspiring journalists will never encounter.  

Egan and Olivieri-Panepento learned important communication skills as they conducted unplanned interviews with the local population, often speaking with people who knew little English. Working in an office and conducting interviews where English is not commonly spoken, they learned the art of unspoken communication, paying attention to such things as a person's tone, hand gestures and facial expressions.

The two met as journalism students in the Jandoli School of Communication, where they began their teamwork, writing articles for PolitiFact New York, working together as editor-in-chief and senior editor for Her Campus and sharing ideas for their classes. 

"The opportunity to work in a foreign country is rare," said Olivieri-Panapento. "This position taught me unforgettable professional qualities that I will carry with me throughout my career. The pace of the Italian workplace defined a new approach to how I view success and has helped me shape many new values.

"Positano News expects its interns to become bold journalists, to never stop asking questions. Our boss would tell us, 'Ask, ask, ask. This is journalism. You ask and take pictures. You are journalists.' Due to the language barrier, we had to listen differently and process what’s being said carefully. Though different countries around the world define journalism differently, there is a shared commitment to the undeniable work ethic at the root of all journalists."

Egan was just as grateful for the internship adventure.

"I was excited going into this opportunity, but it has surpassed all my expectations. While our boss’s startled face when he learned we didn’t speak Italian on the first day left me pretty nervous, my little bit of Italian, his little bit of English and a lot of hand gestures allowed us to quickly develop our own system of communication.

"Following our boss blindly onto a fishing boat in Positano, pushing into a private tour of an ancient Roman Villa, crashing two weddings, and having locals shower us with free espresso and limoncello all in the name of journalism are just a few of the many incredible experiences I will never forget from this internship. More importantly, the experience has taught me important lessons about listening, boldness in interviewing, and that the key to being a good journalist is walking." 

At the end of the five weeks, Egan and Olivieri-Panepento presented at the Sant’Anna institute and summarized their internship experience through an e-portfolio for other interns, staff and Director Cinque.

As interns, they wrote stories focused on tourism within neighboring villages. 
Several stories written include:

Olivieri-Panepento and Egan thanked professors at the Jandoli School who prepared them for their internships with knowledge and encouragement.