Monday, June 22, 2009

First hours in Rome

So I just arrived in Rome, Italy yesterday from San Francisco and was trying to get some sleep before the first day of my internship with the World Food Programme ( The WFP is the largest provider of humanitarian assistance - food - in the world. It is an agency of the United Nations and its mandate is to assist nations after emergencies (like the Tsunami) or ongoing conflict (like in the Sudan). Since my background is in development assistance, an internship with WFP is a natural first step in my career path post Davis MBA. I have been offered a post in the recruitment division of an agency employing 10,000 professionals (from nutritionists to procurement professionals) to ensure that millions of people worldwide have access to nutritious food. The WFP operates programs such as school feeding and cash for work to create healthier minds and stronger communities.

On the personal side, though I am excited, I am also a bit overwhelmed. I have 4 roomates who don't speak English (I ran out and got an Italian dictionary immediately). They smile a lot and are as helpful as can be without a common language. I hoped my Spanish would be of more use but it appears verbs in Spanish and Italian are pretty different. They helped me buy all the basics for my room including sheets, toilet paper, and an expresso maker (not necessary listed in the order of importance!). They have also tried to point out where I can catch the train to work, the bus downtown, and the local tabacchi. Many services that are accessible online in the US are done in person in Italy. I realized that without the internet and a cell phone I would go nutz here in Rome so we trapsed around Rome getting these items for me.

Anyway, I will write more later. For now I hope I can make it through my first week of work without falling asleep from jet lag :)

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