When/what/where was your internship? How was it?
I participated in an architectural internship in the Fall of 2008. It took place in Rome, Italy. The program was rewarding and challenging and truly helped me hone my skills as a designer.
What did you gain while living in a new environment?
Living and learning in a new culture was amazing. I gained an understanding of people as I met men and women from various countries in the world, not just from Italy. Having to adapt to a new environment enables one to easily transition in other areas of life. It’s the skill of embracing change that helps us grow into someone greater than we already are.
How did your international internship help you once you returned?
The internship I had was educational, fun and exciting. From day one my new employers gave me responsibility, responsibility I don’t believe I would get immediately in America. I was immediately given a project to work on. I had to learn the language to ensure I could communicate and understand, had to learn a new system of measurement and a new way of doing tasks in my industry. All of this helped me for when I returned home because I now have new skills, international skills. Not only do I have international skills, but I felt I had learned enough to start my own design studio (Delia Designs). My internship gave me the confidence to do this.
What do you do now, and how do you think your experience helped you reach this point?
Now I run my own design studio in Philadelphia. I oversee residential and commercial design projects from inception to completion. I am currently working in a niche market creating retreat spaces. My experience abroad helped me to reach this point by giving me the confidence to reach for my dreams.
What would you say to someone thinking about working abroad? What advice would you give?
I would definitely tell them to invest in this process, to invest in themselves. You will come away from it with memories to last a lifetime, valuable friends all over the world and the skills to help you achieve your goals.