Written by Timothy Konapacki for ILF
This partnership between the Prospect High School Italian program and the Redoro Olive Oil company provided me with a life-changing experience that prepared me for the challenges of my fast approaching adulthood and helped to redefine the standard of being ready. I was presented with a very loose structured requirement, in order to do research for Redoro on new products, and ways to bring already existing ones into the American market. My task was to create a website that summarized our progress throughout the year and it gave the community and other curious Americans to check in on our progress. Since I was given some liberties in design and structure choices, it urged me to explore more about web design and learn different and new ways to create a good looking and functioning website. Throughout this process, Prof Scolaro was very supportive and gave the necessary feedback that supported our growth, but she did not overreach and stifle our creative drive. Instead, almost every week she would tell us of new opportunities to tell people about our work or a new lead to bring Redoro products to America etc. She always had something new up our sleeve, allowing us to build a new rung of our ladder to reach our final goal. With her constant support, I was selected as one of four students to go for a three week internship with Redoro in Verona, Italy.
One thing that I helped with in particular, was creating and designing marketing concepts for their launch in America. This made me think not only about how to sell the product in a country that it was not originally created for, but also how to sell that idea and explain thoroughly to the executives of the company. I worked very closely with the Chief Export Manager, bringing an American perspective to the mix while suggesting tweaks in various branding of the company and products that would better appeal to an American market.
Every single person that I have talked to, whether it is at a career fair, or during interviews for various jobs since this internship, they have all been extremely impressed with my experience. I believe that this experience propelled my career readiness by two or three years, as I had real-life experience in another country before I even started college. That is something that most cannot say they have, even after the completion of college.