Casa Museo Ivan Bruschi: Assertiveness

Hello, my name is Jessica Garner, and I am a senior this year at the University of Oklahoma on the Pre-Physical Therapy track with a Major in Psychology and a Minor in Biology. With this being said, I have a passion for how people think and learn, how they interact with others, what they find interesting, and how to create a world in which people feel included and intrigued.  This semester I wanted to expand my interest in others, and myself, by studying abroad in Arezzo at the OUA Study Center. Along with taking classes toward my graduation, I also have an internship this semester at the Casa Museo Ivan Bruschi, which is what this blog will mainly be about. But, enough about me…


The Casa Museo Ivan Bruschi is what the name implies: It is a museum, that is set in the home of the renowned eclectic antique collector, Ivan Bruschi. Ivan Bruschi passed away in 1996 with the hope that his collection, and story of a life well traveled, be passed onto others to be learned from over the years. My supervisor at the museum is Elisabetta Bidini, and she is the Activity and Resource Coordinator for the museum. She is incredibly well versed in museum curation and art history, and she creates an environment in which the art is interactive and the museum is a place of discovery and story-telling.

This first week in our internship class we have discussed being assertive. This is not to be confused with the type of assertiveness that requires you to be demanding and loud, but instead is promoted as a way to “advocate for yourself,” a task that is not always easy when you are in a new environment. Throughout these months as an intern we are to not only grow as humans, but also improve our places of work. This can only be accomplished if we are not afraid to speak up when we have ideas that could better our work environment, be bold in sharing if we have an opinion on the direction of an idea being thrown out, and create an environment in which opinion in celebrated through attitude and collaboration.

We discussed some major differences in environment in our last meeting that can effect our work place. For example, in a working environment appearance is held at a higher standard than it is in America. It is always important to dress nicely, not have wet hair into work, not have clothing that is wrinkled, and to hold yourself in a professional manner. It is very common here to have an afternoon espresso, instead of an afternoon coffee, to have a quick and easy pick-me-up while you are working. Italy is also more casual when it comes to being late, as opposed to Americans. It is important to always notify a supervisor if you are running very late of course, but also do not be surprised if meeting times have to change last minute, lunches run a little long, or if traffic slows down your commute.

The main focus in our last meeting was communicating and contributing with purpose. When communicating what you need or want it is important to do so honestly, calmly, and directly. This way problems are being solved efficiently, both sides of the conversation are understood and meaningful, and you are showing your care and respect for your working environment. Practice makes perfect when you are forming bonds and sharing ideas in your internship, but it is always important to be proactive for influence.

The actions that you take in this internship not only reflect upon  yourself, but also the University of Oklahoma, and the OUA Study Center. It is important to build a relationship with your internship that betters yourself, your working environment, and the Arezzo community though open communication, respect and insight, and being assertive in your influence.

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