The Italian Job

Working two internships in fashionable Florence has helped Sophie Brubrick ’22 realize a lot about herself and her future career.

student poses in italy in front of water
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Exploration has always been a driving force for Sophie Brubrick ’22. When she was eyeing Endicott College, for example, one of the main draws was that it would allow her to explore something new. 

“I really wanted to see another part of the United States, and I knew I wanted to be close to Boston. I also knew that I wanted a smaller school because I do really value that attention you get from the professors,” she begins. “When I toured Endicott, I thought it was a perfect fit.”

Today, she’s living in Florence, Italy, thousands of miles from Boston and even farther away from her origins in sunny California. She wouldn’t have it any other way: “I really like the culture and also the coffee here is phenomenal, so I’m staying.” 

During her time in Italy, she’s learned a lot about what she does and doesn’t want out of life. For starters, she’s a big fan of Italy’s working-to-live instead of living-to-work mentality: “Being here has really taught me to slow down and enjoy the small things.” 

She’s also pinpointed the type of career she wants. “I know I want a job that’s very social, where I get to work with a lot of people,” she says. “I don’t want a 9-to-5 job sitting in front of a laptop.” 

Working two internships in Florence, the first at a vintage store and the second at a hotel, has helped her realize these things about herself. She recalls starting at Hotel Palazzo San Niccolò and feeling surprised when, instead of throwing her to the wolves of work, her boss wanted to sit down, chat, and get acquainted. 

“We had coffee for 15 to 20 minutes, just talking and getting to know each other,” she remembers. “It was so unexpected and different from the way something like that would happen in the U.S.”

student with dressesIn her first internship, Brubrick found joy in styling
and interacting with clients.

At her first internship with FLY!, which stands for “Fashion Loves You” and is connected with the Florence University of the Arts, Brubrick loved getting to know the brand as well as the social aspect of interacting with and, essentially, styling clients. “I really enjoyed working with the clients that would come in, getting to know about them and their tastes and maybe being able to suggest something that was interesting to them,” she admits.

Given all the experience that Brubrick brings to the table, both from her studies and from her hands-on internship experiences, she’s positioned to land great jobs that, ideally, provide a balance of social time and screen time. As she explains, her courses at Endicott allowed her to approach these foreign experiences with the confidence and knowledge to succeed. “I would always remember a professor telling me, ‘Make sure you know how to do XYZ when you do your market research because your boss will ask you about this,’ and then when that time comes, you’re so grateful,” she says. “The professors always encourage you to live your truth, and I feel that support even when I’m thousands of miles away.”

“The professors always encourage you to live your truth, and I feel that support even when I’m thousands of miles away.”—Sophie Brubrick ’22

Though she doesn’t speak Italian, Brubrick has made Italy her home away from home, immersing herself in the culture and picking up words here and there. She even snagged her first designer garment, a vintage Pucci dress, and finds herself falling in love with Florentine charms. 

But nothing complements high fashion like a sense of fearlessness that Brubrick partly credits to her time at Endicott. “My courses really provided me with the foundation and the confidence to go forth and do something like this,” she explains. “Hearing my professors’ experiences, whether it was in their own career or a student’s experience, makes you feel like, ‘I’m in the right direction to take the path I want.’”

In 2022, Brubrick will return to Endicott for her final semester and to submit her thesis, a deep dive into social media engagement for fashion and hospitality luxury brands informed by her internships. 

She doesn’t plan to stay in Massachusetts, however, as she’s eager to return to the overseas life she’s been building for herself. “I do hope to move abroad after I graduate from Endicott. I could see myself in the U.K., maybe London, Paris, or potentially Italy. I’m not quite sure,” she says. “It obviously comes down to who will take me.”