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My Big Fat Greek Internship

MVNU student makes connections that land her overseas

It’s not what you know but who you know that makes a difference.

Freshman public relations major Tori Sintz discovered the accuracy of this adage when applying for an internship.

After accepting an invitation from a high school friend to attend a wedding last summer in Greece, Sintz made an unforgettable connection. She developed a friendship with the bride and business owner, Nina Wolff.

Wolff owns Nina Apartments, a travel destination in Skopelos, Greece. She manages five different units composed of studios, traditional apartments and two-level dwellings.

Sintz remembers considering Nina Apartments as a potential internship but did not believe it was possible until winter break of this year.

“I have always loved traveling,” Sintz said. “I want to do something like hospitality management. I have thought about cruise ships and hotels, and when we were on the island I loved [Nina Apartments]!”

After multiple emails and conversations, Sintz accepted Wolff ’s internship offer and will spend one month — June 1 through July 2 — on the island of Skopelos this summer.

This internship is extremely important, Sintz said, because it will either confirm or contradict her desire to make hospitality management her future career.

“It’s a big deal she made this connection,” Communications Department Chair Joe Rinehart said. “It’s going to give her an opportunity to experience not just marketing and public relations, but hospitality management and international business.”

In Greece, Sintz will help manage the calendar, schedule guests, restock rooms and apartments, run errands, take photos, maintain the company website, promote the destination and show visitors around the island.

Sintz will not receive a paycheck for her work this summer. However, other than her flights, all expenses will be paid. She will stay in one of the rooms at Nina Apartments, and all her food will be provided.

According to Sintz, the biggest obstacles will be the cultural shift and language barriers.

Unlike America, the culture of Greece is extremely laid back. Sintz remembers the local routine of rising early, napping every afternoon and allowing at least two hours for each meal.

The most common languages in Greece are Greek, French and Italian. English is understood by few and spoken by fewer.

“Nina is fluent in English, and her husband can understand it,” Sintz said. “I will have to go to her for a lot of help.”

Sintz plans on learning Greek through cultural immersion to do her job to the best of her ability.

Regardless of the local language, Sintz will have to interact with and assist travelers from every country and culture.

“You never know who could be visiting,” she said. “But I am really looking forward to the experience.”

Wolff also owns a dance studio. Luckily, Sintz has been dancing since she was four years old and is looking forward to sharing her knowledge and skill with others.

It’s all about networking: “The more people you know, the better,” Sintz said.

Rinehart agreed and encouraged more students to reach out and take a role in fashioning their own futures.

“It’s a great opportunity that she has created for herself, and I am really anxious to see and hear how it turns out,” Rinehart said.

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