Ian Lashway Blog Post #6: Week Ending July 1, 2023

This week was our last full week in Milan. In order to prepare for our final presentation and final paper, we did not have class but instead watched the film Erin Brokovich. This film is based on a similar premise as in Civil Action in which a small law firm uncovers bad business practices and public health concerns from a large corporation. The law firm eventually got a large settlement and residents of the local town were paid millions as payback for their health complications. Besides the film, Bryan, Maddy, and I began preparing an outline for our final presentation/paper which will be about Free Speech and Social Media.

I had a rather slow week for my internship. As we are largely wrapping up the project that I was a part of, we were tasked with doing competitive analysis for the company we are consulting for. I was given a basket of companies in the Electric Vehicle space and had to identify if and how their business strategies varied from country to country across Europe. It was more great practice and I was thrilled to have such a good opportunity working with Krein as a part of a consulting team this summer.

To bid farewell to our wonderful stay in Milan, 22 of us spent the weekend in a villa in Tuscany. We stayed in a small town about 30 minutes outside Florence in a hilly isolated area. After a long day of travel and many bags of groceries hauled, the trip was more than worth it. We had our own pool, a patio with an amazing view, and most importantly, great company! We arrived on Friday afternoon, and stayed all day Saturday and checked out on Sunday morning. We spent the day walking around Florence which was such a great city. I am so thankful for such an amazing trip.

A beautiful exhibit in Florence.









Enjoying a firm handshake with Mason as the sun set over our Tuscan Villa. Poetic.

Emily Sofio’s Blog Post Week Ending July 1, 2023

This past week in class, we watched the movie Erin Brockovich. The movie is a true story about a single mother of 3 children without a college degree, who was able to work her way up a law firm and take on a case surrounding the well-being of an entire town’s population, against an extremely successful corporation. The second half of the week was spent in preparation for our final project, which included a final paper and presentation. My group researched and discussed social media’s negative effects on teenagers. My team members, Le Yang and Kat Bazarko, gave our presentation to the class this Monday, July 3rd. 


The last week at my internship was pretty jam-packed, but still fun. This week, I finished my research on potential donors/partners. Then I spent time creating individual emails tailored to the unique goals of each organization, asking for their support in our upcoming project. I also went to an event called Innovation Day, which was a day filled with speakers from all over the world presenting their projects. On my last day of the internship, I was given some presents from the organization, which was super nice. The bakery next door also left me with a bag of sweets. I am really glad I was able to make such strong connections with these employees and the workers at the bakery. 


Since it is the last week, I tried my best to involve myself in everything I hadn’t seen yet. I went to the Teatro alla Scala and saw the opera Macbeth. I also went inside the Duomo for the very first time, which was super exciting. I had the amazing opportunity to spend my last weekend with my classmates. We rented an Airbnb in Tuscany, and spent Friday afternoon and Saturday with each other in the villa! On Sunday, we explored Florence some more and had a huge group dinner at ZaZa. I still believe that Florence has the best food out of every place I have visited!

Hanging out at a villa in Tuscany!
One last visit to the Duomo
Last day at Alice for Children!
Teatro alla Scala!!

Lili Sorrentino’s Blog Post #6: Week Ended 7/1/2023

This week has been very bittersweet as everything is suddenly wrapping up, although it feels like just yesterday we arrived. For one last hurrah, we all decided to rent a Villa in the Tuscany region outside of florence. On Monday morning we set out for our final train ride out of Milan where we arrived two hours later in the heart of florence. Once we got off the train we headed to our favorite grocery store, Conad, where we stocked up on 15 bags of pasta and any other food to last the weekend. After gathering as much as we could carry, we taxid out of the city and into the picturesque tuscany region filled with villas and vineyards. Our villa was tucked away on a private sprawling hill with 23 beds waiting for us along with a pool overlooking the view. Before we could enjoy the pool, we immediately began cooking dinner as we were starving from the journey there. I had never cooked for so many people but enjoyed hanging out in the kitchen with music along with a glass of wine in one hand and a spoon stirring in the other. For the rest of the weekend we played cards and games by the pool but most of all enjoyed the presence of being around eachother for the last time until we return to school. Saturday morning we devoured 60 eggs and by Sunday morning we ran out of food. However, we ventured into Florence, miraculously recieved our security deposit on the villa, and enjoyed a delicious brunch! We spent the rest of sunday shopping and gathering our final souvenirs until we boarded our last train home together. The decision to join Lehigh in Milan was one of the best decisions I have made and I will cherish every memory made along with every new friend I have met because of it.  

For our final days at SuiteFood, Tiffany and I were tasked with double the amount of assignments as usual. The end of the internship came out of nowhere with so much more to be done! On July 1st, SuiteFoods new line officially launched the products we had been marketing since our arrival. Our boss also recieved great news that a local food market chain is interested in carrying SuiteFood coconut milk within their stores! This was great news for Emmanuela and a great start for her new line of products. Although the internship is over, Tiffany and I intend to carry out our final tasks and posts from home and will always remain advocates for SuiteFood! 

This last week in class, we presented our group projects we have been working on for the past month. Hearing everyone present was extremely interesting as everyone had different topics that they had clearly put a lot of time and research into. The presentation topics ranged from equal pay to cancel culture to access to life-saving drugs. However I was very happy with the topic my group chose, Public Corporations and Their Environmental Disasters. It was extremly saddening yet interesting to learn about Exxon and Deepwater Horizon’s oil spills and how that tied into class and corporations social responsibility. For my part of the project I primarily focused on successful environmental initiatives being taken to prevent cases such as those from occuring again. I found numerous new robots and other new advancments in technology that help detect any hydrocarbons in the water and report it within two minutes to on call clean up crews. The class, while I admittedly struggled at moments to keep up, was extremely interesting and taught me more than I ever expected, with a large part of that being thanks to Professor Gupta. 

Maddy Kelly’s Blog Post #6: Week Ended 7/1/2023

Our last full week in Milan was truly amazing. To start off the week, Sara and I went to the Coldplay concert at San Siro stadium which was so much fun. Coldplay has always been one of my favorite bands, so the opportunity to see them in Milan was once-in-a-lifetime. Chris Martin brought out Zucchero Fornaciari, a famous italian singer, and the crowd arguably cheered louder for him than they did during the entire Coldplay concert. The next day was Sara’s birthday, and following the IES networking event, we went to one of our favorite restaurants, Bodeguita. Thursday was Corrine’s birthday, and we celebrated by going to Chihuahua Tacos and then out to Old Fashioned, a popular club in Milan. On Friday, we made our way to Florence! This weekend, 22 of us stayed in a large villa in the countryside on Friday and Saturday night. We had a lot of laughs, and I will forever remember how much fun this weekend was. I can’t think of a better way to spend our last full weekend in Italy. On Sunday, since we had to leave the villa by 11 am, we went into the city and walked around all day. We went to Boboli gardens, and saw the Duomo. We went to Za Za for dinner, and me and Kat ordered the Florentine style tenderloin steak.


This last full week at my internship was also really special. I am so grateful to have worked at Simplifhy, and I have gained such valuable experience. On Monday, I again attended the weekly organizational meeting where they discussed their cash flow statements for the month. They discussed how much they should charge for their services, and they predicted the cash flows for the next few months based on various projects. On Tuesday, we went out to lunch as a group, and another friend of the business joined us. He was a company owner as well, and we discussed the lack of gender diversity in engineering, and how to best mitigate this gap. On Wednesday, Sergio had planned an Aperitivo as a thank you for the work I did for them. I was so surprised when they took me to Montevecchia, a beautiful town outside of Milan in the countryside. I didn’t know such a beautiful Tuscany-like town was so close to the city. We ate outside and enjoyed the view of the beautiful overlook. They got me flowers too which was really nice. To conclude the work week, Sergio and I met with an electrode supplier to see if they would be interested in supplying a part for the potential joint venture deal. The purpose of the meeting was to get more technical specifications on their part (an electrolyzer stack), so that I could better compare it with other options when choosing a supplier. They didn’t disclose this information, because in order to do so, they wanted more information from us that we were not prepared to share. They also discussed potentially signing an NDA in the future.


This week, while we did not meet in class, Ian, Brian, and I began working on our research paper and final presentation. I have always found the ambiguity of freedom of speech and conflicts surrounding the first amendment really interesting. I enjoyed looking at different cases where the first amendment comes into question. I also would like to note that I really have enjoyed reading the Wall Street Journal articles. Reading and sifting through these articles each week has inspired me to want to stay more updated with current events. It has also inspired me to want to talk more to my peers about political issues that are going on in our world. In the past, I have always been one to shy away from discussing potentially controversial topics/politically polarizing issues. Now, I feel more confident in forming, expressing, and defending my opinions. Thank you to professor Gupta for a wonderful six weeks, and for leading such thought provoking discussions.

Picture from the coldplay concert
Me and Ian ready to network at the IES event
My boss, Sergio, and other members o the Simplifhy team
Picture of my office from the last day at work

Sylvia Barbu’s Blog Post #6: Week Ending July 1, 2023

Unfortunately, we did not have class in person last week, we watched the movie “Erin Brockovich” instead. Great movie! We answered a few questions about the movie and compared it to “Civil Action”. We spent a majority of our time working on our final paper and presentation. My group and I will be presenting about Cancel Culture and how it affects us as a society today. We’ve already had a few groups present and they all did a wonderful job. Our presentation topics are so relevant and I’m glad we have the opportunity to learn more about them and discuss the problems they have created.

This week at my internship was a little slow. I revisited a previous task that I had been assigned and we did additional market research for the company. I found more potential competitors for our company in the Electric Vehicle market. I’ve noticed that business has been a little bit slow at the company and they aren’t taking on many new projects. I learned that this happens every year around this time because of the shut down in August. Essentially, many companies close down for a few weeks during the month of August to allow everybody to escape the heat. This is something very different than in the US, but I love the idea of it. After working in Italy for a few weeks, I’ve realized how different Italian and American cultures are. I’m so thankful I had this experience, and I will always remember it.

I cannot believe this was our last full week in Milan! It’s crazy to think back to six weeks ago when we were religiously using google maps to get around and aimlessly walking around to find shops and restaurants. Now, I feel like a local. The woman at Erbert knows my coffee order and was sad to hear we were all leaving this week. We will all miss her! Thankfully, we had a great last two weekends to end the trip. Last weekend a group of us took a train down to Santa Margherita and spent a relaxing weekend on the water, literally. We spent hours laying out on a dock in the middle of the ocean which was wonderful. The water was so blue, and the views were incredible. Then, we spent this past weekend in the Tuscan countryside. Twenty-two college students in one villa was quite the experience. I’m so grateful my peers know how to cook because I would not have survived on my own. It was great to spend our last weekend with everyone and the perfect end to our trip. We planned to have a reunion in 10 years, so I can’t wait to see everyone here again in 2030. You too Professor Gupta!

Bryan and me sharing a Florentine Steak

Lounging in the water in Rapollo

Kat and I made a cheese and meat board, so yummy!



Tiffany Chen’s Blog Post #6: Week ending 7/01/2023

This week we did not meet in person for class, but instead watched the film, Erin Brockovich, and worked on our final paper. The film followed a similar story that the previous films that we watched in class also revolved around. A large corporation contaminates an area with the byproduct of their production process and the locals are left to deal with the consequences. They face health complications and even death and yet these corporations are unwilling to admit to their wrongdoings. Hence the protagonist, in this case, Erin Brockovich, must step in and take the necessary actions to bring justice to the victims and their families. It was not easy and she faced numerous obstacles, but I was glad to see that the film ended with the successful conclusion of the trial. The victims were compensated accordingly and Erin herself is in a better situation than where she started.


At my internship this week, our boss began to push me and Lili to produce more content with a focus on the company’s voice. Moving forward from our previous content, she expected us to curate videos that would express the health benefits of her product, all the while maintaining the aesthetic look and feel of the videos. Based on this new feedback, we had to change our current method to ensure that each new video created got our desired message across in the most aesthetic way possible. This meant we had to get more creative with the videos and the captions. All in all, it was great to be challenged to be more creative and authentic with our content.


For our last weekend in Italy, the entire group rented a villa in Tuscany and just hung out. It was a really fun and relaxing time. I remember starting this program feeling so disconnected from the group and looking around now it is unbelievable what six weeks can do to bring people together. Coming into this trip, everyone came from their parts of campus and this was what made the entire experience feel so rich and mind-opening. Reflecting back, I feel very bittersweet at how time has flown by and how we will all soon depart and spend the rest of our summers in our own ways. This is an adventure that I will never forget and am so grateful to have been able to be a part of such a wonderful program with such wonderful people.

A friendly wild cat that hung around the villa!
Tuscany like a scene from a movie

Samuel Rosen Blog Post #6: Week Ending July 1st

Our last full week was incredible, having to leave still feels so far away.  22 of us spent the weekend in a Tuscan Villa with the most incredible views. My goal for the last weekend was always to do something with everyone and this weekend exceeded expectations. There were certainly some moments of stress – having to find a way to get everyone nourished and then back into the city on Sunday – but we took those moments in stride and enjoyed every Italian minute with each other. Days were spent by the pool, soaking in what little sun there was as we tossed around a frisbee and a football. Nights were spent chaotically cooking as Billy Joel’s Vienna could be heard behind the voices of all the new friends I had made. It was truly a weekend to remember. Sunday, we went into Florence where I was able to try some gelato that came highly recommended from my dad – it didn’t disappoint – and see the duomo! The train ride home was spent wrapping up our papers and presentations before the fast-approaching deadline.

            I went into Florence on Tuesday for my company’s investor day where our business angels gather to hear pitches of some startups we select. It was mostly in Italian, but I still enjoyed seeing the culmination of the work that everyone had put in over the last few months. We celebrated by going to Aperitivo the following night back in Milan, where we laughed and enjoyed each other’s company before many of them started their summer travels. I will have to say goodbye to the rest of the team on Wednesday before I head off to Rome on Thursday to work out of our office there. I figured it would be nice to see Rome and I was able to switch my flight over at no additional cost.

            As we submitted our papers and presentations, we were all reminded of the sad reality that we really had to leave. These six weeks went by so quickly and I truly feel that I’ve developed my critical thinking in class. We covered relevant topics, but more importantly it reignited that inner fire. There is just something so rewarding about making a strong argument in a debate and convincing someone to change their perspective. I am truly grateful for my peer’s participation in class and for the hard work that my group put into our final project.  I look forward to seeing everyone back on campus!


Beautiful view from our Tuscan Villa


Ian and I sharing a last drink at one of our favorite bars
My coworker Niccolo and I taking speaking at our investor day


Sara Menand’s Blog Post #6: Week Ending July 1, 2023

(1) Academic Course on Corporate Social Responsibility

This week, while we didn’t have in person class with Professor Gupta, we watched a movie outside of class called Erin Brocovich. It was a good segue from the Civil Action movie, and led to some interesting discussions during group meals we had throughout the week. With this, most of us also continued working on our final papers and projects. My group got together a couple of times for coffee to talk about our topic, the gender pay gap, and discuss our research. 

(2) Practicum in Milan with an Italian Company

This week I also was off of work for most of the week because my company was attending a conference in North Carolina. While they were away, I began the competitive analysis for a new product, GAITLAB, and learned as much as I could about possible competitors. I found that BTS Bioengineering was fairly unique in the way they set up the entire GAITLAB system rather than selling separate devices as some of their competitors did. On Monday July 3 I have my last day at work, which is both sad and exciting because I will miss my company but I am also excited to share my experiences with my friends and family at home!

(3) Social and Cultural Immersion through Travels in Italy and Europe

Last Monday, I attended the Coldplay concert with Maddy at San Siro stadium. It was amazing to be able to see the stadium and everyone in attendance while also getting to watch one of my favorite bands perform. Maddy and I had an amazing time, and it was a great last night as a teenager!

On Tuesday, I had my 20th birthday! Following the Coldplay concert, Maddy and I were on the tram home when the clock hit midnight and I started getting birthday wishes from the Lehigh in Milan students. Later on Tuesday, we had our networking event with IES which was a great experience to learn more about other work cultures within Milan. A group of the Lehigh students then went to one of our favorite restaurants afterwards and they surprised me with a birthday dessert.

Throughout the week, the whole Lehigh in Milan group was also planning a Tuscany trip for the weekend. By Friday, we were all ready to go and took a train to Florence before grabbing taxis to our villa we rented from Airbnb. The weekend was filled with lots of swimming, wine tasting, and family cooking, and I would not have traded the experience for the world. I am so incredibly grateful to have met an amazing group of my peers these past 6 weeks and this weekend was the best way to cap it off. 

As the program comes to a close, I want to thank Professor Gupta for everything he has done for us throughout the summer and for being an amazing professor during our time in Milan. I also want to thank all the other students who made this experience so unique and special, and I can’t wait for Bistro night when we get back to Bethlehem! (August 31st at 7:30, everyone mark your calendars)

At the Coldplay concert at San Siro with Maddy

Jon cooking “family dinner”

Hanging out on the patio
Lounging by the pool in the Villa
Exploring Florence on Sunday with Maddy, Ian, and Mason

Jonathan Osika’s Blog Post #6: Week ending 7/01/2023

Jonathan Osika

As we get closer and closer to the end of our stay here in Milan, I am reminded of the many great memories I’ve formed here through travel. This week we had our final weekend trip of the term in Florence. 22 of our group of 25 spent the weekend in a villa just outside of Florence as our last hurrah before heading home. Being in the remote hills of Tuscany together had both relaxing and exhilarating moments. I was happy to cook a few meals for the group which was a good way to feel productive in the midst of such a relaxing weekend. My favorite component was surely the fact that we everyone was so clearly having a great time. A lot of planning and collaboration went into our travel so ending it with a bang felt very fitting.


During our classes this week, we were given lots of work to be done outside of class with less in-person classes. On Monday, we were tasked with watching the movie “Erin Brockovich” followed by a sheet of questions about the movie. I found the movie very interesting and especially captivating since it was based on a true story. Movies like that make you wonder how accurate the Hollywood version is to the real events. Wednesday’s class time was meant to be spent working on our final papers. Sam Rosen, Neave Murray, and I have been working on a research paper regarding big pharma price gouging for life saving drugs. In just a few days we will be presenting on our topic to the rest of class, so the three of us will be preparing diligently.


At work this week Dane and I continued our work on our new project, reviewing customer comments for Tempocasa as well as their closest competitors in Italy. From what we can tell, customers appear to love Tempocasa much more than their alternatives! Not only does Tempocasa have more reviews than their competitors, they have staggeringly higher rankings. Dane and I will be concisely compiling this information for our bosses for next week. In other news at work, one of our coworkers, Jessica, decided to resign last week. After speaking with her and the rest of the office about it, it appears to be better for everyone and Jessica is very excited to move on. I hadn’t talked with her much during the time she was there, but she was always very nice and Dane and I wished her all the best!


Delicious chicken I made for dinner on Saturday!
Me putting Jimmy in his place in a chicken fight
Me holding the cat that lived on the property! She was very nice!

Mason Burger’s Blog Post #6: Week ending 7/01/2023

This past week we did not have any in person class and instead were assigned to watch the film Erin Brockovich. The film is similar to themes that we have explored in class throughout the summer as it explores a large companies negligence that led to widespread health issues in the surrounding community. The film followed the protagonist as she struggled to gather information and evidence against the company, PG&E. This film did have a more satisfactory conclusion than A Civil Action in my opinion, as the lawyers were able to win the case and bring the affected families some satisfaction. Wednesday’s class was dedicated to working on our final papers and presentations. Although we haven’t presented them yet, I am very confident in my groups work and I look forward to showing the class.


At my internship this week Le Yang and I have been working with our supervisor Arianna to get a full account of the firm’s financial flows. As a non-profit, they do not have much money coming in other than the small amounts they generate from tours of the gallery and donations. Because of this, they have asked Le and I to try to find ways to minimize costs for them. They are also not very financially experienced and have requested that Le and I build them an excel sheet template for their budget. At the networking event, Arianna came and we got to speak a lot with her about her future plans and other work that she does in the industry. It was a really lovely experience and I will miss spending time at the office.


This past week many of the students from around the world living in Aparto with us left for the summer and on their last few days I was lucky enough to be able to spend some time with them. On Thursday we celebrated Sara’s birthday at a local cuban restaurant which was an absolutely lovely evening. Then over the weekend we traveled to a beautiful villa in the hills of Tuscany. It was an absolutely amazing experience and a wonderful way to end the trip. I am really going to miss these people and I am so thankful that I got to spend this time with such a great group of friends. We all got to then spend Sunday exploring Florence and having a great dinner together. What a great great time.

The sunset from the balcony at the villa
Ian and I at the Duomo in Florence
The very cute little cat who lived at the villa