Before Going to Bolivia

Hello everyone! My name is Susmita Ghose and here is a quick introduction to who I am before I go to Bolivia next month.

I am currently a junior double majoring in Finance and Marketing at the College of Business Administration at the University of Pittsburgh.  I am originally from Bridgewater, New Jersey which is about six hours away from Pitt. Bridgewater is located in central Jersey and is an hour away from New York by train and about an hour away from Philadelphia. I was blessed to be brought up in such a prime location which exposed me to a lot of different experiences. My town was very suburban, but there were also fun things to do. Jersey is big on diners so I enjoyed going there with friends or hanging out at the mall. I also enjoyed being outdoors and hiking which is very accessible in Jersey. 

In high school, I maintained a good balance of academics and extra-curriculars.  I was in the orchestra since the 6th grade playing viola and I stuck with it all throughout high school. I studied French for 5 years as well. I was also part of the film club, where I held a leadership position to run meetings. Besides that I was also a member of National Honor Society, and volunteered at the senior home near my house.  When it came time to applying to colleges I applied to a lot of New Jersey schools such as Rutgers, and NJIT. Majority of my high school attends Rutgers since it is 20 minutes away from my town.  However, one day I was emailed by Pitt to check them out and apply. I had never even heard of this school before and did not know much about Pittsburgh either. After seeing this email I looked through Pitt’s website and different programs that they had to offer. I really felt like this was my opportunity to get out of New Jersey and experience something new and step outside my comfort zone. 

Applying to college, I did not know exactly what profession I wanted to go into. I ruled out my weaker subjects and knew that I did not want to go through an extensive amount of schooling. I think I am more of a hands on learner; I would rather be learning while doing the task than sitting in lecture or memorizing textbooks. I chose finance because I knew it was a stable job market to go into. I also enjoy math and wanted to help people with financial literacy skills. The realm of finance is something that many do not understand but I believe it is important since it is used in daily applications. I also wanted flexibility after graduation to explore different career paths.  I came to Pitt with the intention of studying finance but as I started taking more classes I wanted to add on marketing as well. I enjoy my marketing classes because of the psychological aspect of it and its modification through time and progressing technology. It is a very relevant field to know about and is useful in many careers as well. 

Apart from academics, I am involved in different organizations on campus. I am a brother of Delta Sigma Pi, a professional business fraternity of 80 brothers in the Lambda chapter. I pledged my second semester of my sophomore year and quickly found myself having a big network of friends. Last semester I held a leadership role as webmaster where I was responsible for updating our chapter website and adding photos and information about events. I am also a volunteer with F.O.R.G.E. (Facilitating Opportunities for Refugee Growth and Empowerment), an organization here at Pitt that teams up with non profit groups in Pittsburgh that aids in the resettlement of refugee families here in Pittsburgh. I started volunteering with this organization my sophomore year and have also made close friends through it. My team and I have been helping a family of six from a refugee camp in the Congo and it has been the most humbling and rewarding experience. We visit them every Saturday and assist with practicing English, teaching basic financial literacy skills, and other household tasks. My team and I lead a successful donation drive here on Pitt’s campus last winter for canned goods and winter clothing for the family. I am grateful for everything that they have taught me and their kindness and generosity is something to be learned from. Besides this, I have recently joined WPTS, Pitt’s radio station as part of the music staff. I help review new underground albums and write reviews. I have always been into music ever since I was young and listen to a plethora of different artists. I have also been working at the Robert Henderson Language Media Center since my freshman year of college. It is located on the ground floor of the Cathedral and is used by foreign language instructors to bring in their class to use video and language learning software as well to watch foreign films. However, students can also use the computer labs. Over the years I have been promoted from Media Assistant to Media Consultant. I gained a lot of technical skills and I get to work with fun people!

I am super excited about the service learning trip I am participating in with Pitt Business and Phi Beta Lambda. My team and I are partnering with Amizade to help CEOLI in Bolivia to increase their revenues by helping them sell beautiful hand painted cards made my disabled low income children and adults in Cochabamba.  I am learning many things from my service learning class about work in consulting and also the benefits of service learning programs. I am excited to see how my classes in Pitt Business help me deliver a real consulting project in Bolivia. I am looking forward to learning and shaping myself as a business professional with the skills I am learning in the service learning class. I know that the impact we make will be something Pitt Business will be proud of.