My name is Dexter Lee. I am a student at the University of Pittsburgh, and I will be studying abroad in Shanghai, China. My area of study is within business with a focus on Supply Chain Management and Business Information Systems. I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, and I currently reside in O’Hara Township. I attended high school at Fox Chapel, and while there I was very active in athletics: Specifically football, basketball, and track and field. I graduated from Fox Chapel in 2011. After high school I took two years away from college, and worked jobs in retail, restaurants, sales, etc. After taking my hiatus from school, I decided that it was time to go back, and enrolled into the Community College of Allegheny in 2013.
My reasoning initially to go to CCAC was purely because of cost, although throughout my time there I met and learned from some great professors, along with making great friends who I still keep in touch with. After completing the necessary required classes I transferred to the University of Pittsburgh in the fall of 2016. This transition was very tough at first because of the difference in academic intensity. Although with each successive semester I steadily improved, and I finished my last two semesters making the dean’s list, which was a huge goal that I set for myself. On the 28th of April I walked at Pitt’s annual graduation commencement, but I am still technically not graduated until I complete my last core class in Shanghai. After studying abroad my goal is find a job in the consulting field. I really enjoy process improvement, and I would love to conduct Six Sigma projects in the early stages of my career. Also through my conversations with professors who have worked for consulting firms, they say that it is a good way to filter through and find a company to settle down with, while giving you a jump start to a management role. My ultimate professional goal would be to make it to an executive position within a company.
To drill down on the program that I will be undergoing is GBI (Global Business Institute) Shanghai. While in Shanghai I will be taking a Supply Chain Management class called: Managing Global Supply Chains, along with the class I will be also conducting a full-time internship. This experience will help me significantly but due to two reasons mentioned previously, the education & internship provided, and the overall experience of living in another country. First off studying abroad was always interesting to me mainly because a good friend of mine shared his experience studying in another country. I was immediately interested in sharing this experience. I was mostly interested in the concept of living, and experiencing another country’s culture. I believe that there is much to gain from simply just living an extended period time in a different country, let alone studying, and conducting a full-time internship.
This brings me to the first of my two main points. As a business student studying Supply Chain Management, Shanghai is one of the biggest hubs for distribution & manufacturing in the entire world, and has recorded double-digit growth almost every year since the 2008 recession. Having the opportunity to take a supply chain related class in a country that is an expert within the field is very fortuitous. More importantly being able to conduct a full-time internship not only gives me academic experience, but more importantly I can tie-in the information I will be learning, along with what I have already learned, and apply it to the internship. Since I am a senior, and will have taken all my necessary supply chain classes, I will have the skills necessary to be as successful as possible. Being able to also network within the University, along with the company I will be interning with can open up international opportunities for employment in the future.
The experience of living in a different country for two months will teach important life lessons. Most importantly it will teach me to learn how to navigate through an unfamiliar territory. This will also teach me organization & discipline to abide by a routine. Because I will be working full-time, and taking a class, creating a schedule to manage my time efficiently will be necessary in order to be successful. Although I will be dealing with an English speaking class, and internship, the language will still be hurdle when traveling, and will also be a good learning experience. These experiences will not only make me successful in Shanghai, but will be valuable experiences when going into the workforce, or moving to another state/country.
To conclude, my time here at Pitt has been difficult, but I have learned a significant amount not only academically, but also in life. I have learned skills in the classroom, but also how to deal with failures, managing my time, and perseverance. This experience will help enhance these traits, and make me a stronger student & person.
Have a good day!