Preparing for the New Adventure

Hello! My name is Natsumi Okamoto from Japan. I am majoring in finance and am currently a rising senior.

Since I came to Pitt, studying abroad has always been a desire of mine. Being a student-athlete made it difficult to arrange the schedule and I never thought that I will actually be able to have time to study abroad. It is a big commitment to study abroad and almost all people who did studying abroad say that is the most valuable experience they could have as a college student. I am breathed to have the opportunity to study in London this summer and at the same time do an internship.

I chose the program, Pitt in London Summer 2 because London, the capital city of United Kingdom, is a perfect fit for work and study. This city is known as the world’s leading financial center and the headquarters for many of the business. The program was also one of the few that did not conflict with my tennis training schedule at Pitt.

While I am not scared about traveling to London or be far away from my family and friends, I am more nervous about my first-time internship and a class, “Analyzing and Exploring the Global City – London.” It is hard to have expectations for my professional experience because I never did an internship or worked for any position. However, as becoming a senior student from September, this experience will be important to set my future professional goals and learn from other professionals. I am excited to work with professionals and learn the basic business etiquette and unique rules in the company. Even though I am majoring in finance, I am open to any field of business. The reason I chose to request to work for a Public Relation position is that it will allow me to see a big picture of communication skills required in the real business settings.

One of the goals I have set for this trip is to have the flexible mindset for anything that will happen. It is easy to say but hard to actually be less judgmental when living in a new place. I am aware that every experience that I encounter will be new and often be challenging. However, I embrace those difficulties so that I can learn from it and grow as a person. I also have to keep an open mind in order to expand connections with professionals and make new friends from school and work. Even though I will come back to the US after 6 weeks, making connections is more important than anything in business and in life.

After leaving my home country, Japan, I lived in Spain for 3 years. I believe that living far away from my family and learning new language already prepared me for this study abroad. On the other hand, I never visited England. I would like to eat food from England, watch Wimbledon (I am a tennis player so I cannot miss this event), and explore the city.

Overall, I am excited and cannot wait to be in London from July. I will give the best in everything I do to make the experience unforgettable and valuable.


Natsumi Okamoto