I’d like to begin this journey by introducing myself. My name is Mark Pavic and I am a current senior studying marketing and supply chain management at Pitt. Originally being from Johnstown, Pennsylvania, I find Pittsburgh (Pitt, in particular) to really be the best of both worlds when it comes to being both a city and a home. It has the excitement and opportunity that any great city should while also being home to some of the most genuine and caring individuals I have ever met. I found that in Pittsburgh, and now I hope to find it in South Africa as well—but we’ll get to that later.
When I’m not taking pictures of Cathy, acting as a self-proclaimed brand ambassador for Dunkin Donuts, or playing soccer or volleyball on Upper Campus, you could really find me anywhere throughout the city as I consider myself very active both on and off campus. On campus, I have worked as a Pitt Pathfinder (student tour guide) since my first semester freshman year. Having the opportunity to show students and families around the campus that I fell in love with three years ago is something that I will never get tired of. I am also a member of Phi Sigma Pi National Honors Fraternity, where I am given the opportunity to stay active with community service around the city while also building relationships with some of the best people on campus. Lastly, I am lucky enough to have an internship with Duolingo, a company built on the foundation of free and accessible education—something that I care deeply about.
This is why it is no accident that I chose South Africa has my destination to study abroad in. I truly believe that when applied correctly, nearly all aspects of my field (business) can be implemented to appropriately create a greater net value upon society in all areas. South Africa in particular may showcase this idea better than most places in the world. It is a country plagued by the effects of systemic racism, but also finds itself to have strong ties to business. Where can business be used to effectively correct the faults in our global society? How can resources deserved by all, such as education, freedom, and equal opportunity be more accessible to less privileged populations through the practice of business? These are the questions I’d like to explore while there. This is why I believe studying abroad in South Africa would greatly benefit me and my future endeavors as a global citizen and businessman. I hope for it to be my next step in my continued goal to submerse myself in opportunities that provide me a greater understanding of societal issues, important history, and inspiration to find ways to always help and serve as an ally to those around me—AND have a lot of fun along the way.