I’ve been back in America for almost a week now and as I share stories with my family and friends on my experiences whilst in London, I can confirm that this study abroad opportunity was very beneficial to me. I grew not only in terms of academics, but also professionally and personally.
Initially I was scared to go abroad, mostly because I did not know anyone going into the program. I tend to be an introvert sometimes, so going to London was definitely stepping outside of my comfort zone. Once I got there I was challenged to stretch my boundaries on multiple occasions. For example, making new friends and working abroad pushed my abilities and skills to help me grow as a person and an intern. At work I was given tasks without much instruction which initially scared me because I did not want to mess anything up, but this helped me develop my skills and learn more through the ambiguity. I was able to learn from the mistakes I made and help find efficient ways to do things through trial and error that helped the company. In the beginning, I was checking my work constantly to make sure I didn’t make any mistakes, but throughout my time at my internship I was able to gain the confidence in my abilities and the work I was doing, which will carry on in my future internships. The most rewarding part of my internship was seeing the work I was doing, being used by the company and really making a positive impact.
In terms of academics, I learned a great deal through the accounting class I was taking. As a recent transfer to the business school, I did not have much knowledge about accounting topics or the accounting field. Through this class I was able to go into topics like tax and the conceptual framework, two topics in which I had little to no knowledge in prior to coming to the program. I also had the opportunity to visit different accounting firms like PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst and Young. These site visits were especially helpful because they gave me a little snip-it of what it would be like to work in such a big firm, as one of my career aspirations is to work at a Big Four firm.
My internship and class experiences have helped me develop as a student and professional. I will bring the skills and knowledge that I gained in the past six weeks to the rest of the years I have in Pitt Business. The skills that I gained will help improve my networking when talking to recruiters and I will also take what I learned from working at my internship into my future jobs.
The study abroad program helped me grow as a person, something I am very grateful for, and pushed me outside of my comfort zone. With all this in mind, I definitely do miss London and the people I met so I will undeniably be visiting again!