4 weeks later, we finally finished the woodcock global honors program with a visit to Microsoft and then final presentations. I am in disbelief that it has been a month since I met 10 amazing people in room 104 of Panther Hall. Throughout our time, we experienced our first college class together, first dorm experience, international flights, college paper and presentations, and of course, experienced Ireland together. This month was filled with new experiences for me which pushed me to get out of my comfort zone.
Pittsburgh portion of the program was very academic focused with many company visits and guest speakers. Every day was packed; however, I was able to grow as a student because we were able to see the material and concepts we learned in the classroom actually happening in the real world. I also learned to be responsible for myself even more than in high school. My parents weren’t there to remind me to do my homework, eat healthy, sleep, do laundry, etc. Balancing all the fun, homework, and sleep was difficult on some days but along the way, I somewhat learned self-control and awareness but I know that I still need to work on that.
Presenting throughout the program was something that I do not necessarily like doing. With the 3 presentations, even if I didn’t get the grade I wanted, I learned to always prepare and know the material inside out. Writing a script helped me get a general gist of what I needed to say, but knowing it truly and with more practice, I learned that is securing even if you go off the script. I very much still need work on my presentation skills but I am very glad I got to have this experience before college actually started.
Company visits in both Pittsburgh and Dublin were such unique experiences that I would have never imagined myself doing before college started. Especially visiting the Big Four firms, Google, Airbnb, and other big-name companies were very special and exciting. I also liked the diversity in the companies we visited. We were able to see a local social enterprise business in Homewood, a newspaper company in Dublin, and again, Big Four firms. The concepts we learned in class applied to each of the environments of the firms even if they were very different.
Ireland was a fantastic experience. I have always enjoyed traveling but have never done a study abroad before. Integrating traveling and academics was amazing because I got to learn so much more than just the surface of the culture and the country I would see in a vacation. I loved the cultural experiences like the sheep herding and watching the Gaelic football game. I also enjoyed taking the day excursions to the beautiful natural sceneries and towns other than the busy Dublin. Even outside the city, it was really cool to see how the tourism industry affected all of these spots.
Throughout the four weeks, I made such great memories with now my first college friends. We did have ups and downs, but at the end of the day, we were all tolerant of each other and laughed it off. This month has made this summer absolutely unique. The main reason why I chose Pitt was because of the study abroad opportunities. After experiencing this, I am so glad I hail to Pitt and excited for what is to come the next four years. Cheers!