Hello! My name is James LoVallo and I am a finance major at the University of Pittsburgh. I am from Buffalo, New York and will be going into my junior year when I arrive in Sydney, Australia for the fall semester. I will be taking international economics, international marketing, international finance, and will be working over 20 hours a week as an intern at Andiron Group. This will be my first time being a full-time student and working a part-time job at the same time. This blog is going to be where I reflect on these experiences to come, I hope you enjoy and more importantly consider going abroad yourself after reading.
So why Australia? Why not somewhere closer? Or maybe why go somewhere with so many deadly species? Well I’ll tell you. The first reason why I wanted to go to Sydney instead of any other program was the excellent reviews from my friends. They posted so many things about it and wouldn’t stop raving of how amazing it was. So naturally I had to see for myself about all the hype. Another reason was two of my best friends at Pitt wanted to go abroad as well and were considering GBI: Sydney as one of their top choices. Another aspect of my decision was the fact that they actually speak english here, and wouldn’t be confused out of my mind trying to google translate 24/7. The weather, the beaches, the wild life, the city…I knew I had to do this. (Also the drinking age is 18 here, sorry mom!)
I will be working at Andiron Group, a communications company that consults and helps businesses grow, specifically dealing with startups. The founder of Andiron will be mentoring me on the multiple businesses he consults and the variety of culture differences here in Australia. I’m excited to learn what is done different here and transfer my knowledge of both workplaces into a more efficient mix of the two.
I have never traveled so far in my life, and the 22 hour plane ride will definitely take the cake on this one. So excited to travel with my best friends and new mates that I will meet here. I already know this is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. Everyday will be an adventure and I’m excited to share all my experiences here on my blog. Kangaroos here I come!