Ama la Vita



My name is Aubrey O’Leary and I am now a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh. Currently, I am pursuing degrees in both PittBusiness and the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences – majoring in accounting, finance, and politics & philosophy. Professionally, I work as a Pathfinder on campus, giving various tours to prospective students and their families, but long-term I hope to found a nonprofit organization. And, personally, I can sum myself up the same way that I did when I had to introduce myself in my Plus3 Vietnam blog posts this past May – I love absolutely everyone and everything. After venturing outside of the US for the first time during the Plus3 program, too, I can add every place (at least the few that I have encountered) to that list, as well.

Because I have such a love for everything I have been able to see and experience, I am motivated to see and experience all that I can, so that I can have that much more to love (a sappy mouthful).

So, in part because of this, I will be studying abroad this coming spring semester through the Global Business Institute: Florence program. I have chosen this program, specifically, for several reasons. The first being that, if I encountered the dramatic extent of personal, academic, and professional growth in just two short weeks abroad before, I look forward to the opportunity for growth that an entire semester will offer. Second, I was drawn to the prospect of an international business internship. Now more than ever, the climate for any successful business is inescapably global. To gain experience in the workplace while in Italy will not only allow for me to immerse myself more completely in the culture, but it will provide me will invaluable knowledge and skills that can be employed in the future of my career. And, lastly, I was excited to see the diverse options for politics courses, in addition to business courses, that GBI: Florence offers, so that I can make progress in both of my degrees while abroad.

On the whole, academically, I hope to gain a more interactive and diverse learning experience through both studying and practicing business and the Italian language. Professionally, I hope to thoroughly develope and practice numerous transferrable skills that I can apply to later jobs, and to determine whether or not I hope to further pursue a career in international business. And, personally, I hope to (again) find more places, foods, subjects, hobbies, and especially people, to love. No matter what I end up truly gaining in comparison to what I hope for and expect, I will be so grateful for it, and aim to approach every obstacle, chance, and moment with an open and appreciative mind. Because, as author and philosopher Alan de Botton wrote, “The pleasure we derive from journeys is perhaps more dependent on the mindset with which we travel than on the destination we travel to.”