Ciao! My name is Oriana Garcia and I am currently a junior studying Marketing with a certificate in Digital Media to tie in my artistic side with business strategies. I was born in Arlington, Texas, but after a couple of moves, my family settled “just outside of Philadelphia”. Both of my parents are from South America: my mother was born in Lima, Peru and my father was born in Bogota, Colombia. Along with my two older brothers, we are first-generation Americans. Due to my background, I know the importance of understanding other cultures, and have an affinity for exploring them further- hence, my need to study abroad.
The University of Pittsburgh is known for offering endless opportunities for growth in every aspect, and with each passing day I appreciate it more. At Pitt, I am a member of Chi Omega Fraternity, where I not only am a part of a wonderful support system but I also give back to the community through volunteer work. Over the past year I applied my marketing knowledge and my developing skills in graphic design, to my internship with the City of Pittsburgh where I translated policy terminology into more relatable and approachable language for residents, students, and business owners throughout the city. Off campus, I work as a stylist at a locally-owned boutique where I have gained experience in retail and have learned a lot about entrepreneurship and digital marketing (main areas that I hope to apply to my career in the future). This Spring, I will be studying abroad through Pitt’s Global Business Institute in Florence, Italy.
So, why Florence?
Well, as you might have picked up, I’m a big fan of art, and what better place to explore and develop my skill than in the birthplace of the Renaissance! The GBI Program allows me to seamlessly fulfill Marketing course requirements, like International Marketing, as well as advance me towards completing my Digital Media certificate by taking foundational art classes. Having the opportunity to not only continue my education through Pitt, but also to learn and practice art in Florence is a dream come true. With my Spanish background, I have found it easy to pick up Italian phrases in the past, so during my time abroad, I look forward to studying the language formally. Having the comfort of language with the excitement of experiencing a whole new culture, my choice to study in Florence feels like the perfect balance to me.
Studying and living abroad is a valued experience by many. On a personal level, I have always dreamt of starting a life in a totally new country, thus my time abroad will give me a taste of what that’s like. I believe my time abroad will also get me closer to my ultimate goal of owning a store in which I will sell fair-trade goods handcrafted all over the world, so travelling abroad will be essential to my findings, and the experiences I will gain through the GBI program will be the beginnings of a life-long journey.