Hello! My name is Maria Ali, I am currently a junior studying marketing at the University of Pittsburgh. I am also looking forward to the amazing opportunity of studying abroad next semester in Linkoping, Sweden!
A Little About Me
At the university I find myself quite involved on campus. Within the business school I am membership chair of the Roberto Clemete Minority Business Association as well as the Special Events Committee Head in the Society of International Business. Outside of the business school I am President of Keep It Real, a student led volunteer organization that tutors Somali Bantu refugees in the greater Pittsburgh area as well as a tour guide in Quo Vadis, the group that runs tours of the Nationality Rooms in the Cathedral of Learning.
As you can see by my club choices, I like to keep a diverse set of interests. In my free time I love to bake/cook and I enjoy learning languages. Natively, I can speak English, Urdu, and Hindi. I also studied French for about 5 years and took three semesters of Arabic. I am very involved in sustainability efforts and volunteered for a sustainability geared startup in Pittsburgh this past semester called Co-OP (Connecting Ordinary People). In the past I have also held internships at PNC and Responsival (a web design start-up). I am currently a Marketing major, but I have also explored the realms of human resources and entrepreneurship in my years at the university.
My Study Abroad Program
During spring semester 2019 I have chosen to spend my time studying at Linkoping University in Linkoping, Sweden. The specific program I am going on is an exchange, which is exactly what I wanted to do. In researching different study abroad opportunities I found that an exchange would be the most immersive program, and therefore provide me with the most valuable experience. So why Sweden?
As I mentioned above sustainability is a strong passion of mine, especially went relating to business. I wanted to go somewhere where I could learn more about it and experience it in a country that had a different culture around climate change than I would be able to find in the US. Time and time again Sweden is ranked to be one of the most sustainable countries on the planet and it is also home to companies where this is a main focus in the business plan such as H&M. As a business student it will be quite interesting to see how professionals and businesses behave towards these issues in their work. It will also be fascinating, in a more general sense, to see how business practices differ in Sweden and compare them to American business practices.
Also mentioned above was my love for learning languages. After 6 months I hope to come back with some knowledge of the Swedish language. Being immersed in a culture is the number one way to learn any language in my opinion so I am excited for this opportunity.
As the time gets closer to my departure date, I am getting more and more excited for my new life. This is something so unique in my life that I have never done before and may never have a chance to do afterwards. I want to make the most out of each and every day and can only wait in anticipation until it’s time.