Italy is Calling

Ciao!  My name is Abby Markey and I am a junior at the University of Pittsburgh, and I will be studying abroad in Florence, Italy.  I am from Colonia, New Jersey, which is in the central area of the state (yes, it’s a thing.) It is about a 40 minute drive to the beach and a 40 minute train ride to New York City.  I’ve always loved the Big Apple, but going to school in Pittsburgh is giving it a run for its money. I love exploring different sections of Pittsburgh and going to coffee shops throughout the city.  For fun on campus, I play intramural volleyball and do yoga at the Stress Free Zone in the William Pitt Union. Some of my other interests include movies, music, online shopping, animals, food and traveling.

In terms of academics, I decided to study accounting mainly because of my knack for math, but I quickly discovered that accounting is much more than math.  However, once I started taking business classes I knew that it was right for me. Now I am majoring in Accounting and minoring in Legal Studies. I am involved in the University of Pittsburgh Accounting Association, for which I am the VP of Community Outreach.  I coordinate community service events for the club, which are a great break from our usual business meetings. It is an extremely rewarding position because I can see how the events that I plan benefit the community as well as club members. Professionally, I have many goals.  I believe that my wide variety of past jobs has provided me with skills that I will use to accomplish future goals. In high school I worked at Bed Bath and Beyond during the school year, where I folded so many towels I could have done it in my sleep. During the summers I lifeguarded at local pools, where I built friendships that I still have to this day.  After I started college I decided to try some different jobs, so I began driving the beverage cart at a golf course during the day and waitressing at a local family-owned restaurant at night. My ultimate career goal is to become a CPA and work for one of the big four accounting firms in New York City, where I hope to have a career that is both challenging and rewarding.

I decided to study abroad in Florence, Italy because I took Italian classes in high school, which piqued my interest.  I believe Florence is in a great location that will allow me to travel and see beautiful, unique places. Italy itself is such a historic and artistic country and I know that I will be surrounded by culture that is completely different than in the U.S.  While abroad I hope to gain a deeper understanding of other cultures, create new friendships, and succeed in my classes. I am excited about my internship because I can learn new skills through hands-on experience and network with professionals around the world.  Studying abroad will make me more independent, as I learn to navigate a new city with a different language and different currency. This is an opportunity that is out of my comfort zone, which would force me to grow in my personal and academic life. Learning how to be comfortable in situations that are outside of my comfort zone is a skill that I would like to master.  Stay tuned to hear more about my adventures abroad!