Dreaming of Ecuadorian Chocolate

Hi all! My name is Katie Gerdenich and I am a junior and the University of Pittsburgh. I am originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan which is about 4.5 hours northwest of Pittsburgh, but was eager to adventure out and explore a new area when going to college. At Pitt I have had the opportunity to really expand my knowledge of the business world as I pursue majors in Marketing and Human Resources Management and a minor in Sociology. I am also on track to graduate with a certificate in Sports Management, although the program doesn’t officially open to Pitt Business students until next fall.

On campus I am very involved in the sports scene as I serve as the President of the Sports Business Association and also intern in the Pitt Athletic Department as a Marketing Intern. I plan on pursing a career in the sports industry – ideally in the Marketing and Events Planning area – and have tailored my professional experiences accordingly. In addition to Pitt Athletics I have also held internships with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Detroit Lions in the Human Resource and Marketing fields. These experiences have provided me with a lot of amazing opportunities and hands on training in a marketing role but have lacked the global perspective I’ve always dreamt of obtaining in college. Long-term I hope to find a job in the sports industry that gives me the ability to travel and explore new cultures, and it is my hope that this program will help prepare me for that future.

Outside the sports world, I also serve as a Pitt Business Ambassador for the Business School and an was previously the Executive Vice President of Women in Business. Because I am so busy on campus, I figured out pretty early on that I wouldn’t be able to work a full semester study abroad into my schedule as I had originally planned. I started looking for alternative opportunities to fulfill this desire and discovered the International Marketing in Ecuador spring break trip. This trip looked like the perfect balance between my academic and personal interests while meeting my unfortunate schedule constraints. As a marketing student with a global interest (and an unhealthy obsession with chocolate) I just knew this trip was something I could not pass up on.

Although I have had the opportunity to travel to Europe and have explored the continental US extensively, I have yet to make it South of our boarders and was eager to grasp the chance to do so. In my mind the itinerary for this trip is the perfect balance of education and fun as we get to explore the unique culture of Ecuador while learning about an industry that is such a major component to the growth and development of this society. I am eager to get on the ground and start exploring all that the country has to offer (and hopefully taste some amazing chocolate along the way)!