Preparing for Ecuador

Hi everyone,

My name is Monica Patura and I’m a junior at the University of Pittsburgh. I’m majoring in Finance and Marketing, minoring in Statistics and Economics, and getting a Certificate in International Business. The University has given me the opportunity to study abroad once before in Sydney, Australia. The experience was so rewarding that I knew I had to look for more chances to see the world before graduating.  

My first time abroad, I had the chance to take part in a marketing internship. For twenty hours of every week I partook in round-table discussions, competitor analysis, market research, and social media upkeep. On top of an internship, I was also enrolled in 12 credits. The period led to growth that I did not expect. I have found that challenging myself culturally, is one of the most eye-opening and seasoned approaches to personal development. 

Upon looking at a variety of programs, I found the International Marketing in Ecuador program. Not only is the trip filled with nature, culture, and education, but it allows me to make it to another continent where I can keep expanding on my country-by-country analysis.

At Pitt, I have taken on the role of Vice President for the Enactus orgaization, which focuses on entrepreneurial efforts and venture capitalism. My time in the club has given me the chance to plan events, familiarize myself with local start-ups, and interact with a variety of students. I am also employed by the University’s career office and market research lab. My career office duties range from the reviewing of resumes and cover letters to providing mock interviews for students. The marketing lab on the other hand, provides me with the chance to see the back-end of experiments through the moderation of labs.

The Ecuador program interested me particularly because of the itinerary. No two days are the same. Activities range from hiking in the cloud forest to soaking in natural springs. We also have lectures sprinkled throughout the trip, which gives a higher depth to the experience. The food options and lodging were my final decision makers. The lodge at which we are staying is located within the Amazon rain forest, where food is custom made daily. Meals will range from Ecuadorian cuisine to takes on American cuisine which will allow for direct comparison. Overall, I could not be more excited to start this next adventure.