Thucydides’ Freedom

I’m Siena Romano, a junior at Pitt majoring in Accounting and Business Information Systems and pursuing a certificate in Business Analytics, who soon will enjoy the rare freedom to dive into a new culture on the Islands of Greece.   

Throughout my studies, I have prepared well to enter the business world with a solid footing.  I’ve been an active member of Alpha Kappa Psi, a business fraternity on campus, and have completed various jobs and internships that have helped me broaden my abilities and identify future career interests.

For example, I gained leadership experiences working as a bailiff for a municipal court in my home town (Cleveland) where I became very engaged in my community, determining the needs of the different municipalities and helping others get through difficult court situations.  It was a true balancing act working between defendants and judges, and I learned how to manage people confidently.

I also interned at PwC.  This was a great experience for career preparation as I am planning on joining a Big Four public accounting firm after graduation.  The internship gave me a fuller picture of the atmosphere in a large accounting firm and helped me envision how I could excel in this environment in the future.  However, this internship also taught me that I am not interested in tax accounting and that I would like to have a more engaged and communicative relationship with clients. After my study abroad in May, I will be interning with KPMG’s advisory department and will have improved opportunities to sharpen my interpersonal and communication skills.  Further, this internship will utilize my Business Information Systems major as I will be completing internal audit tests on client systems. 

Further, I’m currently a Resident Assistant for the Bruce Hall Living Learning Community.  The RA position has introduced me to a new side of Pitt, working internally with Residence Life.  It has been enjoyable to impact new students’ lives and further develop my interpersonal and leadership skills. 

Soon, though, after so many semesters spent in classrooms and in workplaces, I will embark for Greece, be forced out of my comfort zone, and will have the precious chance to follow my interests fully and dive into a new culture. The Pitt in Greece Panther Program offers the chance to be highly mobile and take interesting classes.  I will travel to 5 influential cities, fulfilling my desire to explore more widely. Further, through the course the Sociology of Sports I can feed my interest in sports in a region that started sports games and nurtured athleticism and competition, and the Community and Tourism course will help me dive into the Greek economy and the country’s social and political state, which both complements my interest in business and allows me to follow my broader curiosities.

Thucydides, an ancient Greek historian, suggested that “the secret to happiness is freedom… And the secret to freedom is courage.”  His words encapsulate what studying abroad means to me, the liberty to try something very new and the need to be brave to get the most out of it.  I can’t wait!