Ten Days Away …

Hi! My name is Nikki Messina, and I am rising senior – yikes – at Pitt! Where did time go? I am pursuing a double major in Accounting and Finance, with a minor in Economics, and a Certificate in Business Analytics. On campus, I am a member of Delta Delta Delta, Alpha Kappa Psi, the Socially Responsible Investment Portfolio, and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Additionally, I am on the founding board for Smart Woman Securities, a new female investing club, and work a part time job! I am pursuing a finance career and had an internship with a private equity firm, StepStone Group, in NYC last summer and will be at J.P. Morgan this coming summer. Additionally, I am from northern New Jersey.

In my free time, I enjoy watching movies, getting food with my friends, traveling to my sisters’ schools, and running. In fact, I am running a half marathon in just a week! Some of my favorite TV shows include the Office, Criminal Minds, Chicago Fire, and the Bachelor. My sisters go to school at the University of South Carolina and the University of Tampa. I usually visit one of them each semester. In May, my one sister will be graduation so I’m just going to have to facetime in while I am in Prague!

I am pursuing a study abroad program because of my incredible experience studying abroad after my freshman year. I went on the Plus3 Germany program for two weeks and had an unforgettable experience. Not only was it incredible to learn about another part of the world and be immersed in a new culture, but it was just as incredible to learn more about myself. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone by making an effort to adapt to another culture, language, and environment.

The study abroad program I am embarking on is a Panther Program that travels to Prague, Krakow, and Budapest. I chose this program in particular because it integrates well into my academic experience at Pitt. The economic course taken during this program serves as an elective requirement for my economics minor and also satisfies my personal interests in the varying dynamics of economies and governments across the world. Furthermore, I plan to work abroad for at least a few years post-graduation. Having as much international experience will better prepare me for doing business globally and getting an understanding of where I would want to live. Finally, I aim to further develop the ability to work effectively with other people from other backgrounds. At school, I hold several leadership positions and having international experience will allow me to be a more approachable leader and someone who can connect with people better.

Overall, I am just really excited to be able to explore three new parts of the world! Some of my most impactful experience have been while I was abroad, so I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me!