Mack & the Union Jack

Hello! My name is Mackenzie Gill and I will be studying in London this summer! I am a rising senior at the University of Pittsburgh studying finance with a minor in mathematics. I graduate from Pitt in December 2019, and hope to become an actuary. I am a sister of Alpha Epsilon Phi sorority, and have served as sunshine chair and junior pathways chair. I am also a seasonal sales associate at Lilly Pulitzer.

I am from King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, where I live with my mom, dad, brother, and dog, Izzy. All throughout my childhood I was an Irish dancer, which taught me a lot about discipline and time management. My other hobbies include skiing, shopping, and watching HGTV.

I entered the University of Pittsburgh as a mathematics major in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. In the fall semester of my sophomore year, I decided to transfer into the College of Business Administration despite my love for math. I had come to the conclusion that a business degree would be much more lucrative and marketable to recruiters than a math degree. Math taught me analytical competencies and critical thinking skills, while a business degree would teach me hard skills that I could directly apply to future positions. For this reason, I settled on a finance major with a mathematics minor.

I am participating in the Global Business Institute: London program to expand my cultural awareness as both a student and young professional. I chose London specifically because of its world-renowned finance industry and incredible cultural landscape. I have never been to London before, therefore I am beyond excited to call it home for the coming months.

I will be completing an internship during my time abroad. As such, I look forward to comparing the corporate culture here in the United States to that of an English firm. Additionally, I hope to gain and improve my transferrable skills. Communication is a big consideration in terms of transferrable skills while studying abroad. Though Londoners speak English, there are undoubtedly some cultural differences when it comes to vocabulary and mannerisms.

On this program, I expect to develop personally by immersing myself in the British culture. I have always been very interested in learning about other cultures but have not had many opportunities to travel abroad. Understanding different cultures is crucial in developing one’s perspective of the world. Learning about traditions and customs different from my own allows me to keep an open mind in terms of business relations, in addition to my everyday life. Recognizing other people’s beliefs also allows me to better understand my own. Thus, I will learn a lot about myself over the course of this journey. Additionally, by placing myself in an uncomfortable and unfamiliar environment, I will be challenged to new extremes. Living in a country far from home will allow me to become more independent. Leaving for college granted me a lot of independence, however traveling to a new continent brings about a whole new level of independence. London is a much bigger city than Pittsburgh, potentially meaning a longer commute to both class and work. This requires a lot more responsibility, will help me improve my time management skills, and aid in my transition from a college student to a professional.

I am beyond psyched to begin this chapter of my life. The next 31 days will no doubt be filled with nerves, stress, and excitement. Catch you across the pond!