Auf Wiedersehen, Pittsburgh

To start off, my name is Erin Gillespie and I am currently a Sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh pursuing a degree in Finance and Supply Chain with a minor in Economics. In addition, I am also part of the Certificate Program for Leadership and Ethics. Aside from being a student at Pitt, I am also a member of the professionally fraternity Delta Sigma Pi and Chi Omega, as well as, a founding board member of a new club at Pitt called Smart Woman Securities, a financial literacy and investment education club for women.

I chose to do an international experience because Pitt Business made it so transparent how important it is to be capable of tackling global business. Interacting with people all over the world will be a challenge I will most likely have to face in my career many times, so it made a lot of sense to start getting practice with the challenge now. There are multiple reasons why I chose to have my international experience in Berlin, Germany. First off, I’ve always have an interest in large cities, therefore, it makes sense that Berlin caught my eye because Berlin in the biggest city in germany. I figured that my business opportunities in a large city like Berlin would be endless. In addition, throughout my years in highschool, I took German language classes. As a result, learning about the German people and their culture all throughout high school created alot of curiousness in me to visit the country and experience the culture first hand. Also, I am looking forward to the opportunity to travel to other places in Europe. In fact, my older sister left Pitt for a semester to study abroad in Barcelona and after hearing about her experience Spain is one of the places I am most excited to visit!

In addition, I hope to develop my professional skills while working in another country. I believe that the internship abroad will challenge me in ways that I have not experienced in the classroom at Pitt. I hope that having internship experience from Germany will strengthen my communication abilities, show me new and valuable skills, as well as prepare me for future internship experiences.  I hope to build relationships with my employer in Germany and my fellow students on the program. I think that this experience will strength my ability to work with new people, as everyone I will be working with will start as strangers. I believe that working with these new people, not to mention people from a different country than me, will help me better my networking and relationship skills.

Personally, one of the parts of my abroad experience that I am most looking forward to is the extended last week I plan on staying in Germany to do extra traveling. Multiple members of my family are planning to fly out to spend the week with me and travel around Europe. Having an experience like this together will be a memory that will stay with the five of us for the rest of our lives and will definitely be a part of the study abroad program that I will never forget.