To Berlin and Beyond


My name is Kayla Ostaffe, and I am a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh. While I feel very lucky to be able to call Pittsburgh my hometown, I am delighted to spend this summer exploring Berlin, Germany.

As a recent CBA transfer student, I am extremely grateful to have this opportunity to inaugurate my academic career in Pitt Business. I am pursuing a dual major in Finance and Accounting, with minors in Economics and Sociology. This semester, I was able to expand my academic horizons by taking courses in new subject areas, namely data analytics. I am excited to have this experience again in the fall as I completely transition into my new majors.

When I am not in class, I stay involved as an active member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, as well as the Vice President of Business for the Undergraduate Economics Society. I look forward to the opportunity to join a professional business fraternity this fall. I also work as a patient actor for the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences’ Master’s Counseling program, and I am a freelance harpist. During my free time, I like to go on long runs through Oakland and make spreadsheets for pretty much anything that goes on in my life (yes, I am a spreadsheet enthusiast!).

I am looking forward to the IIP: Berlin because it will be my first professional internship in my new major. My previous work experience as a nursing assistant and a TA for the neuroscience department related to my pre-health sciences track. I am excited that this summer internship is abroad because I think that element adds to the value of the experience. This internship is the ultimate test of adaptability: undertaking a new job, having to learn the ways of a different culture, exploring and living independently a European city — all at the same time. This added challenge is why I think the IIP is so special. Berlin specifically is an ideal location for this internship because it possesses a rich history and is the capital of Germany, which is the largest and most influential economy in Europe. I am excited to have the opportunity to learn from this experience, contribute to the company, and be mentored by experienced finance professionals.

Upon returning from the program, I am confident that I will feel more equipped as a student in CBA and as a future professional. I will have had the opportunity to supplement my curriculum and classwork with a practical application of my knowledge and skills, as well as become familiar with German and European lifestyle. After having the chance to spend a month exploring urban and rural Greece last summer through the Pitt in Greece program, I am mindful of the radical personal growth that can occur in even a few weeks abroad. I am ready to see how I flourish in this new environment and overcome difficulties — professionally, culturally, and personally. Through these experiences, I am expectant that I will discover even more passions and positive qualities about myself. Hopefully I will make some friends too!

Looking forward to a summer of spreadsheets!