From Pittsburgh to Prague



I am Curtis Decker and I am a junior finance student here at the University of Pittsburgh. I also am pursuing a certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Aside from education, I am a member of the Wrestling team here at Pitt.

Due to me being from a very rural area of Central Pennsylvania, coming to Pittsburgh was a big culture shock. Although I was very unsure if i’d be able to adapt to the change, I have absolutely loved my time at Pitt. The transition of culture and atmosphere has been fascinating to me. I feel as if the transition from American culture to the European one will give me similar experience. So when I learned of this opportunity it really excited me. The differences in culture will be far greater then my previous experiences and due to that I feel I will be able to grow more as a person and as an intellectual.

I never had an interest in traveling to Prague, but the more I looked into it through the IIP the more my interest grew. Aside from the career aspect, Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The more I looked at photos the more I fell in love with the Gothic Architecture and sea of red roofs. I love the history of the city as well, unlike other cities that were devastated by World War 2 Prague was unscathed and due to this there is an endless amount of history to learn and explore. The city seems to have an unlimited number of places to explore and things to learn.

I have a large passion for Entrepreneurship and the start-up world. I love seeing how businesses run and discovering what makes them successful. Prague I have come to learn, has a huge startup industry due to certain business laws. Here I can intern for a business startup and utilize my skills and passion each day. This combination of European Culture and Startup opportunity made Prague the perfect place for me to go.

I feel as though my time abroad will be invaluable. I hope to learn so many things about myself as a person and about the business world. Personally I feel like I really will grow my independence. I will be forced to meet new people, learn new skills, and trust in myself. Through my internship I hope to learn as much I possibly can about the startup and business world. I hope to learn why some businesses succeed and why others fail. I want to be able to take this new knowledge and apply it to my own business one day.

With my departure being just over a month away I am full of emotions. Some of fear and lots of excitement. I didn’t envision myself studying abroad when I first enrolled in college, but now I know I would have regretted it if I didn’t. I can’t wait to see what Prague has in store for me.