My name is Elizabeth and I am participating in the IIP program in Berlin. I am a Junior at the University of Pittsburgh. I am originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and am majoring in finance and business information systems. As of right now I am interested in potentially working in wealth management however I would like to explore multiple areas of finance and business for jobs after I graduate . Outside of my primary academic work I enjoy art and architecture, so I would hope to potentially incorporate some degree of creativity into my career in the future. I have worked in Philadelphia the past two summers and decided that this summer I wanted to expand my horizons and experience an internship abroad. I have never worked abroad or even been abroad for more than 2 weeks so this will be a very new experience.
Traveling has always played an important role in my life as it has pushed me to take on different perspectives, adapt to new cultures, and help me personally grow. My travels have greatly impacted my ability to appreciate other cultures as well as instill a wider global competence and awareness. These are the central reasons to why I wanted to study abroad overall and what made the opportunity so appealing when I first came to college. I chose the IIP program specifically because I believe actually working in a foreign company will be the most effective way to immerse myself in a different culture as opposed to just taking classes. Instead of surrounding myself with students also studying abroad, the internship gives me the opportunity to work with people who actually live in and experience the foreign culture everyday. I found Berlin the most intriguing as a place to work because of its diverse and vibrant culture, as well as its historical significance.
I hope to take away many things from this experience. The first would be to build upon my my technical skills and knowledge regarding my field of study. I hope to bring these skills back with me and apply them in my classes for the rest of my college career. Since I am not sure what my future plans are, I hope that the internship will give me an experience that will help me better define what type of career I will want after college. Hands-on experience has been a huge help for me to further understand what does and does not speak to me in terms of a job. Secondly, I hope that the experience will help me build upon my ability to adapt to different professional environments given the different work culture. I have only really been able to experience cultural differences in more of a social setting, so being able gain knowledge and understanding in a workplace will greatly impact my professional growth. Lastly, I hope to gain more independence by living in a new and unfamiliar city. I know that the language barrier and cultural differences will present challenges for me as a young adult but they will also give me more of an opportunity to mature. I hope to work in a new city when I graduate so this will only make me more prepared for what will come.