Just Czech’n in!

Hello! My name is Farrell Healy and I am currently finishing up my junior year at Pitt. It seems crazy to me that my time at this university has flown by so quickly and that I am nearing the end of my college years, but luckily I still have one last new and exciting adventure before I enter the real world: my internship abroad in Prague. Before I talk about that, however, I will introduce myself. I grew up in the “outside Philly” area of Pennsylvania that so many other Pitt students seem to have come from as well. My specific town, Harleysville, is about 45 minutes from the city and is much smaller and simpler, which is precisely the reason I chose to go to school at Pitt. In fact, I only applied to universities in cities, so that I could get out of the small town feel that I wasn’t a big fan of. I knew that Pitt was the one for me, though, because of the traditional “college pride”, big sports teams and other opportunities for people to join together for the common cause of loving Pitt! While I describe myself as an introvert half the time, I wanted to go to a school, where for the next four years, and probably for decades after, I could meet fellow Pitt students or alumni and feel like I had just talked to an old friend.

Besides the social reason I chose Pitt, I also came here because I had been focused on academics for almost all my life, taking every opportunity I had to bolster my college applications and achieve the highest grades I could muster. In my senior year of high school, after much soul-searching, I decided to major in International Relations. I really didn’t know what I wanted to do and while looking for something that would provide a real job, I found my love of traveling and exploring other cultures. From this, I turned to International Relations, a field in Political Science, which would allow me to work with other countries and cultures in a governmental sense. For the first one and a half to two years of college, I enjoyed this path (and to be fair, I still find it very interesting), but after some time learning more about myself, I realized that Political Science was not where my heart was. At the start of my freshman year, I joined the Pitt Program Council, the university’s all-campus programming board, and I never looked back.

Since I joined the Pitt Program Council, I have been more and more interested in event planning. At first just as a hobby, but as the years progressed, I began to think more about what it would mean to pursue a career in event planning. I have been a Director for two years and this year I became the Special Events Director, in charge of planning the organization’s largest events: concerts, a laser and fireworks show, bonfire, black-tie dance, etc. and it was at the beginning of this year, that I ultimately made the decision that I didn’t want to work in politics, I wanted to work in concert management. This is the path I currently find myself on and though I realize that an internship in concert management in Prague will probably be impossible to come by, one in any sort of event planning or management will be just as exciting.

I chose the International Internship Program, because I felt like, as I was nearing the end of my college years, I should be doing an internship this summer. However, I had always wanted to study abroad because of the aforementioned love of other cultures, so I figured that combining the two in this program would be the perfect solution. I chose Prague after a difficult time deciding between the Czech city and a very different one, Dublin. In the end, I wanted a more thoroughly diverse experience and Prague would be the one to give me that. I felt that, as a history buff, Prague would be the most interesting and fun experience because of the immense amount of historical sites that were luckily enough some of the only in Europe left untouched after World War II. In addition, I found the Czech Republic’s history of Soviet control fascinating and I have loved learning about how that control affected, and how its memories have continued to affect, life in the country. I hope that this program will give me more insight into the Czech Republic, historically, economically, politically, and personally by meeting and getting to know the locals and learning from first-hand experience how the country works.

I couldn’t be more excited about embarking on this new experience and putting myself out of my comfort zone in a little over a month! However in present time, my finals are beginning tomorrow so I should get back to studying!