Looking back on an entire semester in London is incredibly surreal. This opportunity provided me with invaluable experience and challenged me to look at the world through an intercultural lens. Along with learning more about marketing, I gained insight into other cultures while abroad. Through my discussions with my colleagues and my weekend travels to other countries, I have developed a love for exploring new cultures. I equally enjoyed my weekends in London, which were often spent taking in the iconic sites and exploring new areas of the city. Due to the timing of our program, I have also learned a great deal about Brexit. By balancing academics, my internship, and leisure time this semester, I practiced time management and organization skills. Additionally, I have developed several other personal and professional development skills. It is incredible to reflect on where I started out compared to where I am today.
Through my time abroad and my international internship, I was introduced to a an invaluable asset known as cultural intelligence. As I have learned in class, recognizing and understanding differences across cultures is imperative when studying abroad, especially working within international markets as part of a multicultural team. The best way to learn about a culture is to experience it for yourself. By staying open minded, observant, and curious, I was quite acclimated to British culture by the end of my semester. I also spent some time each week discussing culture with my coworkers, who are from various countries. Through my International Marketing course, I have learned strategies for incorporating cultural intelligence into marketing plans and utilized these in class assignments. I am honored that my International Marketing professor, Professor Willie Ozuem, nominated me for the Outstanding Academic Achievement Award.
As a result of studying abroad in London, my ability to communicate effectively has strengthened. Staying in touch with family and friends proved to be an interesting challenge due to time zone differences. I also communicated each day with the marketing team at the Sunnylife headquarters in Sydney, Australia. I worked with the rest of the Sunnylife marketing team to develop a major task list that was updated each day. I can see now that my leadership skills have grown as well. I joined Sunnylife in January as the sole marketing intern, and ended my time at Sunnylife as one of three. As the experienced intern, I felt the need to step up to the plate and be a leader for the new interns when they joined. I showed them how to perform various day to day operations and use the major task list. Being the one people turned to for guidance in the office was extremely rewarding.
Personal goal setting is an area in which I see significant personal growth. It would not have been possible to complete all of my work while exploring London if I did not learn how to set personal goals and create a schedule for myself. This is a skill in which I see great value. It is not just important to lay out your goals – you should devise the blueprint for achieving them, too. Reflecting on my semester, I am pleased to say that I achieved all of my goals and so much more. My next goal is to apply my acquired knowledge and experience from this semester to my future endeavors at Pitt Business and beyond.