I can’t believe I am writing my final blog from my study abroad in London. These past six weeks have been some of the best (and busiest) weeks of my life, and I am going to be so sad to pack my bags and head home at the end of this week. Everything I have learned and experienced here will stick with me through the rest of my life, and I cannot express my gratitude enough to everyone who made it possible for me to have this opportunity. Throughout this program I have grown personally, professionally, and academically, and before delving into my final blog, I would like to give a final thank you to my parents, CAPA Global Network, and Pitt Business for presenting me with this opportunity and giving me the time of my life.
These past six weeks have allowed me to grow personally, academically, and professionally. Personally, I have never had as much independence as I have had during this trip. With Europe at my fingertips, I have been able to travel across the continent and experience different European cultures, such as exploring places in Switzerland and Ireland. I have been able to get through towns where people barely speak English, and I have also accustomed to very different lifestyles than what I am used to back in the States. Adapting to such unique cultures can be frustrating, but I honestly have loved every minute of it. Even going to the London Series game (go Yankees!) this past weekend was completely different from going to a ball game back home. The game was in the Olympic Stadium, so the heritage and history of London flowed right through as it does anywhere in the city. From academic to professional to local interactions, I have felt myself develop and grow as person by gaining new perspectives and understanding new ways of life. Living like a local Londoner has broadened my outlook on life and has therefore allowed me to grow in ways that I would not have been able to just by staying at home in Philadelphia or at school in Pittsburgh.
From an academic standpoint, this entire study abroad program was based around us students understanding international accounting issues from tax to banking and everything in between. Tuesdays nights were designated for class, and each Wednesday there would be site visits to companies that enhanced our understanding of the previous night’s lecture. Having an interactive portion to the program allowed for a true and in-depth understanding of the potential accounting issues that we will face later on in our careers. To reiterate, if I had just been in a classroom at school, I would not have had this unique experience and perspective related to accounting, something which I am very passionate about. I will be able to apply what I have learned to my upcoming classes as well as any future internships or jobs.
Finally, I have also developed my professionalism from having an international internship with Kingston Smith, a top 25 UK audit and accountancy firm. Through this internship, I have learned how to code through an online learning platform that highlights Python, and I have also prepared a financial analysis. These tasks have helped me develop my coding skills and Excel capabilities, platforms in which I did not have much background prior to this internship. I have also experienced what it is like to work in a professional accountancy firm and understand what exactly goes on behind-the-scenes in a business environment. Overall, I have greatly enjoyed my internship and the skills that I have gained from this unique experience.
Well, my final blog has officially come to a close, so I hope you have enjoyed reading about my experiences here in the UK. Participating in a study abroad program in London is an opportunity that I will forever cherish. London will forever hold a special place in my heart as I was able to learn a lot about myself, European culture, international accounting issues and global business, which all highlights this incredible opportunity that I was lucky enough to experience. Thank you London for all you have to offer – ta ta for now!