The past six and a half weeks went by so quickly but also in that short time London became ‘home’ to many of us. I was able to meet so many great people and make some of the best memories through this study abroad program. I gained so much more from this program than I ever thought I would. I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity and appreciate everyone who made it possible. Without the help from my parents and Pitt Business through the David Berg Family Endowment, I would not have been able to participate on this program, missing out on a great opportunity to grow personally, academically and professionally.
From a personal standpoint, I developed a greater sense of maturity and independence more than I thought I would. I knew going into the program that studying abroad does this, but these past six weeks had less of a structure so, naturally I had more flexibility and was able to be more independent doing my own things. While I had classes and my internship to go to, the weekends were ours. I was able to explore the city and see parts of London I never knew existed. I also was able to travel to Dublin with some friends which was something I had been wanting to do for a long time. From travelling to another country to simply navigating the tube in London on a daily basis, there were so many opportunities throughout this program that allowed me to get away from what I knew and had gotten comfortable with. I was able to further build my confidence up as I stood out of my comfort zone and interacted with various cultures.
Getting the chance to actually study abroad is truly amazing and adds so much more to how I grew in an academic standpoint. Being on the International Accounting Issues program, our class looked into differences between taxes, auditing, banking and general standards as they change around the world. This is definitely one of the benefits to this class and the experience, as we get to discuss the international differences actually in an international setting. We would spend Tuesdays discussing the various topics and the next day would be our site visits where we would see various companies and see how the lessons we learned play out in the real-world setting. Having this experience I was able to build on so much more of what I know about accounting and enhance my understanding of any discussions that were made in the classroom setting. As a class we were able to talk about topics beyond the class’ lesson and moving forward I know this will also be applicable in my future courses at Pitt.
Since I had an internship alongside my classes, I grew so much more professionally throughout this program. I interned at CLIC-Sargent in the finance department. I was able to apply my skills and knowledge of certain concepts going into the position and further develop them over the course of the program. I created pivot tables elaborating on different areas of where budget was going and aspects to the expenses. I also created Excel spreadsheets for the employees expenses from April, May, and June. These reports and documents will be used moving forward by people at the company so it was really cool to see how I was contributing to the company and it really did make me feel accomplished at the end of my internship. Coming out of the six weeks I spent interning I surprised myself with how much I learned, even just about Excel. Developing these skills in particular will be very useful in my future internship and beyond in to my career. As this was my first internship, I was also able to generally build on my professionalism, and even more so being with different cultures in an international office setting.
Writing this final blog is hard as all the memories from the past six weeks come rushing back, but it’s also nice to see how much I did in the short amount of time. This program was my third study abroad program and I am incredibly thankful for all of these experiences and the opportunity to have been able to do so. After all of these experiences, I will continue to confidently say that going abroad gives students an amazing outside of the classroom exposure that could not be replicated at Pitt and I would encourage everyone to go study abroad, whether it’s a one week program or for a whole semester, everything from the memories, experiences, and life-lessons are all so worth it!
London, I’ll see you soon!