Hi! My name is Jacqueline Hendrix and I am a senior at the University of Pittsburgh. I am pursuing a major in Marketing with a certificate in Digital Media. As well, I am currently a fourth-year student-athlete on Pitt’s Swim Team. I “Hail To Pitt” because of our exceptional business programs that allow me to gain an education beyond the classroom.
I am originally from Savannah, Georgia, a small historical town on the southern coast. I came to Pitt because I was looking to step outside my comfort zone and grow as a student, and as an athlete. I decided to study marketing because I find consumer behavior to be incredibly interesting and I enjoy pondering over different marketing tactics that persuade a desired action from a customer. I find happiness in my work when I can be creative and think strategically. As well, I am passionate about helping others, and therefore I enjoy consulting with customers to help guide them in achieving their goals.
Because college swimming requires a year-round commitment to a rigorous training schedule, I initially believed that I had to sacrifice the chance to study abroad. This past fall however, Pitt Business announced their new marketing elective, a project management class with an international twist. With this class, I would have the opportunity to work with an international client and travel abroad to Germany to visit the company over spring break. The timing of spring break perfectly aligned exactly after my senior swimming season will end, therefore allowing me the ability to travel abroad. I immediately proceeded to sign up for the class, excited for the opportunity to study abroad and gain an international business experience.
From an academic standpoint, I am excited to be working on a team as together we will learn how best to consult with a client. I am especially excited that we will be working with an international client, because this international element will add many challenging but exciting variables to the project. For example, it will be interesting to work with a client whose native language is not English. As well, it will be important to learn Germany’s cultural expectations within in a business setting that might differ to ours in America. From this experience, I will learn how to best conduct a project working with a company located across the world. From these differences, it will broaden my understanding of global business and our world, which I am certain will be a useful skill to have in my future.
This experience will greatly impact my professional career because one day I hope to work for a marketing or advertising agency that creates content that unites our world. We live in a very digitalized society, and because of this we have the power to make an impact that can strength relationships across the world. Despite our differences, such as religious views, languages, and cultural practices, the media and internet have the power to send a message that can reach all of these people and positively impact their thoughts and ideas. I hope to one day work on a project that can connect people around the world.
From a personal standpoint, I am hoping to see Germany and to grasp a better understanding of their culture and ways of life. Traveling is something that is very important to me because I believe that the more we are exposed to, the more we can learn and better understand each other. When we take time to travel, see, and listen to people who come from different countries, we can both help each other make more educated and efficient decisions. As well, I am looking to grow my network. I am doing this by creating friendships with my teammates, and from communicated with those in Germany we are working with.
So far I am greatly enjoying this class because I have learned so much already in regards to communicating efficiently as a team and with our client. It has been an education experience researching Germany and our client. My favorite part so far has been our video call with the company and university students of Augsburg who will be helping us with this project. It was so cool to be collaborating with people who are across the world, and are excited that together we can make an impact for this company.
I am most excited to travel to Germany during spring break and to meet the people we are currently in contact with. Conducting video calls over skype is an incredible advancement to our international communication abilities, but nothing quite compares to meeting face-to-face. Having the opportunity to visit the company and meet with our client in person will give us a deeper dive into our discovery process and will allow us a personal view to the project and challenges up close. From this experience, I am sure we will learn far more than we can imagine.
And lastly, I am looking forward to diving-in and being immersed within a completely new culture than ours. Germany is rich in history and is one of the leading business economies in the world. I am excited to try new foods and partake in different cultural values and experiences. So far I am very thankful I decided to take this class and I am very excited to travel to Germany, and ultimately present our consulting project to our clients. I know we will face challenges throughout this project, but I’m confident that as a team we can work through them and present a successful idea to our client.