New Year, New Adventure

G’day mate! My name is Alex McCurdy and I am currently a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh College of Business Administration studying Finance, Business Information Systems, and Supply Chain Management. I am also pursuing certificates in Leadership and Ethics and International Business. I am originally from the suburbs of Philadelphia, so I am a big Eagles fan and love a classic Wawa hoagie. Also, in my free time, I love to read and write, which means you can usually find me in a local coffee shop. Maybe that is why I chose to study abroad in Sydney, Australia for the semester, where they are known for their love of coffee. Or maybe it is because the Global Business Institute Program through Pitt Business provides a chance not only to travel to a part of the world I have never been able to explore and take classes with foreign professors and students from all over the United States, but to complete over 240 hours in an internship position.

So far, I have studied abroad three times before. In high school, I traveled to Peru to study Spanish and the history of the Incan civilization while completing a service project for a local island community. Then, before I began my freshman year, I took part in the Woodcock Global Honors Fellowship Program with Pitt Business and studied in Dublin, Ireland exploring Managing in Complex Environments, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation. By the end of my freshman year, I also journeyed to Buenos Aires, Argentina on a Plus3 Program to study Healthcare Management and was able to do extensive primary research on the pharmaceutical industry there while practicing the language. 

While I am here in Sydney, I am taking Australian, Asian and Pacific Literatures, International Economics, International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior, and an Internship Development class. I have a passion for the healthcare industry, which has developed over the years as I gain more experience working in the business sector. This semester, I will be working at Springday, a healthcare app and web-based platform designed to motivate and track physical, mental, financial, social, and career health for employees of corporations. I am excited to see how a tech startup operates in the healthcare industry and compare it to my prior knowledge with businesses from all the countries I have studied in before. 

I have been in this new city for just over two weeks now and I have already been challenged immensely. Somehow, I did not experience jet lag from the more than 30-hour voyage and 16-hour time difference, but adjusting to my drastically different life here will take time. Trying to manage my time between class, work, and other activities has been the greatest challenge so far. Understanding my priorities for the next 3 months is crucial to ensure I return home with no regrets. 

Overall, I know this experience will change who I am, the way I view the world, and how I interact with different people and cultures. I can already feel the change, the risk-taker in me emerging to the surface and guiding me on the adventure of my life.