Hi Everyone! My name is Samantha Hovis and I am from Downingtown, PA. Growing up I have always had a passion for experiencing new things. When I was younger I attempted to fulfill this curiosity by trying out new sports and exploring my creative side. As I moved on through each grade I found new hobbies and fulfilled this desire with new clubs to find what interested me most. In middle school I even hosted a TEDx event for the entire school centered around determination. This period of my life was symbolic of the determination I carried through years to come and marked the beginning of seeking out even more opportunities. As I moved into high school I decided to attend our districts STEM high school where I explored the STEM fields, but ultimately decided to pursue business later in college. During high school I was involved in my school’s marketing club where I served as executive marketing coordinator and I took my first ever trip abroad to Europe. This trip was a 2 week WWII themed trip that took me across 5 different countries including England, Germany, France, Belgium and Austria. My high school years were the root of my curiosity for all things travel and finding places much different than the ones I have to come to know growing up. I concluded my high school career with a second trip to Italy and Greece where I traveled to Rome and the Greek Isles. A trip that, once again, inspired me to continue to explore the world.
As time would have it, I moved onto college where I decided to study marketing and put my creativity to use. Currently I am pursuing a Bachelors in Marketing and certificates in International Business and Leadership and Ethics (CPLE). With my time at Pitt I have participated in the CPLE program that has gifted me valuable experience working on consulting projects for organizations such as the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation. Aside from these opportunities this certificate program provides me, I have also become involved in Pitt’s American Marketing Association. As a member of this club I serve on the Consulting Committee where I have assisted with Social Media growth of the restaurant Wings Over Pittsburgh. Outside of student organizations I am also a student employee at the University’s Career Center where I assist with Networking events. My current role as a Networking Employee at the University’s Career Center has given me the opportunity to interact with business professionals and learn how to forge professional relationships between their companies and the University’s Career Center.
Since starting my journey at Pitt last year I have taken advantage of Pitt’s study abroad programs which have helped me broaden my global perspective and gain a deeper understanding of different cultures. The first study abroad opportunity I had the summer after my freshman year was Plus3 Argentina where I learned about healthcare management and infrastructure. The most recent program that I have been accepted, Global Service Learning, has given me a glimpse at consulting for Non-profits and what needs they have. The team that I am working with for this project is developing a marketing plan for Nature Seekers and working with DORCAs Women’s Group. In country we will gain a better understanding of how exactly we can help these groups move forward.
As a business student given the privilege of studying abroad I am eager to learn about how other countries societies businesses function. But, as a traveller, I hope to fully immerse myself in an environment that is foriegn to me and actively take in every second that I can reflect on as I look back at the trip. I aim to utilize these experiences abroad and the business knowledge I retrieved from these opportunities to understand the roles and responsibilities associated with a career in marketing, and carry them to my future job.
While my hope is that study abroad opportunities will prepare me for the business world, I also believe they are crucial determinants in defining how I want my future to play out. Thus far I have experienced knowledge of global healthcare through research and observation. The Global Service Learning trip to Trinidad differs than any of my previous experiences because it will be an immersion into a different culture fueled by experiential learning. The trip will also provide valuable interactions with international clients that may reflect interactions with international clients in a future career.
As touched upon earlier, I have always been eager to seek out new opportunities and remain determined that each experience will shape me into the business professional that I am meant to be. My professional goal at this point in time is not entirely clear because I have yet to experience more opportunities that could influence what work I would like to be doing. That being said, I am confident that a job in the marketing field where I can utilize my passion to lead is a job that is the right fit for me. At the end of the day my professional goal is to find a job that reflects my strengths and gives me an outlet to utilize my creativity and express my ideas. I have not yet found what this exact job is, but I am confident that the opportunities the University of Pittsburgh provides me and the valuable study abroad experiences they offer students will lead me down the right path.
While my personal, academic and professional goals all differ they share a common thread that is telling of who I am as a person, a student and as a future businesswomen. Determination, a push through mindset that reflects a growth mindset and a positive outlook on how my actions and experiences will shape me into the person I am today. My experiences both at the University and abroad, as well as my drive will forge my path through college and hopefully lead me to a career that is the best fit for me.