Blog 1: Global Consulting Capstone

My name is Constantina Gargano, but I go by Tina. I am originally from central New Jersey, and more specifically Allentown, NJ (not PA). I have two brothers: one older and one younger making me the middle child. My older brother completed his undergraduate studies in Spain and is currently pursuing a masters degree there as well. His experience abroad is what made me interested to do the same.

I am a double major studying Marketing and Business Information Systems with a certificate in Business analytics. I am a current junior at the University of Pittsburgh and I knew that business what something I wanted to do since high school. Being a part of the Global Consulting Capstone: Germany intrigued me because I get to further my knowledge about business by experiencing it internationally while strengthening my marketing skills. I am excited to work as a team on an actual project for a global company as well as international students at the University of Augsburg.

Here, on campus, I am the VP of Community Service for the American Marketing Association, which means it is my duty to organize and plan various service events and projects for our members to be involved in. In addition to this role, I have also attended the AMA International Collegiate Conference in New Orleans last year where we competed against AMA chapters across the nation and attended a variety of workshops and panels. The main competencies I gained from these particular experiences are leadership, teamwork, and how to absorb information like a sponge.

I also raise a service dog in training through Canine Companions for Independence. He is currently 4 months old, and it is my responsibility to train him for the first 18 months of his life. Working with him every day is such an amazing and rewarding experience. It takes dedication, responsibility, and overall passion to do what I do. Each day is a learning experience that constantly keeps me on my toes and teaches me how to be adaptable in all types of situations. This process, which I assisted in previously with my last service dog who I helped raise for his last 5 months of his training, makes you grow and see things through a completely new lense that I otherwise would have remained ignorant to. I am continuously strengthening my communication and collaboration skills when working alongside my coraiser and the organization, which will benefit me now working with a team. Overall, this role has strengthened me as a person in every way possible and there is nothing more rewarding than seeing all the hard work pay off when these dogs find their forever person who they will help every day.

I love the opportunity this program presents because it allows me to utilize my organization, collaboration, and leadership attributes all for something I am passionate about. I feel strongly about experiencing an international business especially in regards to my field of study because it will diversify my approach to tackling projects. Working with a German company and German students allows me to adapt my skills to another culture, which I will be immersed in when we travel abroad. Personally, I look forward to the cultural aspect the most because I have never traveled to Europe. I am excited to see Germany, the architecture, and their overall way of life. I am also eager to try their food!

Academically, I look forward to branching out of my comfort zone and working with a team while collaborating with international students and clients. This experience will heighten transferrable skills that will aide me in this program and beyond. I will also take away the the professional knowledge having worked on an actual company account and functioning as their consultants.

Professionally, I will be able to refer to these deliverables and presentations to the client in future interviews and jobs, which will help guide me towards success in my career. This will allow me to differentiate myself from other candidates when applying to internships and jobs and it will showcase my ability to grow and utilize my skills in a foreign environment. This will also prepare me for working with other clients in the future as I am learning how to foster a healthy relationship with the client.

Overall, I am ecstatic to be on this journey with my fellow classmates and professor because I believe it will be an amazing experience. I cannot wait to see where the course takes us and how our project will impact the client’s company. I am also looking forward to traveling to Germany to meet the client and exploring the country. I am grateful for this opportunity and I am hoping for an amazing semester!