Four days till spring break and that meant four days until I would finally be arriving in Germany, or so I thought. COVID-19 was spreading rapidly across the world. What had started as a pandemic that was believed to never reach our borders, was now the reasoning behind our trip being cancelled. At first it felt as if the university was being over dramatic, but as spring break progressed it became clear that the university had taken the appropriate measures. A few days later President Trump called for a travel ban from all European countries excluding the UK. Then, later on Pitt eventually extended spring break and decided to cancel all in person learning.
Originally the blog prompts for this including answering the following questions: Have you confronted different cultural and ethical norms while abroad? How are you managing working with these differences? What new perspectives are you learning about global business? Is your perspective of global business changing? What are you learning about yourself? Many of these questions aren’t really applicable to my alternative spring break plans, but I can relate some back to dealing with COVID-19.
How am I managing work with these differences? Since the elimination of in-person classes it’s been challenging adjusting our class. We were used to meeting twice a week in class and also on Fridays. Now with the eliminate of in-person classes we’ve had to communicate more through text. It’s definitely been confusing, but through time we’ve all become more used to this adjustment. It has also become important for us to keep track of deadlines and be diligent in answering to emails and messages. We’ve started using Zoom as a class so that we could just see each other’s faces, since a lot of our lives were put on hold. For my other Pitt business classes, it’s felt like I’ve had a lot more time to do assignments. I’m usually working 35-40 hours a week; however, my job was unable to keep me on during this situation. Therefore, I’ve had a lot more time to be proactive in classes. It has been my goal to try and complete all the assignments as soon as possible so that I can use this extra time to start studying for my upcoming finals.
Overall the COVID-19 pandemic has really impacted my worldview of global businesses. It’s been hard to work with my own professors and trying to communicate with other Pitt students for my various group projects. I cannot even imagine how hard it is for people who need to work with different sectors of their company who live within different time zones. It is also insane to see how much our society relies on health, and how a disease was able to shut down the entire world so quickly. I feel that after the entire pandemic situation finally ends, many companies will be rethinking their supply chain structures and trying to do business differently in case of another global crisis.
Overall about myself, I am learning that social interaction and just going out into the world is what really keeps me and a lot of other people going. It’s been just showering and going from one pair of pjs to the other. My life definitely feels as if it’s at a standstill and that every day is just Sunday. I’ve learned that I’m pretty optimistic and I honestly believe that things will get back to normal eventually. Every day I’m trying to do new things and plan for what will become. Some things that scare me is graduating in this post pandemic economy and what that will mean for myself and my fellow graduates when trying to find a job. I’m also nervous about our internship getting cancelled and us having no experience when we graduate. However, I try not to think so much about that and hope that everything works out.
It’s going to be interesting how the end of the semester turns out. I believe our class will still be able to produce some great work for our client.