Adventure Awaits…and Waits a Little More

Hello everyone! My name is Jared Tucker, and I am an incoming freshman at the University of Pittsburgh. I plan to pursue a major in Finance with a minor in Applied Statistics and a certificate in Business Analytics. I am from Poland, Ohio, a small town in Northeast Ohio equidistant between Cleveland and Pittsburgh. 

In high school, I graduated as valedictorian of my class. I served as president of the student council, secretary of the Spanish National Honor Society, and co-editor of the school newspaper. I was also a member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish Club, and I was recognized by the American Chemical Society for Outstanding Achievement. I volunteered regularly in the community and served as a door greeter and food pantry worker at our family’s church.

In addition to my academic and extracurricular activities, I had played tackle football since I was six years old. As a two-year starter at outside linebacker and left guard, I was gratified to have been an integral part of winning our team’s conference championship and making it to the state semifinals during my senior year. My personal athletic achievements included being honored as a Scholar-Athlete by the Mike Cleary Northeastern Ohio Chapter of the National Football Foundation, selected for the All-Mahoning County Team and All-NE8 Conference First Team, and named All-Northeast Inland District Honorable Mention. I also lettered as a freshman in my sole year as a high school wrestler.

Through CAPA: The Global Education Network and the Pitt Business Honors Program, I am currently a part of the Haller Global Honors Fellowship program. CAPA is a partner with Pitt Business that provides students with study abroad and internship opportunities. Despite the current situation with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Pitt Business and CAPA have been able to create a virtual experience in the Haller Global Honors Fellowship program for incoming Pitt Business Honors freshmen to collaborate with international businesses before their first semester. 

The eight other fellows and I who were selected for the fellowship are working as a team to offer consulting and business solutions for Kendlebell Kimmage, a call center company based in Dublin, Ireland. Kendlebell has found success as a virtual receptionist service for businesses. After meeting virtually with the co-founders of Kendlebell, we have been commissioned to assist them with creating ideas and strategies to increase their offerings as a call center company. Their current services include answering calls, fielding inquiries, appointment scheduling, processing orders, diary management, order processing, and service desk assistance. Our team will focus on researching, gathering, and presenting key data into several presentations of project deliverables that will facilitate what the company’s next steps are for expansion. 

The fellowship program also includes three virtual company visits with three Pitt Business alumni. The site visits will be ideal opportunities to not only be informed about each of their companies, but the alumni will be able to provide the other fellows and me with input from their own experiences in college and in the business world. The three Pitt alumni have been very successful, as is evident in their positions as Director of Consumer PR and Influencer Strategy, Director of Partnerships, and Head of Finance of their respective companies. I am looking forward to the company visits because I am interested in hearing how the alumni got to where they are today and, perhaps, guide how I can rival their own successes in the future.

I was surprised and excited when I first heard about the Haller Global Honors Fellowship. I could not believe that an opportunity to travel internationally and to gain global business experience would be offered to an incoming freshman, even before the first day of classes at Pitt. The pandemic cancelled actual travel and firsthand experiences. We instead do everything virtually: meetings with company executives, company tours, team meetings, advisor meetings, and so on. Remote site work is the new normal in our world, and my colleagues and I already know what working from home entailed when all of our schools physically closed prematurely this past spring. However, the spirit and intentions of the program—exposure to global businesses and honing professional business skills—had not been affected by COVID-19.

Ultimately, my goals for the Haller Global Honors Fellowship are simple. Learn as much as I can from each experience. Meet new and interesting people from Pitt and across the waters. Find mentors and contacts for the future. Appreciate the successes. Take note of what I need to work on. And finally, enjoy each moment.