Zooming Across the Atlantic

Hello everyone! My name is Erick Shufeldt, and I am an incoming freshman at the College of Business Administration. I’m from the very small town of Elysburg, Pennsylvania, about four hours east of Pittsburgh and home to Knoebels Amusement Park. I have many family and personal ties to the Pittsburgh area, so you’ll be sure to see me cheering on my Steelers from the couch every Sunday. However, I’m originally from a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, and you bet I’m still very loyal to my Cardinals and Blues! When I’m not following one of my favorite sports teams, you can catch me reading, learning Scripture, gaming, playing soccer, and hanging out with my friends.

On a more scholastic note, I graduated as the salutatorian of my class from Southern Columbia Area High School this past spring. In place of a traditional senior year, I took advantage of Bloomsburg University’s Advanced College Experience. This program allowed me to complete a total of 24 credits of college coursework while still a high school senior. While in school, I was a five-year member of the National Honor Society/National Junior Honor Society. I was also a two-year member of my school’s math team and a two-year contestant in Scholastic Scrimmage, a question-and-answer competition for high school students. I served as the team captain for both the math team and Scholastic Scrimmage team over the course of a year.

Professionally, I aspire to work on the business side of the sports industry. To accomplish this, I have a range of high school experience and a variety of college goals. In high school, I was a three-year member of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), an organization that prepares students for careers in business through competitive events, leadership development, and educational workshops. I was a three-time state qualifier in the competitive events for Financial Math, Business Communication, and Advertising, and a one-time national qualifier in the area of Advertising. In addition to my general participation, I took a leadership role in the form of treasurer for my school’s FBLA chapter. I worked closely with our chapter advisor over the course of a year. My responsibilities included counting and making deposits for the FBLA fund, creating and implementing fundraisers, updating member logs and payments, and recruiting new membership. Lastly, I participated in the regional stock market game, a simulation of the real stock market, where I managed a virtual investment portfolio worth $100,000 and placed seventh out of more than 200 students.

At the University of Pittsburgh, I plan to major in Marketing and complete the Certificate Program in Sports Management. I want to be active inside and outside the business classroom in order to enrich my academic experience, gain crucial professional experience, and make valuable connections along the way. I plan to participate in several business-oriented student organizations, study abroad, and complete the Pitt Business Honors program. Perhaps most importantly, I will take advantage of the University’s internship guarantee, prime location, and sports connections to complete an internship with a world-class sports organization with the intention to earn a full-time position after graduation.

To start growing my professional experience in college right off the bat, I am currently participating in the Haller Global Honors Fellowship. Originally, the Fellowship would have taken me overseas to Dublin, Ireland, where I would have studied globalization first-hand through company tours and engagements with business executives. However, as you would reasonably guess, COVID-19 closed the door on that. But when that door closed, another one soon opened! The program and those leading it have remarkably adapted to the online environment, and I couldn’t say no.

I was really drawn in by the way the leaders of the Fellowship have been able to replicate the professional experience of the original study abroad program. What the program has become is a virtual consulting project for a start-up company based in Dublin, Ireland. The company is looking to expand upon their current business model, and our job as Haller Fellows is to help them identify strategic opportunities for this expansion. Although virtual, engaging with our client has been very enjoyable and productive already, and I’m looking forward to the work we will produce in our team of three students.

I hope and expect to get a lot out of 2020’s edition of the Haller Global Honors Fellowship. The most distinguishable benefit will be the significant professional experience I will receive. I will be developing important business skills and knowledge, including teamwork ability, effective business communication, active listening, and much more. Academically, I hope to gain a better understanding of the global business environment and better perspective of Irish culture and history. I personally hope to leave with lasting connections with my fellow Haller students and an ongoing working relationship with International Programs managers and other leaders of the Fellowship.

I am truly excited to be a part of the Haller Global Honors Fellowship and Pitt Business! Hail to Pitt!