Earlier this year, before I even decided that I wanted to attend University of Pittsburgh, I received a letter in the mail about the Haller Global Honors Fellowship. After opening the letter, I told all my friends that I might go to Dublin this summer and be able to meet incoming freshman before even going to campus. This, obviously, did not happen. The Haller program was completely different from what I had envisioned… it was virtual. While I was super upset about the fact that I would not be able to see Dublin, I would still get consulting experience with an international company as an incoming freshman which is a super unique opportunity. I would also still get to meet some incoming freshman, even if it was through a computer screen. Plus, I was getting paid!
Although the Haller program was not what I had originally envisioned, it was more! I was still able to connect and work with other incoming freshman. I was still able to learn about working internationally and how business is run differently in different countries. On top of all of that, I was able to meet some amazing Pitt staff and alumni who taught me a lot about my future both at Pitt and post graduation.
Before this experience, I had never done a professional business report in my life. Now, I can confidently say that I would be able to write another one with ease. Working with Ray Jones, I was able to learn how to properly format a scope of work as well as a best practices report. Knowing how to write these kinds of papers will be super helpful for classes I take in the future. I also learned some great tips about giving a business presentation.
Other than academic skills, I learned some important skills that I can use to obtain internships as well as jobs. After talking to some business professionals and staff, I was able to improve my networking skills. I learned how to properly introduce myself with a 30 second sell as well as write a professional follow up email. I also learned about putting myself out there as an intern to create opportunities for myself in the future when looking for a job.
I was pushed out of my comfort zone by this whole experience. Going into it, I was extremely nervous about my lack of knowledge and experience. Even though I was worried about how well I would do, I figured that everything has to be done for the first time in order to improve, so why not start now?
The greatest reward from this program was listening to Gerry and Gobnait’s reactions to our presentation. They admired how much work we had put in and hearing that we saved them 6 months of work was such a fulfilling response to be given. Even if I didn’t know exactly what I was doing, working hard and understanding the client ultimately led to a satisfactory experience.
I would highly recommend participation in the Haller program, even if it virtual again.