My name is Bianca Reyes, and I am currently a junior at the University of Pittsburgh. I was born in October of 2000 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I grew up in a bilingual household where Spanish and English were spoken regularly. My father was in the U.S. Coast Guard causing my sister and I to grow up on a military base in Puerto Rico. This allowed me to grow up in a household with structure and manners. In 2008, my dad retired and got a job working for the Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C. causing us to move to Northern Virginia. Growing up with only one sibling, my sister and I developed a very strong, and irreplaceable bond with each other. Growing up on an island and then later moving to the suburbs, I wanted to experience the city lifestyle. In pursuing a higher education, the University of Pittsburgh provided me with an excellent balance of a “city school” while not giving up the typical “college campus” experience. At the University of Pittsburgh, I can explore the city of Pittsburgh while deepening my roots in the business world Pittsburgh has to offer. At Pitt, I am in the College of Business Administration with a major in Marketing. I chose to study business to follow my passion of learning about how different people think, especially regarding each individual’s responses and interests may vary depending on how a product is presented. Additionally, I am obtaining a minor in Economics as I am deeply interested in how the consumption and demand of goods is influenced by demographics and policy. Additionally, I am earning a Certificate in Leadership and Ethics to keep social equality and personal relationships in the forefront of my future actions.
Throughout my experience in school, I have accumulated certain achievements in which I am proud of. To start off, I have made the Dean’s list at Pitt each semester, as well as being a Presidential Honors Recipient. Both these achievements required me to be dedicated, motivated, responsible and organized, all traits which I carry with me each day. Additionally, I have held leadership positions, like being Director of Apparel for the fashion show at Pitt, which required me to have strong leadership skills as well as communication skills to be able to work efficiently with a team. Being passionate about the community, having respect for others, and upholding an appropriate image has helped me succeed in being a member of a sorority on campus, Delta Zeta. Likewise, my fairness and integrity has allowed me to monitor the disciplinary actions of members of the sorority as a member of the Judicial Board. Alongside my personal and academic participation, I believe my internships have also allowed me to shape who I am, who I want to be, and most importantly: who I do not want to be. Outside of school, I believe my relationship with my family and friends is a great achievement as I have created genuine bonds with individuals that will last a lifetime.
My goal for this class is to further immerse myself as a citizen in the business, social, and environmental world. Career wise, I am not entirely sure where exactly I want to be. While most people would be stressed about this, I believe what is meant to be will be. I am more focused on graduating in the fall and being able to contribute and give back to the world. I want to travel, see the world, meet new people, take part in something that matters, help save animals, stand up for people whose voice is ignored, and so much more. Ultimately, my profession is unknown to me, but I do not believe I will be satisfied until I take part in these moments first. My motto for life is “spread positivity”. It is never too late to start and participating in this International Consulting Program is another step in that process of helping others make a positive change.
Through this Service-Learning class, I hope to gain a deeper understanding of how to better engage the community as a citizen, tying community service with academics. My group and I will be working with the Trinidad and Tobago organization called Nature Seekers. Nature Seekers main mission is to help restore the environment of Trinidad through eco-tourism to preserve beaches and conserve the leatherback turtles in the area from harm. Nature Seekers started a jewelry making business to raise money for their cause. They sell their jewelry on the online website Etsy but are looking to expand their reach which is something my group and I will be able to assist them with.
I was interested in taking part in this consulting project as I got the opportunity to work with Nature Seekers last spring for a Service-Learning course. Learning about new cultures is of high interest to me and Nature Seekers wants to share their environmental culture with others, which is an amazing relationship for me to pursue. Likewise, I am interested in consulting as a possible future career path and would like to gain more insight and experience within this field. Personally, I believe I will develop a deeper cultural perspective as I will be surrounded by a new cultural environment that I am not very familiar with and will be able to pick up on different traditions and various business practices. Professionally, I believe I will develop as a better team member as well as improve my communication skills since I will be working alongside fellow students as well as Trinidad business professionals. Academically, I will be able to bring the experiences and knowledge I gained from this program and apply it to future cultural and business endeavors I plan to take on in the future. Not only will I be able to take what I have learned and utilize it in a business setting, but I will also be able to share my perspective with new people I meet along the way.