Hello all! My name is Hailey Hunter, I’m from Cleveland, Ohio, and I am a sophomore majoring in Marketing and Business Information Systems, while participating in the certificate programs Public & Professional Writing and Leadership & Ethics. Outside of the classroom, I serve as the Vice President of Special Events for Women in Business, and am currently shadowing this semester to become the Co-Vice President of Public Relations for the professional business organization Phi Beta Lambda next year! While my activities are pretty engrossed in the business school, I do also participate in my sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma and am on the Morale Team for Pitt Dance Marathon (shameless plug, if you haven’t registered yet make sure you do so https://events.dancemarathon.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donordrive.event&eventID=4049). That sums me up when it comes to my academic life, although being a business major, oftentimes my academic life overlaps with my professional life.
In the professional sphere, I am working as a College Financial Representative this semester at Northwestern Mutual. When debating if I wanted to add finance to my academic course load, I was lucky enough to speak to a recruiter from NM who really enabled me to take on this opportunity. It has been an amazing experience in which I get to be exposed to the world of finance, while really making a difference in people’s lives! While I am really passionate about the work I am doing right now, I would also love to explore the fields of consulting or market research, hence my presence here in International Consulting! Those interests really stem from my passion for writing. All through high school, and even in several college classes, I have always enjoyed doing research and converting data into a conveying story. I am looking for a way to combine problem solving, research, and writing into a full time career and it’s exciting to investigate all the opportunities on my search to get there.
While I try to be very active and engaged in the classroom, whether that be professionally or academically, it’s the city aspect and my personal interests that really brought me to Pitt. Unfortunately the pandemic has compromised a lot of my hobbies, but under normal circumstances I enjoy going to concerts and musicals, going site seeing, and trying out new coffee shops. I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve been hesitant to take on new more home-bound hobbies while we’re all stuck inside, but one way I’ve been able to relieve stress is subscribe to a virtual dance academy where I can take classes on my own time. Of course it’s a little difficult in my 5×10 apartment bedroom, but dancing was a great stress reliever for me in high school, and I’ve enjoyed really getting back to that over the pandemic, so whatever small movement I can make work is good for me! Additionally, and as I assume lots of people can relate to, my roommates and I have become avid movie watchers. Rather than spending our nights out in the city, we’ve grown accustomed to making some fun snacks and having a Harry Potter or Marvel marathon. While I would much rather be living the normal college experience of being out and about 24/7 I’m really lucky to have a really great support system, whom I don’t think I would have been as close with if it weren’t for the intimacy required of a “pod.”
All that being said leads me here, to International Consulting Projects. After becoming a part of the CPLE, I felt as if I had found something I could really sink my teeth into and do work I was genuinely passionate about and proud of. It made me want to make every semester filled with project based and real world-esq classes. When I heard about this opportunity to gain international experience in a time where we seemed to be closed off from the world, I knew I needed to jump at the opportunity. Moreover, when I learned specifically about the Germany site, and an opportunity to really hone in on marketing within one of my projects, I thought this experience would be a perfect fit to develop me academically and professionally. With all the options in the business school, it can be very easy to become side tracked from your major and focus. I have been guilty of straying from my main focus of marketing because of a different opportunity that caught my eye; and while I believe college is certainly the time to experiment and try everything possible, I want to be sure that when I graduate I am prepared for the professional path that I am most passionate about. To be able to work with peers that are also passionate about marketing is a really cool opportunity.
Big picture from this course, I am hoping to improve my cultural competency, have a better picture of the field of consulting, and form international relations. Seeing, as this is the second abroad opportunity I have been a part of, in which I actually didn’t leave the boarders of Pennsylvania after my Plus3 Italy trip was canceled last year, cultural competency has been a skill I’ve been attempting to gain for most of my college career now. However, because of our adaptation to a pandemic, virtual world, I am excited to still be able to learn about another culture within the confines of my computer screen. I hope that in the long run this professional experience will make me more well-rounded in my communication and collaborative skills. While obviously this one cultural experience will not give me the autonomy to interact professionally with every nationality, it will teach me the flexibility to adapt to various cultural scenarios.
Of course the medium in which I’ll be learning these skills through is the wonderful partners at the University of Augsburg in collaboration with the online solutions group Possehl, run by CEO Mr. Alexander Wachter. Being a new organization as part of a greater conglomerate, my peers and I are considering the questions of how to amplify this startup in terms of which countries to target based on GDP and marketplace sales? Who are the competitors in these markets? And what should be the strategy and timing of target entry? These developments and more are the components my group is looking forward to uncovering over the next several weeks.
I hope this small spiel has given you a better glimpse of who I am and hints at how excited I am to take on this next adventure. Good luck to everyone on their projects!