A New Type of (virtual) Experience

Hi everyone! My name is Alex Falzone and I am a junior here at the University of Pittsburgh studying marketing and supply chain management with a certificate in leadership and ethics (CPLE). This summer, I will be joining Wabtec Corporation as an operations intern to gain experience in the SCM field. For now though, this semester, I will be working with Kaizntree, a small business management system company from Sydney, Australia through the Global Business Institute (GBI) program as a marketing intern. One day as I was scrolling through Instagram, I saw a post that Pitt Business made about GBI and was immediately intrigued. What better way to gain hands-on global industry experience during a pandemic than through a virtual international internship! After doing some research, I was immediately drawn to the Sydney, Australia location as that is somewhere that I have always wanted to visit and learn more about, so being placed with a company there is so exciting to me. I am from a very small town near Scranton, Pennsylvania, so having this opportunity to interact with people from the complete opposite side of the globe is really exciting to me. In my personal life, I love exploring new places, meeting new people, and learning new things. I am a very naturally curious person, so I strive to find something new in everything I do, which is another reason I am so excited for this program as I have never participated in a virtual global internship before.

Here on campus, I am currently the VP of Corporate Relations for Women in Business and a Co-VP of Regional Conference for the American Marketing Association. Being so active in these clubs over the past three years has really shaped who I have become today. It is through these organizations that I have been able to network with so many industry professionals and peers, as well as grow my leadership and communication abilities, which are both skills that I have found to be very beneficial in my professional growth.

Much of my professional experience thus far lies in the marketing realm. This past summer, I worked as a marketing intern at a graphic design and printing company called Independent Graphics. This internship greatly increased my knowledge on the best direct marketing tactics and strategies. Furthermore, throughout my time in the Certificate in Leadership and Ethics program, I have been fortunate enough to be able to take part in about six different consulting projects, each with a marketing focus. Each of these projects required working as a part of a team to problem-solve, conduct market research, generate ideas, and create deliverables aimed at improving the client’s problem through marketing efforts. Going through this process so many times has really incited my love for marketing and being able to use my innovation and creativity to make a change.

Last spring semester, I had the opportunity to work with a nonprofit organization in Trinidad as a part of the Global Service-Learning program through Pitt Business’ Study Abroad office. While this program was also a marketing-focused consulting project, its main benefit to me was it incited my desire to continue to participate in study abroad programs. I was able to see what a difference my team’s actions made in a country so far from us, and it made me realize that I want to continue to make a difference. Participating in GBI as part of the Kaizntree team will continue to allow me to have an impact, as they are only a startup company, so their room to grow and be successful is exponential.

I am also interested in GBI because I want to improve my skills, both hard and soft. In terms of hard skills, as I mentioned, I am going to learn even more about the best marketing tactics and strategies. I am also excited to gain insight about Kaizntree’s business management softwares, both the ones that they have created and provide for their customers, as well as the ones that they work with to run their own business. As for soft skills, I cannot wait to become more adept at working as part of a team, increase my global competency, learn more strategies regarding how to work through problems, and increase my communication skills. These are all skills that will help me in my professional and personal life for years to come.

In conclusion, I am so excited and grateful to have this opportunity to intern at Kaizntree through GBI. As mentioned in the beginning of this blog post, I am a curious person, and this experience will continue to fulfill my curiosity. I cannot wait to see where this experience takes me!