A Virtual Guten Tag to You

Hello! My name is Julianne Castillo and I am a junior majoring in Marketing with an International Business Certificate at the University of Pittsburgh. Outside the classroom, I am the Business Manager for the Filipino Students Association, Director of Diversity and Inclusion for Alpha Kappa Psi, an active member of the Asian Student Alliance, and former First Year Mentor.  I am passionate about promoting diversity/ inclusion and Filipino culture throughout Pitt’s campus. And in my free time, I enjoy keeping up with F1 Racing, finding new coffee/bubble tea shops, and online shopping. I also love traveling and have been to over 10 countries and would love to visit more. With my interest in traveling and possibly working abroad one day, I hope to bring that interest and passion along with what I have learned through my International Business courses to this International Consulting Project. 

The University of Pittsburgh and Pitt Business have been an amazing space that has helped me foster thought and creativity while being a welcoming community. My time at Pitt has helped me prepare and think about my future career and post-graduation plans. Through my Marketing courses, talking to professors, and my previous job as a First Year Mentor all have led me to my interest in working in corporate event planning and experiential retail. I enjoy creating events and spaces where people can interact with each other through common (or not common) interests and curiosities. I have a particular interest in working with product launches, pop-up shops, and content engagement. With my previous job as a First Year Mentor through the Office of New Student Programs at the University of Pittsburgh, I was able to help create, budget and execute events for Welcome Week and first year students throughout the year. This job helped me realize my passion for event planning and content creation. I really enjoy bringing people together, organizing events from start to finish, and making sure everyone has a great time. I feel like event planning is an important field, especially after a time like this, because it breaks up the monotony of our new norm, gives people something to look forward to, and makes people feel like a part of something.

I am looking forward to this opportunity to participate in the International Consulting Project for the German company Possehl Online Solutions this semester. I am Filipino-American and was born in New Jersey, but grew up in Northern Virginia. I am fortunate to have traveled to the Philippines to visit family many times throughout my childhood as well as other parts of the world for vacation. Through those travels, I have gained new perspectives and appreciation for different cultures, which has led me to my pursuance of an International Business Certificate. I am also very interested in working abroad and hopefully may do so one day. I hope this program may give me more insight into how international companies work and what the dynamic is like, in order to help me decide whether living/working abroad is for me. I was supposed to study abroad during Summer 2020 for the Global Business Institute-London, but due to the pandemic the program was canceled. I am very fortunate that my academic advisor was able to help me find this program to apply to as another way to have a real world application to what I have learned through Pitt Business. I hope to learn more about myself, how to work in a team, and more about how international companies conduct business.  I also look forward to working with the team and help Possehl Online Solutions in any way we can. 

I love working and I find that I learn best when I get to do things hands on, this is one of the main reasons why I wanted to be part of this program. I really enjoy applying what I learn in the classroom to real life sceanarios as it brings to life the situations/topics and enhances my knowledge on the subject. I also find working in group settings to be interesting as it brings new perspectives and opinions to the project. With that being said, I am excited to work with my group to create deliverables and timelines to our clients-Possehl Online Solutions. With the group focus being on marketing (using that perspective) we are going to try to answer the main questions presented by our clients such as, “ Which countries should be targeted?, Who are our competitors and how can our marketing stand out from them?, and What should be the strategy and timing of market entry? (export, joint venture, FDI…)?” 

Our marketing team will do our best to work towards applicable and timely solutions for this new startup company, by pooling our marketing knowledge and utilizing our resources. We understand that Possehl Online Solutions is a startup based in Germany, where it optimizes B2B operations for companies within its conglomerate. During our meeting with the University of Augsburg we were able to learn more about the company, such as that it is part of a conglomerate of “hidden champions” as it continues the tradition of manufacturing/repair in Germany. The unique idea that started this startup was to “offer brand stores and marketplace access from a single source, thus enabling the transition at any time.” (Possehl Online Solutions GmbH) Possehl is one of the first in its industry to do this and offer their service directly as a B2B, they are building the first corporate start-up company. I am very interested in this idea and how it will take form throughout the next few years. Our team is very fortunate to be able to work so closely with a new startup and help the company through their most formative months (they just opened in January 2021). We look forward to meeting with the CEO Alexander Wachter in the following weeks and learning more about the company he helped start up. This should be an amazing project and I look forward to learning from everybody. 

Thank you for reading this and I hope you have a great rest of your day!