An International Consulting Experience – My Virtual Adventure to Cochabamba

Hello! I am Oscar Hung, a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh. I am currently pursuing a major in Finance and a minor in French, along with certificates in International Business and Business Analytics. Within PittBusiness, I am the Director of Development at the Consulting Academy, where I help students with consulting case interviews and professional development. At Panther Equity, the university’s student-led investment fund, I am a junior analyst, specializing in picking healthcare stocks using financial valuation methods. I am also the former president of Society for International Business, where I helped students become familiar with the international experiences available to them. Outside of PittBusiness, I am also a member of the Latinx Student Association. Lastly, I intern remotely at Global Financial Services, LLC in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area, providing research support for the company’s president and her clients all around the world.

I have been very fortunate to have visited many places in my life, including 29 countries and 5 continents. Born in Maracaibo, Venezuela, I had to leave my country at the age of eight as its political and economic situation worsened. At that point, I moved very far away to a small town in the middle of the Sumatran rainforest called Duri, Indonesia. In my five years there, I had the opportunity to meet lots of people from all around the world and visit many places in the Australasian region. One very peculiar visit I made was to Yogkyakarta, Indonesia, as this place happens to be the furthest city in the world from my hometown. I later moved to Houston, Texas, where I lived until I started university. In high school, I continued travelling as president of the Model UN team, where we made trips to Monterrey and Dubai. It was during that visit to Dubai that, one fateful night at 2 AM, I received an email from the University of Pittsburgh, offering me the Cathedral of Learning Prestige scholarship, and this made my choice of university relatively easy. I was lucky that they also had great international programs. In my freshman year of university, I was selected for Plus3 Vietnam, where I was going to travel, focusing on the Globalization and Development that the business landscape of the country has undergone. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic prevented this experience from occurring. Having Spanish half-sisters has also enabled me to travel around Europe at various points in my life. Eventually, I plan to go to Africa, perhaps specifically to Morocco, to round off the six inhabited continents, and maybe someday I can go to Antarctica as well.

I have had the experience of leading and transforming many organizations, from my most recent experience as president of Society for International Business to captaining my high school Duke of Edinburgh Gold (where we did trekking and canoeing expeditions), mock trial, and Model UN teams. I pride myself on having left legacies at all of these organizations. This translates very well into the role of consulting, and indeed, the prospect of becoming a management consultant in the future is something that intrigues me. I also have experience with service learning. In the past, I have done expeditions to Jakarta, Indonesia; New Orleans, Louisiana; and Crystal River, Florida to help out communities in need. I have also volunteered locally at the community around Duri, Indonesia while I lived there and at the City of Katy, Brookwood Residential Community, and the Houston Food Bank while I’ve lived in the Houston Area. This service learning experience, however, will be the first time I interact with people from a different country to the one I am currently living in.

I first became interested in the International Consulting Projects program during my time as president of Society for International Business, where some alumni recommended the Global Service Learning program to me. This intrigued me because of its consulting component. Unfortunately, travel restrictions made that program impossible during the pandemic, but during one of the guest-speaking appearances from PittBusiness International Programs staff, I was informed that the program would be modified into the International Consulting Projects, which would take place virtually. The International Consulting Projects program is the perfect way for me to get hands-on experience with consulting, and helping a real client with real business issues. This program also has the added bonus of feeding my affinity for international experiences, even if it can only be done virtually at this time.

During the program, I will be working with CEOLI, a nonprofit center for disabled youth in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Through CEOLI’s card program, many disabled people have found a way to generate an income. These beautiful cards incorporate the beauty of Bolivian traditions, attire, and scenery. Over the course of this semester, I will be helping organize an art show for CEOLI and helping the organization apply for grants. I am very excited to help to learn more about their business and find ways to help this organization thrive.  The program is enabled by Amizade, another nonprofit that focuses on connecting students to service-learning opportunities like this, where we can gain fantastic experience. Last week, I had a chance to meet Amizade’s site director for Bolivia, Jean Carla Costas, and she gave a wonderful presentation about Bolivia’ history, its people, and its landscape. This really taught me a lot about the people I will be working with, and will allow me to better accommodate their needs as I do business with them. Hopefully I can visit someday!

I am very excited to get underway with this project. Fortunately, I already know my teammate Madison from working together at the Consulting Academy and Ben from working together at the PwC Challenge Case Competition. I look forward to getting to know Claire, Claudia, Megan, and Lauren as we work together this semester. We have already met once to work on our Scope of Work document, and we are off to a good start! I thank Pitt for this great opportunity for me to gain consulting experience, improve my business acumen, and enrich my understanding of a completely new culture.