From Pittsburgh, to Germany (via Zoom)!

Hello! My name is Olivia Wagner and I’m a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh studying Marketing and Supply Chain Management with a minor in Film & Media Studies. I’m from Hershey, Pennsylvania (the sweetest place on earth!). Aside from academics I am a brother in the professional business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi, and I am involved in the American Marketing Association. Outside of my life in Pittsburgh, I work at a small coffee & tea retail shop near my hometown where I have gained so much first-hand experience on how small businesses survive and compete with rivaling companies. I am eager to use the skills I have learned throughout my job and past internships and apply them to this real world, hands on program. 

My journey at Pitt has already been extremely insightful. As a freshman I was majoring in Film & Media studies while thinking I was going to pursue a career in the film industry. Over time I realized that path wasn’t for me and I decided to transfer into the College of Business Administration. Transferring into CBA has been the best decision in my college career thus far. Being surrounded by highly motivated, intelligent individuals who are also career driven has made me strive to excel personally and professionally. I was particularly interested in majoring in Marketing because there is a prevalent aspect of creativity that is needed within the field. I consider myself a fairly creative person that enjoys problem-solving and researching. Aside from my majors- I’m still unsure if I want to go into a field with regards to Supply Chain Management- I’m continuing to have Film & Media Studies in my degree and hopefully within my career path. Six years ago I was introduced to Adobe Premier Pro and was given a small handheld school camera, it felt like my life changed forever. The joy I felt while producing school broadcasts or recap videos for school activities was unbelievable. Being able to learn about a story or event and then retell it through cinematography was my favorite part of high school. For the last two years of my high school career, I was the person everyone club or sports team came to if they needed a video created. The fact that I was able to film and edit these videos while showcasing my work to the school felt unreal. Although my passion has changed -I realized the reality of the film industry- I still enjoy cinematography and media. I hope to intertwine my love for film and media with my interest in marketing throughout my future career. Professionally I hope to pursue a career along the lines of advertising, brand influencing, or even consulting. I’ve always been interested in social media and analytics; I hope to pursue those interests within my career path and the ICP program. 

The International Consulting Project I am working within is the Germany project. Partnering with the University of Augsburg, my classmates and I are working with a German startup company prevalent within the B2B marketplace, Possehl Online Solutions, to assist them using various marketing techniques that will allow them to stand out from their competitors and aim to succeed in their target markets. Although the startup is just a few weeks old, it is part of a larger conglomerate within Germany, Possehl, that ages much farther back. Possehl itself is rich in knowledge of the industry and already has a strong bond with its consumers, the key to operating a successful company. The company specializes in manufacturing specific parts for customized machines. However, Possehl Online Solutions offers a different aspect into the market. The startup specializes in optimal digitization and digital solutions. Having never worked with a start-up company before, let alone a company outside of the United States, my experience in the program so far has been overwhelming but exciting. I look forward to meeting with the team of Possehl Online Solutions and learning more about CEO Alexander Wachter’s goals for the company and its overall well-being. I’m more than excited to share ideas and ways we can work together to push their startup into their target market. Additionally, of course the international aspect of this program piqued my interest. I have never been outside of the United States before, but I’ve always wanted to travel. The idea of being immersed in a new culture has always seemed exhilarating to me. I love meeting new people and learning about their experiences and lifestyle. However, during a pandemic, travelling is out of the question which is why I am so grateful for the opportunities that this program holds. I’m so eager to learn about Germany’s culture and how it differs from the United States’, even if it’s through a computer screen. 

Although the program just started, I have already learned so much and I cannot wait to learn more while developing personally and professionally. Of course, once this program ends, I hope to have a better idea of consulting and if I may want to pursue it within my career path. However, diving deeper I hope to learn more about marketing techniques, different types of markets, and consulting firms all while sharpening my cultural competency. I am so interested to see how the market differs culturally, if at all. Also, I am looking forward to speaking with our clients and being able to have discussions about real problems and solutions within the market. I am so honored to have this opportunity and I cannot wait to jump into this real-world, virtual experience that will most definitely benefit me not only professionally, but personally. 

Again, I am so excited and thankful for this program. I can’t wait to update this blog with new experiences and insights!