From the Classroom, To the City, To the Zoom!

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My name is Elizabeth Wright, but most of my family and friends call me Ellie. I am from Scranton, Pennsylvania. Growing up, I went to a small Catholic grade school and had a very sheltered and peaceful childhood. I discovered my love for sports during this period of my life, and really enjoyed playing basketball and running cross country, which were the only two sports offered for girls at my school. At the end of elementary school, I attended a public high school. In high school I continued playing basketball and ran track. I took Spanish classes and truly loved the language. I developed an interest for other cultures and languages.This interest in traveling and experiencing new things peaked when my family began to take vacations outside of the country. Family trips to Mexico, Aruba, and Spain are some of my best memories throughout high school. After my quiet childhood in Scranton, it was so refreshing and enlightening to learn more about other cultures. 

When I was a freshman in high school, I toured The University of Pittsburgh with my older brother. It was love at first sight. The city and overall vibe of the people on campus made me feel at home. It was my goal throughout high school to attend Pitt. I decided to study finance mainly because of my dad, who works in finance and thought it would be a good fit, and my economics teacher in high school, who said I had a knack for it. Turns out, they were both right. I love my major. My finance classes are incredibly interesting and I look forward to learning more as I complete my degree. In addition to my finance major, I am pursuing a certificate in leadership and ethics (CPLE) and a certificate in data analytics. I love the CPLE as I have made many of my closest friends through the program. I have also had the opportunity to work with super cool clients, like the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation. On campus, I like to stay involved. I am involved in Phi Beta Lambda, a professional business organization on campus, as Vice President of Compliance. Additionally, I am the Senior Analyst of the Energy and Industrials Portfolio for Smart Woman Securities, which is a woman only investment organization.  Last school year, I participated on the Chicago Quantitative Alliance Investment Challenge team representing the University of Pittsburgh while managing a market neutral portfolio. Our team finished 3rd nationally which was super exciting. 

The opportunities to study abroad through Pitt Business and immerse myself in new cultures was a main draw. When I was admitted to Pitt Business, I was granted a scholarship to do the Plus 3 study abroad program. I spent my summer before freshman year reading all the blog posts written by participants, so it’s a full circle experience writing blog posts on this website now! I decided I wanted to go to Italy to study the fashion global supply chain. It was such a surreal experience and by far the highlight of my freshman year. I learned so much about the Italian language and culture, toured fashion companies, made many close friendships I still have today, and probably gained 10 pounds from the delicious food! This experience was so great that I knew I wanted to do something like it again. I was accepted into the International Internship Program for Summer of 2020 in Berlin, Germany. I was ready to experience the summer of a lifetime in Berlin, but Corona had other plans. I was able to pivot in my summer plans very quickly, a skill I likely learned from Plus 3, and secured a new internship in my hometown of Scranton. I worked as a financial analysis intern at Powerrail Distribution, a railroad parts manufacturer. Although at first I was disappointed, I made great connections at my internship that I still keep in contact with today. It is due to these connections that I am surprisingly grateful that my summer in Berlin was cancelled. 

Although I had a great summer in Scranton, I still find myself longing for an experience working abroad. Due to the current circumstances of COVID, traveling is obviously not safe or possible, so a remote international project was truly the perfect opportunity. I am excited to apply the skills I have learned in my finance and CPLE classes to help a great cause abroad. In the International Consulting Project, I have been assigned to the Trinidad project team. In our roles, we will work on projects relevant to ecotourism and seek to further the efforts of Nature Seeks, an organization with the mission of saving the sea turtles. We will also consult with DORCAS Women’s Group to further their community impact. I am extremely passionate about women’s rights, and I love sea turtles, so this project was truly made for me! 

In this project, I would like to learn how to successfully interact with people of other cultures in the workplace. After being a member of the American workforce for several years, I am eager to collaborate and learn from workers of diverse backgrounds. I hope to make a positive impact on these great organizations. Additionally, I hope to develop my global competency to make myself a better global citizen. Throughout the project, I will focus on my soft skills to ensure I am enhancing myself as a professional. I will have plenty of opportunities to overcome challenges and grow as a leader in this project. One obstacle our team is already facing is the poor internet quality in Matelot, where DORCAS women’s group is located. We will have to mainly rely on Amizade to communicate our questions to them. I also am looking forward to applying my finance background to this project. For part of the project, my team will be performing some financial analysis for NatureSeekers. It will be great to use my skills to help this great organization. I truly cannot wait to get started on the project. The people, culture, and food of Trinidad and Tobago seems absolutely incredible and I truly hope one day I can visit in person. Until that time comes, however, I look forward to making a positive impact from across the sea!