International Consulting Project: Relationships, Art, and Adventure!

Hello, my name is Megan McCarthy! Welcome to my blog! ¡Hola, mi nombre es Megan McCarthy! ¡Bienvenidos a mi blog! 

I’m super excited to start this journey with my peers, CEOLI, and Amizade as we spend the semester collaborating on the International Consulting Program — and I’m going to bring you along with me! 

For our consulting project, we will be working to complete two objectives for the CEOLI organization: creating a comprehensive plan for an art benefit show and discovering new funding opportunities through international grants and sponsorships. 

CEOLI is a non-profit organization located in Cochabamba, Bolivia. This organization works to create an environment that empowers individuals with disabilities through education. It provides an expansive array of services to both children and adults in order to provide the resources necessary for people of all ability levels to achieve their goals. 

As I said before, my name is Megan McCarthy. I’m currently 19 years old, but I’m turning 20 in a month which feels pretty crazy. Three things that are super important to me right now are relationships, art, and adventure. 

Growing up with three siblings, it’s not surprising that relationships are a priority of mine; I’m not sure that I spent any time alone my entire childhood (that was a joke, but it was mostly true). I am 100% an extrovert. So, as I’m sure most of us are feeling, I’m a little disappointed that I won’t have the opportunity to meet face to face with some of the people involved with my program. But, at the same time, I am extremely grateful for the technological resources we have that make the distance between us all feel smaller. 

I’m excited to form meaningful relationships with my peer consultants, our advisors (from Pitt Study Abroad and Amizade), and individuals within the CEOLI organization.  

I really love art. I love that it highlights the beauty of the world, but also shines light on the hard parts of life.  Most of all, I’m passionate about art because it makes me feel seen.  Everyone’s experiences control their perception of the world.  A lot of times, I have felt that even among others who shared similar life experiences with me, my perception of the world was vastly different.  This is definitely a strength, as varying perspectives create the most universal and comprehensive solution to a problem, but it also felt isolating at times. When I received the diagnosis that I had a learning disability, it all made sense to me.  However, I also went through a process of grieving the times where I could not understand why I felt different from those around me. So, I spend a lot of my time doing photography, and I hope that showcasing my perception of the world through my art helps others feel seen.  Art is a form of communication in which we all speak the same language.  CEOLI’s mission to empower individuals with disabilities in Cochabamba through education really inspires me.  Their program that is most meaningful to me is their job training program which allows individuals to achieve autonomy through the creation and sales of their artwork.  

I am proud to be a part of a project that will help showcase unique perspectives because I know that this will take our world one step closer to a place where more people, with varying experiences, feel seen. 

I was born in Pittsburgh, so when I committed to Pitt I was worried it might feel like I stayed in my own backyard.  This was a fear of mine because new experiences and a sense of adventure are some of my favorite things about life.  This fear was quelled almost immediately when I moved onto campus.  Oakland, the neighborhood of Pittsburgh that Pitt is located in, sometimes feels like a different world when compared to the suburban part of Pittsburgh that I grew up in.  Oakland exudes excitement through all of its hustle and bustle.  Because of this, I have a strong sense of anticipation for experiencing the lively culture of cities all around the world.  Travel, in my opinion, is one of the most fundamental ways to experience adventure. Although my plans for travel and study abroad have been postponed by the pandemic, I continue to seek out adventure — though sometimes my most adventurous action of the day is taking a walk around the block.  Last week, my group had the opportunity to meet Jean Carla Costas, who serves as the Bolivia Site Director for this program.  Hearing her describe her country’s culture made me feel invigorated as I felt that I got to experience a piece of Bolivian culture through our Zoom call. 

I am thankful for the opportunity to participate in this project, as I know it will quench my thirst for adventure until I am able to get on a plane and experience new things without my laptop as a liaison. 

I’m a student at the University of Pittsburgh in the College of Business Administration. I’m pursuing a degree in Marketing with certificates in Leadership and Ethics, Digital Media, and International Business. The puzzle pieces of my degree amass to create an educational path that really excites me.  I’ll spare you the details of each part, but I want to tell you a little bit more about my certificate in Leadership and Ethics.  

I am really lucky to have the parents that I do.  They have been amazing examples of the kind of person I want to be in life.  In their respective domains, each of them serves as an ethical and effective leader.  I know that they make a difference in their worlds, and this has instilled a strong desire in me to make a difference in my own world.  When I heard about this certificate program, I knew that the things I learned in my classes would help me achieve this goal.  Each semester, along with the others in my cohort, I learn more about what it truly means to be a leader and uphold ethical behavior.  We work on consulting projects which allows us to convert the concepts we learn in the classroom into real life skills that will indefinitely improve how we handle business interactions.  When our advisors sent us an email about the opportunity to participate in the International Consulting project, I knew that it would be something that would contribute exponentially to my academic and professional development — on top of the fact that I thought it would be a ton of fun.  

This is why the International Consulting Project will be a meaningful experience for me: 

I will have the opportunity to build new meaningful relationships.  I will be part of a program where I get to see art make a difference for others like it has for me.  I will experience a new adventure. I will exercise my consulting skills, especially as they relate to leadership and ethics. 

Thank you for your time! I’m excited to give you my next update!

¡Gracias por su tiempo! ¡Estoy emocionada de dar mi próxima actualización! 

Megan McCarthy