A Virtual Trip to Dublin

Hello! My name is Connor Damon, and I am an incoming junior at the University of Pittsburgh in the College of Business Administration’s Honors Program, double majoring in Supply Chain Management and Business Information Systems with a minor in Film and Media Studies and a Certificate in Business Analytics. I am originally from just south of Pittsburgh, PA, and I could not imagine living anywhere else. I am extremely passionate about the performing arts, especially theater and cinema, and grew up acting in various musicals and plays all throughout middle and high school and have continued to pursue this passion through my A Cappella group on campus, the Songburghs. Professionally speaking, I have had all sorts of part time jobs throughout my high school and college career, from an ice cream scoop at Baskin Robbins to a Computer Lab Monitor in Hillman Library to a tuxedo salesman at my local formalwear shop, but the Virtual International Internship Program is my first taste of a more official job.

I chose to participate in the Virtual IIP because it is a super unique experience that I believe will help distinguish me from my peers when applying to full time jobs in the coming years. When I was applying to colleges at the beginning of my senior year of high school, one of the most important factors in my decision making was having great opportunities to study abroad, which ultimately was the one of the determining factors in my decision to come to Pitt; however, last year as I was preparing to travel to Ecuador with the Plus 3 program, my international experience was cut short by the COVID 19 pandemic, and while there were no opportunities to travel abroad this year, I still felt the desire to work in an international environment, which led me to choosing this program. Additionally, as a double major with several extremely different interests, I have struggled to narrow down what exactly I plan to do with my degree following graduation in 2023, whether it be in a Supply Chain role, a Data Analysis role, or even a Film role. By participating in a program like the Virtual IIP, I hope to gain a greater understanding of the kind of work I enjoy doing so that I can better prepare myself for the world after college.

This summer, I am delighted to be interning with Wrkit in Dublin, Ireland as a Data Analysis Intern. Wrkit is a super interesting company, which provides a variety of customized packages, modules, and solutions to support employee engagement within companies, including various different anonymous surveys aimed to gauge the overall mental, physical, and emotional health of their clients’ employees. After over an entire year of this pandemic, we all have become much more aware of how our mental health is affected by the environment in which we work, and Wrkit provides the tools necessary to maximize employee wellness in all facets, ultimately resulting in more productivity. Although I am fairly new to data analytics, having just started pursuing my certificate in the fall of the previous year, I am excited for the challenges I will face applying and expanding my current knowledge in a professional setting.

Academically speaking, I am really hoping to learn more about data analysis tools and applications so that I can better prepare myself for either coursework or even my career further down the road, but I am also excited to get a firsthand experience of how the business knowledge I have learned up to this point in my career through the Pitt Business Core can be applied to a real-world setting. In terms of my professional development, the something I hope to gain from this experience is practice interacting more with colleagues in a professional setting. Although I have a ton of experience working with others in group projects and in my many part-time jobs, I have yet to truly have a more professional office job, so I am interested to see how interacting with coworkers differs in different settings, especially across cultural lines and over the internet. Personally speaking, the most important thing I hope to gain from this experience is simply to push myself out of my comfort zone. As someone who is not exactly the most outgoing, I struggle to participate in potentially uncomfortable experiences, and working my first internship with a company across the ocean, in a different time zone, and over the internet is certainly not something I would say I find comfortable, but I hope to go beyond simply that to help “break out of my shell” for lack of a less cliché phrase.

I can’t wait to get started next week at Wrkit, and I am looking forward to sharing my international journey here in the coming weeks!