My name is Aaron Hunt, and I’m a rising senior at Pitt majoring in Marketing with a minor in Political Science and certificates in International Business and Business Analytics. I am originally from Boise, Idaho, and my desire to discover new places and cultures is what drove me to both enroll in a university across the country and to participate in Pitt’s International Internship Program in Paris! I have been blessed to be able to visit several countries in Europe, Asia, and North America throughout my life, including a 3-year stint when my family lived in Shanghai, China as a kid. When I came to college, I knew that I wanted to study abroad. Although I’ve had to contend with several cancellations and delays to those plans thanks to the pandemic, I’m so excited to finally arrive in France, a country I have wanted to visit for years.
Growing up in Idaho, I love pretty much all things outdoors. There is a ton to do both around my hometown of Boise as well as up in the mountains, from biking, to backpacking, to skiing. One of my greatest passions is music. I have played guitar since I was a kid, and love playing rock, jazz, and funk music with my band I am in with several of my friends at Pitt. I also play the alto saxophone in the Pitt Varsity Marching Band. This has been one of my favorite experiences in college so far, as I have loved going to all of Pitt’s football games at Heinz Field as well as trips to the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit, the Peach Bowl in Atlanta, and the ACC championship in Charlotte. I have made tons of friends as a part of the band, and next year I will have the privilege of being a section leader for the saxes!
Another one of my interests that I hope to experience while in France is soccer (which I should probably get used to calling fotball). Since taking an interest in high school I have grown to love the sport. Later this month, Liverpool—my favorite team—will be playing in the Champions League final at the Stade de France in Paris. I will definitely be joining the thousands of Liverpool supporters for the festivities that day and to watch the math (though unfortunately not in the stadium).
IIP Paris gives me the opportunity to combine several aspects of my academic interests. I will be able to improve my French language skills, which I have been studying for three years at Pitt, and in addition I will also be working on my main area of studying, which is Marketing. I love marketing because it encompasses much of the study of the business world, while also offering opportunities to be more creative. For my internship, I will be interning at Le Blindtest, which is a music event planning company based in Paris. As someone who is really interested in music, I was so excited to hear I’d be working for this company and I can’t wait to get started and learn more about the music industry here in Paris.
While I think that these next two months will be an unforgettable and positive experience, I’m sure they won’t come without its adversity. Navigating the language barrier, particularly in the first few weeks, will undoubtedly be a challenge. I will have to work hard to communicate both with coworkers at my internship and at home with my host family. Paris is very different from any place I have lived before, and I’m sure adapting to the culture will take some time. But I believe that getting pushed out of one’s comfort zone is extremely valuable, and is where we can learn the most. At the end of the day, I’m coming to Paris to be challenged, and these obstacles are a major reason I think that study abroad is so valuable. I will get to live and work in a beautiful, historic city and I’m sure I’ll learn a lot about Paris and about my field through my internship. But I hope that by summer’s end I’ll have also learned a lot about myself: how I solve problems, adapt to new situations, how I deal with both successes and failures, and much more that I can’t even foresee.
So, if you’re reading this, welcome to the start of my journey. I hope that through these posts I will be able to convey what this experience is like for me, and that you can get a sense of my life in summer of 2022. May it be filled with new friends, experiences, and memories—good and otherwise.
A très bientôt, Paris!