Thoughts Before Berlin

Guten Tag! My name is Caitlin Jarrell, and I am a rising junior in the College of Business Administration. My majors are Finance and Global Management, and I am also pursuing minors in French and Political Science. Outside of the classroom, I am involved in the professional business fraternity Phi Chi Theta, which I helped to reactivate on Pitt’s campus! I formerly served as Secretary and next year I will be Senior Vice President. Also, I am a member of Smart Women Securities, a female investing club on campus. I like being involved with multiple activities, and I think joining business organizations was a great way for me to improve my professional skills and build lasting connections!

Aside from organizations, I spend my free time exploring the city with my friends. My roommates and I made it a goal to experience the city through its food and shopping, so my weekends usually consist of small shops and dinners at new restaurants. I really enjoy learning about new places, whether it be day trips to the different boroughs of Pittsburgh or an entire summer in Berlin! Since a young age, I have wanted to travel and immerse myself in other cultures. My grandparents traveled all across Europe, and I received a souvenir and post card from every location, ingraining a love of travel in me. I chose the International Internship Program (IIP): Berlin because German culture is intriguing to me. I unfortunately do not speak German, but I am hoping to pick some up during my time in Germany. As a political science minor, I love learning about history and visiting the sites of major historical events. Berlin provides a lot of opportunities for me to expand on my knowledge, and I am really looking forward to seeing the city’s landmarks, especially the remnants of the Berlin Wall. Of course, I am excited to try all the food that I can while in Berlin, as well!

My number one goal for personal growth on this trip is to become a more open, global-oriented person. At home, it is so easy to fall into a pattern and not try new things (excluding my food adventures in Pittsburgh). Instead of saying “no” to things, I want to say “yes” and expand my horizons while in Berlin. My hope is that this will continue back in Pittsburgh, and I will find myself welcoming changes and experiences with open arms and an open mind. Along with this, I would like to become immersed in German culture and develop an ability to adapt to different cultures. This will be useful in future travels and even just in interactions with people from other countries.

It has been a long-time goal of mine to work in international finance after graduation, hopefully abroad, so the IIP is the perfect program to prepare me for my professional and academic goals. Since I just completed my sophomore year, I do not have much finance knowledge yet, but working as a finance intern this summer will give me the opportunity to implement what I have learned and expand my knowledge astronomically. Combining the Finance and Global Management majors was based on a very specific goal for my future career, and it has created a niche academic experience so far. I put everything that I learn in the perspective of international business, because that will prepare me for my future. With this internship, everything is already in an international setting. I will be able to learn about finance in a completely different culture, which will give me a unique ability to understand the global classes planned for my next four semesters. I feel as though an out-of-the-classroom experience is so necessary for business students, because globalization is so prominent and the business world is ever-expanding. I completely understand why a global experience is required for my Global Management major, and it is part of the reason why I chose the major. This program will also provide me with an edge when it comes to internships next summer and landing an international finance job after graduation, because I will have international work experience already. It will give me more experience to discuss in interviews, because I will face challenges this summer that will shape me as a young professional.

While I am extremely nervous for the cultural differences and settling into a new city, I am confident that this experience will teach me so much about myself, finance, and international business. I am excited to share my weekly blog posts about how my summer goes, and to look back on this post at the end of these nine weeks!

Auf Wiedersehen,

Caitlin Jarrell