Why Waste Such A Special Opportunity?

Hello everyone! My name is Valerie Davis and I am a rising senior at the University of Pittsburgh. I am a Media and Professional Communications major on the Corporate/Community Relations track with minors in Political Science and Theatre Arts. I am originally from around 30 minutes north of Pittsburgh, so I have been a “yinzer” since birth. However, I am a transfer student, as I went to the University of Vermont for the first semester of my college career. There, I realized where I truly wanted to be for college and came to Pitt second semester of my freshman year. To this day, the transfer to Pitt was the best decision of my life. I absolutely love this school and I cannot wait to see what my last year will hold!

During my senior year of high school, I was one of the Co-Editor-in-Chiefs for my high school newspaper. This experience ultimately sparked my love for journalism, media, and communications and was the reason I chose my major. I still write articles for publications on occasion, but as time has gone on, I’ve delved into some other areas of interest. During the fall of my junior year of college, I was a Constituent Services intern for Bob Casey, the Democratic U.S. Senator for Pennsylvania. Just this past spring semester, I became the Vice President of Hiring, Training, and Recruitment for Pitt Pathfinders, the tour guide organization on campus. My love for political advocacy, helping others, and forming genuine connections with those around me has led to a better understanding of what I wish to pursue in a future career. As of right now, I plan to pursue a career in public relations, which directly ties into my internship this summer.

Personally, I am very into biking, running, and staying active. I also enjoy musical theater and playing lacrosse (exact opposites, I know), as they have been two of my greatest passions ever since I was ten years old. Overall, though, I enjoy traveling, spending time with friends and family, and trying new food the most. In my lifetime, my family has hosted two foreign exchange students — one from Reykjavik, Iceland and the other from Paris, France — both of which we still keep in touch with. This exposure to other cultures and languages opened up my eyes to what the world has to offer, thus leading me to my uncontainable excitement for this summer.

A week from today, I will reside in Dublin, Ireland trying to rid of the inevitable jet lag that will come with flying from Pittsburgh to Europe. I chose the International Internship Program: Dublin because the idea of Ireland has always intrigued me. I have had the incredible opportunity to travel to Iceland, France, and England, but I know there are countless more countries to explore. Whether it be the infamous Trinity College library or the fantastic historic roots all over the island, I have always wanted to go on a vacation to Ireland. So, when I saw that I could live and work full time in the nation’s capital, I knew I had to take advantage of the opportunity.

Beginning on June 7th, I will begin my public relations internship at Limelight Communications. This public relations agency has clients from numerous fields, including film and TV, events management, and public service. As someone who has always had a hard time with narrowing down what I am interested in, I am especially eager for this internship because the company seems to think just like me: they do it all! There are specific employees that represent each sector of the company and as an intern, I will shadow every single part of it.

On a professional level, by participating in this full-time internship, I hope to focus on what I actually wish to pursue after I graduate from Pitt next spring. The real world can be quite daunting, but I know that with an experience such as this, I will be prepared for anything. It turns out that there is more to life than Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which is relieving yet terrifying.

In addition to working a full-time internship for the first time, I will be simultaneously living within Irish society. From a personal standpoint, I hope to grow immensely over the next few months and be able to accept the inevitable change in my life. To put this into perspective, I thought going to school in Vermont was the most drastic change of my life. To be fair, that was a huge change for me at the time. I uprooted my whole life and lived twelve hours away from where I had spent the first eighteen years of my life. Even now, I still give credit to those who can go to school so far away from home when they are still so young. Two and a half years later, though, I have decided to live on a different continent for just slightly less time than a typical college semester. However, this time, I feel more ready. I know who I am a bit better, I know what I believe in, and I know what I hope to gain from this experience.

To help me prepare for this adventure, I have not only read our assigned book and researched for many hours the history of Ireland, but I have also binge watched Normal People, a Hulu original series taken place in Ireland (it’s a great TV series that will make you laugh and cry; I highly recommend it). My excitement for this program has not wavered one bit since I received the acceptance email, and I cannot wait to immerse myself in the culture and “do as the locals do.” I do not plan to take any moment for granted; why waste such a special opportunity?