Hi everyone! My name is Lauren Gallagher and I am a rising junior in the College of Business Administration at the University of Pittsburgh. I am from Chicago, IL, and I have loved exploring Pittsburgh the last few years but I knew studying abroad was something I had to cross off my list. In my first two years at Pitt, I have declared a major in Marketing and decided to pursue a certificate in International Business and a minor in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. Studying abroad was always something I wanted to do in college and so International Business was something that fit right into my academic pursuits. I want to become culturally competent as a business student and learn how to perform roles in different cultural contexts and having an internship abroad is a good step in learning these skills. My marketing studies have been a great fit for me as someone who is not necessarily very technical, but I like to understand and think more deeply about appealing to different kinds of people. My GSWS studies have fit into this perfectly as I have learned skills and listened to stories that have opened my eyes to new perspectives and taught me empathy.
Along with my studies, I love being involved on campus in multiple ways. This past year I was on the executive board for the American Marketing Association Pitt Chapter, where I helped put together every aspect of our Regional Conference, bringing together students and professionals in the marketing industry. Next year I will be the VP of Professional Development, a role I am very excited for as I get a hand in recruiting professional speakers and planning site visits and workshops for AMA members. Along with AMA, I started working as a campus recreation attendant the first month I was at Pitt and now I am lucky enough to be a Facility Student Manager for the Campus Recreation Department on campus. This has been really great leadership experience and has allowed me to be involved with my fellow Pitt students from a behind-the-scenes position, making sure all of our operations run smoothly for the students. Finally, I am a member of the Pitt Club Softball team, and after joining my freshman year I have found an amazing community through my team. I’ve already been to Georgia twice to compete in Nationals and each semester we travel to multiple neighboring campuses to have fun and play competitive softball. I can’t wait for next year when I’ll get to be the social media manager for the team!
I chose the International Internship Program in Dublin to participate in this summer because it is an amazing opportunity for me academically and careerwise. I’ve always wanted to try living in a city abroad before I graduate and working for two months in Ireland was the perfect fit. Dublin is a city full of so much culture and is somewhere that has always been on my travel list. The opportunity to completely immerse myself for a summer was exactly what I wanted for my study abroad experience. Last summer I had the opportunity to intern for the Chicago Park District and worked on social media marketing, designing promotional materials, and taking photos and videos to update the website. I was able to get my first taste of marketing and I’m excited to continue to learn new skills at my internship in Dublin this summer. I’ll be working for a small non-profit that organizes and gives prestigious academic awards to undergraduate students. I hope to gain marketing and promotion experience from this job and learn cross-cultural skills that will help me in my international business curriculum. I hope being a part of this program helps me realize a little more of what I am passionate about in the marketing industry and whether living abroad after graduation is a good step for me.
When it comes to personal growth, I am so excited for this trip. I plan on coming in with an open mind, hoping to meet new people, build connections and learn so much. Whether it’s with other students, my co-workers, or the people I meet around the city, I really want to learn and make as many good memories as I can in the time I have. I hope to learn more about myself along the way and take time to reflect and think about every moment I’m going through. When I inevitably come back to Pittsburgh I want to bring back invaluable skills and lessons that will supplement my education and help guide me as I take on the second half of my college experience. I can’t wait to look back and think about this experience and how much it changed me for the better.