As I was returning home and beginning to unpack from my experience studying abroad, I was struck with a reflection of my last 6 weeks in London. My abroad experience has given me many opportunities, like traveling, having an international internship, taking courses I never would’ve taken at Pitt, and meeting people from all different global universities, however the biggest aspect that I am thankful for was the opportunity to grow. Thinking back to the nerves and fear of the unknown I was facing in May before flying to London, I am shocked with how much I’ve learned about independence and living in a brand new environment in just 6 quick weeks.
Professionally, I have grown in multiple areas including skills within my field, transferable soft skills, and confidence in working at a real world company. Within my field I learned a lot about data manipulation at my internship; however, the biggest gain was in soft skills. I learned how to effectively work and communicate in a global office full of people from all different backgrounds. I had co-workers from places all over the world and being able to see their daily interactions and work face to face with such a diverse group has given me a lot of knowledge about communication styles and how an office can operate effectively. Additionally, being in this role has given me confidence that will transfer with me to many other jobs because I know have experience working in an entirely new environment that was very unknown to me upon my arrival.
Academically, I was able to learn and appreciate London history so much more through my Shakespeare in London course. Learning about the history involved in his plays and observing the life of someone who lived in London in the past allowed my studies to grow outside of the classroom. Additionally, being able to visit and see shows at the historic Globe Theater through this course allowed me to appreciate theater more than I ever have before.
Personally, I have learned a lot on the subject of independence. Being able to travel outside of the US, which I have never done before, on my own and be immersed in a brand new city has given me the freedom to grow and explore. My ability to adapt and be flexible was tested but I am very proud of all of the things I was able to see and explore while abroad on top of balancing my courses and my internship. My appreciation for foreign cultures was also able to grow because I had the opportunities to travel to not only London, but also Venice and Paris while abroad.
Overall, from this experience there are many things I will be bringing back and transferring to my life in the US. I am excited to see how my new time management skills from balancing enjoying the new city with classes and work, as well as my new personal confidence from being independent and adaptable, transfer back to Pitt Business and to future internships.