Hello everyone! My name is John Franke, but I usually go by Jack. I am from Buffalo, New York, and this will be my first time in Europe, which is very exciting and a little nerve-wracking. I will be a junior at Pitt next semester, and I am currently working towards a Marketing and Business Information Systems double major. Although I am a business major, I am very interested in other areas like sociology, psychology, and the arts. In my free time, I enjoy skiing, playing hockey, listening to music, photography, hiking, exploring, watching TV shows like Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, and spending time with my friends and family.
At Pitt, I am in involved in multiple on-campus organizations, such as the business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi and Sigma Chi. One of my favorites parts of Pitt is the versatility of the campus and area around it. There are so many small restaurants and stores to visit in Oakland, and even more in the other parts of Pittsburgh. Although it’s a largely city environment, there are beautiful green areas like Schenley Park and Panther Hollow a quick walk away. There are always new things to do and see, which is something I really appreciate.
That being said, I am very excited to explore Ireland this summer! I will be participating in the International Internship Program in Dublin, an opportunity I am very grateful for. I will be interning at D-Light Studios, a large creative workspace in the heart of Dublin. They work with photographers, artists, advertising agencies, production companies, and the film and television industry. As a marketing major with an interest in advertising and someone who enjoys photography, this internship is a dream come true for me. I will get the chance to learn a lot, and work on projects that genuinely interest me.
I think some of my previous work experience will help me with this internship. Although much of what I am doing will be new to me, I have learned a lot of valuable lessons and skills in previous jobs. I have worked at Rite Aid since my sophomore year at high school, working at home in Buffalo, and even the Rite Aid in Oakland. This has helped me with customer service and communication skills that can be used in many different scenarios. On top of this, I interned at Franco’s Pizza, a local pizza chain in Buffalo, last summer. There are five Franco’s locations and I worked in the central office. I helped the owners, the human resources manager, the marketing director, and the account manager with various tasks related to the different stores. I watched and learned how a small business was run in real time and got varied experience in different lanes. I think the most important part for my internship in Dublin will be the work that I did with the marketing manager. He showed me how the social media was run, took me with him to take pictures of food for advertisements, and many other things. I worked at both Rite Aid and Franco’s last summer, which taught me valuable time management skills.
I chose to participate in the International Internship Program for a number of reasons. I have always wanted to see more of the world, but I never really got the opportunity before. My family had plans to travel to Europe in 2020, but they got cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. I considered studying abroad, but I wanted to spend the limited time I have in college on Pitt’s campus. When I heard about the IIP, it sounded perfect to me. I’ve always wanted to work internationally, and this seemed like the best possibility opportunity to learn valuable business skills, get immersed in a new culture, and make valuable connections without spending a full semester abroad. I was even more convinced when I realized that I could travel to Ireland. Although my last name is German, my mom’s side of the family is very Irish, and I have been raised on Irish pride my whole life. My grandfather’s family is from Cork, which I plan on visiting during my time in Ireland this summer. Overall, I think an internship in Dublin provides a unique opportunity to learn and grow. I can improve my skills and business etiquette in an international setting, gaining interpersonal skills while also learning to live in a new place with different culture and customs. I think living and working abroad this early in my life will be a very valuable experience.
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