On the Eve of a New Journey

I am writing this blog as I just finished packing for my trip, the day before I leave for Berlin. I honestly did not feel too nervous about going until this moment because packing made the whole thing seem very real and intimate. But at the same time, it is exciting. I’m going to be in a new country with new people and experience new things, both professionally and culturally.

My name is Jack Duffy, and I am enrolled in the Dietrich School studying a Dual Degree in Economics and Business with a minor in Political Science.  I’m almost done with both of those degrees, as I am a junior, but I still have a few elective economics classes to take and one more political science class. As for around campus, I’m involved with Phi Beta Lambda business organization, Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity, and the newly formed Field Day Club as of the beginning of last school year. I really feel a strong connection to that last club because I helped create it and it was a great opportunity to build something from the ground up. Anyone reading this blog post should definitely look it up and come one time. It is just casual fun with friends doing some light athletic activities. Outside of the clubs that I am a part of I really enjoy watching and playing sports. It’s baseball season so I have been focusing on the Yankees, but I go for the Giants, Knicks, and obviously all Pitt teams as well. I was lucky enough to have an opportunity to go to the ACC championship game when Pitt football won it. As for the sports I play, I have been getting into golf again because of the summer and I was able to get out on the course a couple of times with my father before I leave tomorrow, which is nice especially since I won’t be seeing him for eight weeks. It will certainly be difficult not seeing my parents for the long of a time, but that is one of the reasons why I am going on this trip: to gain a sense of independence. As for my professional experience, I had an internship last summer for Oyster Point Pharma.  I was a Legal and Compliance intern, and I worked a lot with regulations on how our employees should interact with the doctors that they were selling our products to. It was a great experience because it was my first time that I was working in a professional business environment. I have had jobs where I would work outside or just odd jobs, but learning professional etiquette, both in person and online was a big step for me professionally. Hopefully I can take my lessons from Oyster Point into my summer internship in Berlin.

The international internship program is an enhancement of the normal internship experience. It has the necessary career building aspects for my future with the added benefit of not only gaining diverse insights from working in a foreign country, but also living in a foreign country that brings on new experiences and challenges that I am particularly excited to take on.  As for why Berlin specifically, I am excited about the prospects the Berlin and Germany as a country could provide. Its such an interesting city and I want to see how Germany has the ability to be the most powerful nation in the EU economically speaking. I will be working for Formly.ai in Berlin. Formly.ai is a tech start-up that utilizes AI technology to help create documentation for companies to file their medical device products so that they are compliant with EU regulations like MDR 2017/745.  I will be working directly under the CEO (there aren’t a lot of employees, so it just made sense) combing through regulations to make sure that the software isn’t missing any key aspect of the regulations. I have many professional, personal, and academic goals that I hope to achieve through this program. As I previously mentioned, I want to gain a greater sense of independence, something I think everyone should have by the time they graduate college. Professionally, I want to not only expand my network to a global scale, but improve my professional communication skills, especially since I feel like I didn’t get the full experience in my last internship. Academically, finding a balance between the schoolwork, my internship, and exploring a new country can help me in school when so many assignments are coming up at once.

I started this blog by saying how I was nervous to get going. However, after reflecting on my goals and why I chose Berlin in the first place, I know that this will be a great experience and I can’t wait to get on that plane tomorrow.