My name is Jack Pearson and I am a rising junior pursuing a Finance Major along with a Minor in Spanish and a Certificate in Sustainability. I am super excited to share my time in Madrid through these blog posts and hopefully take you along with me during this amazing opportunity.
I have enjoyed my time in Pittsburgh these last two years but have always wanted to travel abroad at some point during my college career and this summer program in Madrid was the perfect opportunity to do so while also improving my Spanish. At Pitt, I like to keep busy by being involved in a variety of clubs and programs that align with my interests. I am the current vice president of the Mens Club Water Polo team, I was an RA in Bruce Hall this past semester, a current intern at the Center for Sustainable Business, and an active member in various other clubs related to finance. Over the past few years, my interest in sustainability has grown and now I have been able to merge with my passion for finance as well as Spanish. The past two semesters my Spanish classes have required a final paper, and I chose thesis statements related to sustainability. First I did a deep dive into Costa Rica and their new sustainability initiatives, and my second paper was focused on the deforestation in the Amazon rainforest and Brazil’s response. Other countries and international cultures have always fascinated me. In my career, I hope to work in sustainable finance and trade or construct ESG or green bonds. With those interests in mind, I pursued and accepted an offer to work for BNP Paribas (a French Multinational Investment Bank) to continue to develop these interests. I am confident that my time in Madrid will provide me with an expanded view of the world and a firsthand look into an entirely different culture and way of life.
In my free time, I have many hobbies that include reading, guitar playing, chess, woodworking, calisthenics, and of course traveling. I am excited to continue many of these during my time in Madrid. I am very excited for Madrid to be my home for these next 8 weeks. I have chosen to intern internationally because it is an amazing opportunity to push me out of my comfort zone and allow me to grow in an entirely new place.
I took my first Spanish class in 8th grade and fell in love with the language. I knew I wanted to take all 4 years and then the AP class our senior year. This passion continued into college when I began to pursue my Spanish minor and have thoroughly enjoyed learning about different cultures and countries. Spain has always been interesting to me as well due to their rich guitar history which I enjoy learning about. The rich art culture as well will be fantastic to explore, as there are so many fantastic museums around the city.
I am also excited about the food in Madrid. The Spanish diet will be great to experiment with and great to learn some new dishes to cook, as I enjoy cooking. The Spanish diet is also considered to be one of the healthier diets in the world, so I am excited to learn how to cook tasty and healthy dishes with local ingredients.
The main reason I was originally so drawn to this experience was the amount of independence you have. You have Pitt as support to help you but the majority of the time you are traveling, working, and learning on your own. This is where I find myself growing the most. When you are forced to adapt and overcome obstacles you learn different ways to approach problems and solutions. I am currently sitting in the airport café after missing my first flight and being forced to sleep in the terminal. Dealing with airlines can be extremely stressful especially when it feels as if no one is helping you, but I will hopefully be getting on a plane later today and heading over to Madrid shortly. Even through all this, I can feel my patience growing and learning how to navigate stressful and aggravating situations. These tough situations create the most radical growth, and I am sure that Madrid will provide me with tough problems and constant challenges that will cause me to have similar revelations. I am very excited about all there is to gain from this experience and will enjoy every moment of it!