Rachel Mast

IIP Berlin-Summer 2015
In summer 2015, I participated in the International Internship Program in Berlin, Germany where I interned at an internet-based coffee retailer. Although I loved everything about my internship experience, my favorite memory came from getting to build personal relationships with my co-workers. There were four interns from around the world at my organization, and it was so cool to exchange cultural insights as well as differences in the respective educational programs. We are still connected on social media, and it is pretty cool to have friends from all over the world. Working in the consumer-goods industry, I was able to really see how Americans and Europeans vary in their preferences and response to marketing communications. Overall, the biggest thing I learned was how important it is to understand the target audience when creating products and marketing campaigns. After this experience, I feel much more confident in working for an organization with a global focus.

Kelsey Magilton

Global Business Institute: Sydney, Spring 2016
Interning for the Sydney Opera House was an experience I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Choosing to participate in an internship was easily the best decision I made when going abroad. I was a marketing intern at the Sydney Opera House. The entire experience is one that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. It was an exciting time to be an intern as I was able to help the team develop new marketing collateral with their recent rebranding efforts. I joined forces with the design department to create brochures and point of sale displays, which are still on display at the Sydney Opera House today. It was especially rewarding to be included in the initial brainstorming stage and assisting the SOH implement a successful re-launch of their brand. The biggest thing I learned was the ability to work with people of different cultures. Sydney is the "New York" of Australia, therefore it is one giant melting pot. I worked with individuals from every continent, and this was a truly unique experience as a 20-year-old intern. I learned to understand the cultural differences and mannerisms as well as gained respect from people who travel the entire world to follow their dreams.

Josh Hammaker

Studying abroad has helped me in my career in ways I would never have expected. Most notably, studying abroad taught me how to interact with people from different backgrounds and cultures. Since graduating from Pitt, I've been working in a position that involves a decent amount of travel and therefore requires me to interact with individuals from all over the world. Being able to share the adventures and experiences gained from studying abroad was likely one of the deciding factors that set me apart from other candidates for my position. Travelling to and living in another country takes most people out of their comfort zone, but every minute overseas was absolutely worth it.

Allie Roos

Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies (Spring 2017)
When I was a freshman, I sat down with one of my professors to discuss what I expected from my college experience. The first thing out of my mouth was that I wanted to study abroad. Now as a senior, I have been able to study abroad twice, once with a Panther Program (Pitt in Sicily) and again with a Pitt-Recognized Program. It was this program that was suggested to me during that freshman year meeting. The Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies (ICCS) has been the premiere study abroad experience for Classics students since 1965. The "Centristi" (students at the ICCS) come from across the country and live together for a semester in a four story building located in the eternal city, Rome. I knew from the first moment I heard about the program that I needed to be apart of this institution. Not only were the students from various parts of the country, but so were the Professors. The diversity of experience and background within our small group of thirty was a wonderful addition to the outstanding academic opportunities offered to us throughout the semester. I was able to continue my studies of Ancient Greek, reading Plutarch's 'Antony' whilst walking in both the author's and subject's shoes. Rome was my classroom. We walked in the steps of the ancients, listening to lectures not only at outstanding well preserved monuments, such as the Colosseum, but also under highway bypasses, where there were some remains of an ancient port city, and inside dome sized Etruscan tombs organized within a widespread necropolis. I've always had a fascination with the ancient world, but that fascination has increased tenfold and I've realized that what I thought I knew about the ancients was just skimming the surface. I've come back to Pitt not only with new friends and experiences, but also with a renewed passion and desire to learn. As I start my senior year, I have found both of my experiences abroad to be invaluable to my college experience and essential to fulfilling my academic goals in the most intellectually stimulating way.

Emma Huckins

Plus 3 Germany - Summer 2017
Through my time in Germany, I gained many professional skills that would be hard to learn just in the classroom in Pittsburgh. Every culture has its own customs and manners when it comes to business, and with business being such an international field, it is important to be knowledgable about cultures in other countries. I was able to get first hand experience of these kinds of differences while I was in Germany working with German university students and through touring corporations throughout my trip. The two weeks abroad lead up to a final group presentation on one of the automobile industries that we studied. Each group consisted of a couple of Pitt Business students, Pitt Engineering students, and University of Augsburg students. So on top of networking with students and professionals in Germany, as a CBA student I was given the opportunity to get to know and work with Swanson Engineering students. Overall, Plus 3 Germany not only expanded my professional network, but also gave me friends I would not have met otherwise, and expanded my cultural awareness about a place outside of the Unites States. This awareness will only benefit me in the future inside my classes and in my profession later on, whether I am working domestically or internationally.

Madeline Wells

Pitt in Alcalá, June 2017
Through the Pitt in Alcalá program and the Franklin Institute at the the Universidad de Alcalá in Alcalá de Henares, Spain, I had the opportunity to shadow a doctor at the local hospital in Alcalá. This experience was by far the most challenging, but also most rewarding. I was paired with a medical student in her third year of residency and had the opportunity to shadow her work for 15 hours. She worked in the rehabilitation department in the emergency room, so we saw lots of patients with muscular or skeletal injuries. I definitely had trouble understanding what the patients and doctors were saying, because they spoke very quickly and used advanced medical terminology. However, by the end of my time shadowing there, I could tell that my Spanish skills, especially my knowledge of medical Spanish, had improved tremendously. I am currently pursuing a degree in Rehabilitation Science and plan on being a physical therapist, and would love to incorporate Spanish into my career plans. Treating Spanish-speaking patients has been a goal of mine since I decided to pursue physical therapy, so this opportunity gave me the skills and confidence necessary to reach that goal.

Jay Carter

Talent Management and CSR at Kedge Business School Summer 2017
As an exchange student in Marseille, France, I gained insight into the international business of the European culture and its influence on the global economy. The geographical and cultural diversity of each exchange student enriched course discussions; Chinese, Russian, Mauritian, Italian, Mumbian and Londoner are just a few of the student nationalities. Classroom presentations ranged on topics of ‘ethics, corporate social responsibility, unconscious bias, personal branding, talent marketing and skills management.’ Outside of the classroom, the Interact Team was welcoming and made Marseille enjoyable. The social activities exposed us to a lot of what Marseille had to offer. A few activities included water tubing, hiking the tranquil trails of Les Calanques, scenic tours, shopping and beach activities. The faculty, staff and students of Kedge were extremely accommodating to everyone, ensuring safety and well-being. Currently, I am employed with Luxottica Retail, a multinational corporation that manufactures and distributes eye wear. This experience coupled with my masters’ degree in both international business and business administration will prepare me for the management challenges I may face in advancing my career with this company, managing diverse employees, embracing cultural differences and consistently evaluating my personal and professional growth.

Rachel Vinciguerra

GSPIA Internship Program (independently organized)
I spent a little over two months in Haiti this summer conducting a program evaluation for a girls' empowerment program I helped to start there two years prior as well as completing an internship with an emerging foster care agency. This summer marks the first time that I have formally been involved in professional program evaluation. After my experiences in Haiti, I can say that I led two separate program evaluations (one a mid-point evaluation and one to design monitoring and evaluation protocol pre-implementation). Having this experience not only taught me a lot about program evaluation on-the-ground and helped me identify areas I can improve, but it also communicates to others in my field that I am serious about this work. After this summer I have deliverables in the form of a program evaluation report (in two languages) and program monitoring and evaluation guides that I could share with potential employers. This experience has brought me to a new level in my academic and professional growth and I expect that it will open new doors in terms of what I am able to do in this field in the future. I am incredibly grateful to the Nationality Rooms for this incredible opportunity. I could not have done it without the funding and support they provided.

Nina Kneuer

FU-BEST program in Berlin, Spring semester 2017
I believe that the two skills I learned the most while abroad was independence and adaptation. I've always been someone who is very independent, but when you're thrown into a country where you've never lived before and you're suddenly there, without family or friends, living with new people and new friends, it can be quite a culture shock, and can really test your true independence. I learned very quickly how to make real friends and how to become comfortable with my new surroundings. I also believe that having friends in this program really helped my independence grow while I was abroad, because with friends you go out and travel, like you wouldn't otherwise do by yourself. Hence, going out to pubs for a social night out with friends and booking last minute plane tickets to a weekend in Belgium, became a usual, fun, comforting, and independent thing for me to do. Adaptation comes along with independence in the sense that you are thrown into something you do not really know, and you have to adjust quickly. Although it may seem like everyone across the world leads similar lives, the tiny difference in social acceptances and gestures and words can be very different, and need to be learned in order to not seem like a complete goof or rude person while abroad. Something that I adapted to very quickly was the public transportation. At home, I never really used it, because we used to live in the suburbs and I had a car, but while abroad public transportation was everything, from getting to school, to getting to the airport, to meeting up with a friend. I depended on it to be on time and consistent, and when it wasn't, I really appreciated it much more. Therefore, I really adapted, quickly, to the public transportation system, I had to know how to use it the second day I was abroad, or I wasn't going to make it to school on time. And through public transportation I saw how people interacted with each other and what social gestures and words and ques were acceptable. I can't imagine what my life would be like now if I hadn't studied abroad, it honestly changed my life and I would re-live it all over again, if I could.