My name is Sydney Smith and I am a junior in the business school majoring in marketing with certificate in leadership and ethics and an honors distinction. During my time at Pitt I have served as both the VP of Community Service for Women in Business and VP of Social Impact for the American Marketing Association chapter at Pitt, among participating in various committees within these organizations. I have also completed a few marketing internships related to marketing and the housing industry while in college keeping myself pretty busy throughout the year. However, in my free time I love to cook and spend time with friends.
This semester I will be participating in the Global Business Institute in Florence, Italy where I will be taking two Italian courses, a renaissance art history course, and completing an international internship with Fattoria Poggio di Fiesole, an organic olive oil company just outside the historic city center.
I have selected this program because I have had a passion for traveling for as long as I can remember. In fact, study abroad programs were a large contributing factor to my decision to attend Pitt. I feel the immersive cultural experience of a semester abroad is one that is truly life changing and can help young professionals grow into well rounded leaders in the workplace. I specifically chose Florence because I visited after my high school graduation and absolutely fell in love with the city. I have been anxiously waiting for an opportunity to return, and feel like the semester-long program in Florence will provide me with an even deeper appreciation for the city and culture.
I believe this program will allow me the opportunity to learn a lot about myself. Living in a foreign city away from friends and family will force me to meet and interact with new people which is a necessary skill to learn as a young adult and something many people my age have struggled with since the onset of the pandemic almost two years ago. Networking and forming connections with not only our peers, but recruiters and professors as well is a critical part of thriving in Pitt Business and in the industry after graduation. Therefore, the opportunity to meet and network with other like minded individuals on the program would be an excellent way to get some additional practice in the area. Additionally, I will have the opportunity to grow in the areas of adaptability and independence.These are attributes that I think of myself to be strong in, however, I think it is important for future interviews and reflecting back on the experience to be able to pinpoint and exemplify times in which I proved it, which this program would give me the opportunity to do.
In addition, I will be able to finish up my remaining general education requirements in a more intentional way with the program I have selected. Instead of taking classes that fall outside of my academic interest, to simply meet requirements, I want to make the most out of my college experience and select courses that will make an impact on my academic path. With that in mind, the GBI Florence program will not only integrate into my academic experience at Pitt, but enhance it with the opportunity to take classes not offered at Pitt and are more aligned with my interests and academic goals. I look forward to taking Contemporary Italian Cinema, Renaissance Art History, and Introduction to Italian in conjunction with my internship for credit this semester for a multifaceted culturally immersive experience.
Lastly, I have highly considered the idea of working abroad after graduation or further along in my career, and feel this program would be an excellent trial run. I would get a better understanding of what it is like living in a foreign country and have the ability to determine if that is something I would want to pursue. Additionally, I want experience in adapting to various cultures and a diverse group of people as there is a greater need to be able to connect to people globally in our more virtual world. Living in a foreign country would also strengthen my independence, adaptation, and communication skills for an eventual career that requires the same.
I look forward to sharing my adventures abroad with you in the coming months!