To Italia!

Hello! Ciao! My name is Nathaniel, or Nate, Dykstra and I am a rising sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh, studying Bioengineering in the Swanson School of Engineering. I am extremely excited to travel to Italy, as this will be my first time in the country and in Europe as a whole. Needless to say, I am looking forward to all of the new experiences awaiting me across the Atlantic.

In the four meetings prior to making the departure to Italy, my peers and I were briefed on the in’s and out’s of supply chain management. Groups were made and assigned a certain product whose supply chain had to be presented to the rest of the class. My group was selected to research the supply chain involved in the production of a T-shirt. From this research and the other groups presentations, we learned what various terms and concepts such as ‘downstream’ and ‘upstream’ in a supply chain. It will be exciting to see how the concept of a supply chain is applied to the various fashion companies we will be visiting in Italy.

Aside from supply chains, we learned about the fashion industry in Italy as a whole. This included researching various businesses in Italy that were involved in fashion. This included the company I researched-Velasca, a company which produces leather shoes, and whose entire production process is contained within Italy. The impact that the fashion industry has on the environment was also researched, and with surprising results. For an industry that was never first in my mind when thinking of pollution, the fashion industry has a large problem to solve in its pollution of the environment.

These predeparture meetings weren’t all business however. Much of our time was spent learning about the culture of Italy, with its rich history of food, art, architecture, and of course, fashion. Each group was instructed to make a list of ten events, places, or activities that they would like to do during our stay in Italy. We were also notified that, in Italy, standards of dress are a little bit higher than ours here in the U.S.. Hey, I never minded dressing up too much.

Overall, I could not be more eager to get on that plane to Italy. With just a couple days left to departure, you’ll be hearing from me quite soon!


Nate Dykstra

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