Thanks to the help of the Thomas Angelo Honors Scholarships, I was able to participate in the Plus3 Study Abroad Program to Germany for May 2017. The scholarship allowed me to worry less about the financials of the program, and instead focus entirely on the academic and cultural portions of Plus3. I would not have had the opportunity to have the amazing experience that I did in Germany without the aid of this scholarship.
There were both in country and out of country portions to the class. As an entire group, the students and leaders going to Germany began meeting at the beginning of the spring semester of 2017. We met a total of four times before the semester ended and we left for Germany. Throughout these meetings we had to give one presentation on a specific aspect of the German culture and take one quiz on the history of Germany and the automobile industry there, as the automobile industry was the focus of the German program. Several German MBA students currently enrolled in the Katz graduate school came in one day, as well, and answered any questions we had about Germany.
The second portion of the class required us to travel to Augsburg in Bavaria, the southern state of Germany, for two weeks in May. Throughout those two weeks we teamed up with Global Business students from the University of Augsburg to analyze the automobile industry. We were split up into five groups to focus on five specific influential companies within this industry, Faurecia, KUKA, Hirschvogel, SGL, and BMW. Most of the weekdays were spent going on company/factory tours and listening to presentations from members of these companies. At the end of the two weeks, each team was required to give a presentation on their analysis of their company. In between our education of the automobile industry, we would go on excursions throughout Bavaria to see and learn more about significant parts of Germany and its culture. Every student kept a blog of our travels, which is to be factored into our final grade.
Coming back to the University of Pittsburgh in the fall as a sophomore, I plan to continue my studies as finance major in the College of Business Administration. I am hoping that Plus3 will not be my last time studying abroad and I plan on applying to the International Internship Program this fall for the summer of 2018. On top of applying for the International Internship Program, I would also like to study abroad through the Global Business Institute during the spring of 2019. Currently I am the Executive Vice President of Women in Business and will continue to dedicate my time to the success of this organization throughout my time in Pittsburgh. I am excited to see what the future holds for me at the University of Pittsburgh, and I know Pitt Business is guiding me to become a successful professional when I graduate.
I learned many things through Plus3 Germany. First, I learned a lot more about the automobile industry, the main focus of the program, as I knew little to none about this industry before applying. Now I feel much more confident about my knowledge of cars, how they work, and major players in the industry, which is important as a business student because the automobile is such a prominent industry in the world right now. Before going to Germany, I knew very little about the history and culture of the country, but through our many tours and excursions throughout Bavaria, along with talking to the students from the University of Augsburg, I now know a lot more about the country and its roots. Plus3 introduced me to many people I would have never met otherwise, such as the German students from the University of Augsburg and the engineering students from the University of Pittsburgh. I also met many business students whom I did not know before, which is great because these are the students I will be working with for the next three years. I am extremely grateful for all of these connections and my new and more educated views of Germany and the automobile industry. The lessons I learned and memories I made during my experience on the Plus3 Germany program will last me a lifetime, and assist me in becoming a better person both personally and professionally in the future.