Thomas Angelo Honors Scholarship Reflection

This scholarship played an important role in allowing for me to become fully engaged in my studies and the culture of Costa Rica while abroad. This was an amazing opportunity that played an important role in my growth as a student and as a person. Without this scholarship, I would not have been able to experience the incredible wonders of Costa Rica.

The goal of this study abroad project was to learn about the supply chain of the coffee industry, more specifically for me and my group the sustainability of this industry. However, what I have gained from this experience goes far beyond coffee. I learned about a different culture, discussed values that Costa Rican’s have, and most importantly I gained a family. My homestay was the most important part of this trip as my host mother and I were able to have talks about life, my future, and how to better myself as a person. I will never forget her advice or her kind and positive outlook on life. Being able to communicate in Spanish with her and with the locals was incredibly beneficial to me because it increased my confidence in speech. Before, I was able to think about what I wanted to say in Spanish but I never would say it out loud. I was always too nervous and had no confidence to speak. However, thankfully this experience abroad has changed that for me.

This trip also helped me realize my interest in supply chain management. My future plans for my time at Pitt have changed slightly as I am adding a Supply Chain Management Major. I currently am working to obtain a major in Marketing along with two minors in Spanish and Economics. I hope that by adding this second major it will diversify my skills and allow for me to study topics that I have a genuine interest in. I also plan to study abroad in Spain for a full semester my junior year. It is truly an incredible opportunity to be able to immerse yourself in another culture and gain global competence through a study abroad experience.

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