Abroad with Ava

“Traveling — it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller”

Ibn Battuta

Hi everyone! My name’s Ava, and I’m currently a freshman in the College of Business Administration. I intend to study Finance (and possibly Accounting!) with a potential minor in Economics. Although my career path remains undecided, I would love to work in corporate finance or alongside investment bankers. Despite my lack of experience and expertise, investment banking seems to be a possible field that would considerably interest me.

I was originally born in Washington D.C. but eventually moved to Pittsburgh at the age of three. Here on campus, I’m currently a member of Women in Business, Panther Club Swim, and the Omicron chapter of Delta Zeta. For me, it’s been super beneficial to find that balance between school, sports, and social time. Fortunately, all of my clubs and extracurricular activities keep me extremely busy.

In my free time, I love to bake, swim, and travel. Since my grandparents spent most of their time working in the government, my dad was primarily raised overseas. This has given my family the desire to see new places and continue our exploration of the world. I’ve been fortunate enough to have experienced Europe and Latin America, but never Asia!

This summer, I will be traveling to Vietnam with other members of the business and engineering program. Specifically, we will spend a large majority of our time in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s populated capital, in order to study the ongoing globalization and development that the country is experiencing. I look forward to immersing myself in a culture unlike anything I’ve ever been a part of; specifically, the food, people, and local environment. Despite any fear of culture shock, I know that this trip will be the experience of a lifetime. Vietnam will be such a fantastic opportunity for both networking and personal growth, and I can’t wait to develop transferrable skills that will help me immensely back home.

Personally, I hope to grow as an individual. Even with a considerable language barrier, I intend to make the most of every experience and learn from every person I meet. Our differences, whether cultural, linguistic, or ethnic, should all be celebrated and cherished. Absorbing the Vietnamese lifestyle to its fullest extent will prepare me for future situations that may involve communication / cooperation with individuals of various backgrounds. Academically, I’m eager to see how Vietnamese college students work and study. I’d also love to expand my knowledge about finance and business through the various site visits that we will go on. On a professional level, I can’t wait to meet the hard-working company executives that strive to see their businesses succeed. This will be a great time to network and hear from authentic professionals in their designated fields. An international business perspective will provide meaningful insight in order to explain how a global corporation functions.

I’m counting down the days until our trip begins! I can’t wait to eat fantastic meals and learn about the Vietnamese culture in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City. In the meantime, you’ll find me googling how to fit two weeks worth of clothes into a tiny suitcase — I’ll need all the luck I can get!

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