Meet Me in Milan

Hi everyone! My name is Catherine Sandford, and I am currently a freshman here at the University of Pittsburgh. I am off to Italy in May for the Plus3 program, and I could not be more excited!

For a little background on myself, I was born in Ridgewood, New Jersey. I lived there for 8 years before moving overseas to Surrey, England for 3 years. Living abroad was an amazing experience, and I was fortunate enough to be able to travel to some spectacular places. I was pretty young when my family and I lived abroad, so I feel extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to travel again and am looking forward to having more of an appreciation of the experience. After our time in England, my family moved to Pittsburgh in a town about 20 minutes south of campus. I absolutely love Pittsburgh and consider it home.

Here at Pitt, I am in the College of Business Administration, where I am planning on majoring in Marketing with a certificate in Digital Media and minors in Studio Arts and Economics. I love to stay involved, so I have joined several organizations during my first year on campus; I am a member of Fashion Business Association, Women in Business, The Imagination Project, CHAARG, and Phi Eta Sigma.

As briefly mentioned above, I will be going to Italy for Pitt’s Plus3 program where I will learn about the fashion and textile industries. I have loved fashion and clothes from a young age, and I remember always carrying around notebooks full of various outfits I designed— even trying my hand at sewing some clothes of my own. While I do not as avidly design clothes or wear the rather unfortunate creations my middle school self was able to assemble, I am still passionate about the fashion industry. I love the creativity and expression fashion enables.

While unsure of the exact career path I want to go down, I am definitely interested in retail and fashion. Learning about industry in one of the most fashionable places in the world will no doubt be an incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience. I’m very eager to learn about how these companies have created and sustained successful business models. Milan has long been known as one of the world’s fashion capitals, but with the advent of the internet and continually progressing technology, society, along with the business world, has changed and continues to do so. I am curious to see how businesses have dealt with such change and managed to uphold their luxury and fashion-forward reputations. Additionally, learning about these companies’ supply chains and how they create quality products, especially with growing concerns about sustainability, will be very interesting.

The first-hand experience of Italian culture and business will benefit me immensely, and I know it will help me grow as a student and a person. I can’t believe I am lucky enough to actually be headed to Italy in just a few short weeks!

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