South Korea has been a once in a lifetime opportunity that I will remember and cherish for the rest of my life. Being able to travel around the world to develop academically and culturally has given me a new perspective on life. The areas of my life that have been affected include advancements in my career, educational experiences, lifelong learning, professional environment, and developing global understanding.
By being able to travel across the world, I know that I will be an asset in my career field. The reason for this is that my abroad experience will allow me to work well with others in a team environment and be more creative when brainstorming new ideas. My abroad experience has allowed me to connect and collaborate with cultures that may differ from my own. Nevertheless, I was able to with working with different cultures and maneuvering throughout a new society to achieve a common goal, such as navigating a new environment similar to Seoul. Also, I will be able to apply my knowledge to the development of new ideas. Rather than being narrowly minded to the society of the United States, I will be able to target international audiences for products in today’s markets. Business is global, and I know that my global mindset will help me in my future career.
Moreover, by being able to view the implementation of information systems in South Korea, I know that I have gained an advantage regarding my educational experiences. South Korea prides itself on the collection of big data and using this data to better society. I personally am fascinated by this technology and look to peruse this field through the acquisition of a certificate in data analytics. Thought the process of visiting South Korean businesses, I was able to gain an even more in-depth understanding of the vast application of big data to society. One example of this was during our visit to the Seoul Global Startup Center, where one of the new startups was using the idea of recyclable trash to gain data about customer purchase history. With this data, the owner was able to create trends and predict product usage. Being able to experience this implementation first-hand was genuinely beneficial to my educational journey.
Furthermore, the Plus 3 Program to South Korea was just the beginning of my travel abroad journeys. I hope to continue my learning and expand my horizons across the globe. The reason I want to travel overseas is that a business leader must know their market. By only focusing on the United States, we tend to limit ourselves when developing new ideas and business models. However, by continuing my international learning as well as my education at the University of Pittsburgh, I know that I will be able to target markets across the world who differ culturally, socially, economically, and politically. Limiting learning is a roadblock to success. I aim to expand my global reach and learn as much as I can about the world and myself.
Moving forward to my future professional career, I know that I do not want to stay cooped up in an office for the duration of my work day. Instead, I want to travel the world and work with customers to help them reach their financial goals. This intended career path required knowledge of cultures from around the globe for the fostering of trusting relationships. In my view, the best way to learn about a culture is to be immersed in their life, and into their daily lives. Although some may claim that merely reading about a culture will suffice, the understanding through cultural immersion is truly priceless. Just in the past two weeks, I was able to learn and understand more about the Korean culture than what was printed in a book or taught in class. As I continue my professional and academic career, I will be sure to pressure a path that allows me to continue learning about cultures across the world.
When looking back at the Plus 3 Korea study abroad trip, the development of a cultural understanding is one of the most important lessons I learned. The reason for this is that I will now be able to connect and work in a team consisting of different cultures. Diversity in thought is one of the significant attributes to a successful business. This abroad experience has equipped me with the tools necessary to succeed in a diverse team setting and even lead others with different cultural backgrounds. Diversification is needed for success; studying abroad gave me the ability to work with different cultures and will allow me to succeed as a team member or a team leader in the future.
Overall the experiences that I have gained during the Plus 3 Korea study abroad program have been priceless. The professional and educational developments have put me ahead of others regarding global understanding and implementation of technologies. Also, the friendships that I have gained with last a lifetime and are connections that I would not trade for the world. Following the conclusion of the Plus 3 Korea program, I can confidently say that I have developed as a student, a businessman, and a leader.