Hi, my name is Leanne Boody. I am a rising sophomore in the Swanson School of Engineering. I participated in Pitt’s Plus3 program studying in Costa Rica for two weeks to learn more about the country, with a focus on the coffee and banana supply chain.
This trip was not my first international experience, but it was my first study abroad trip. I have always enjoyed getting to see new places, experience new food, learn about different people’s backgrounds, really the whole abroad experience. I had always planned to incorporate travel into my adult life. I hadn’t considered the possibility of a semester abroad, but I really enjoyed this opportunity and if another chance to study abroad fit my course schedule I would have to seriously consider it.
As far as my career plans have changed, I am now more open to the idea of having a job in which I spent some of my time in the US and some time in another foreign headquarters. I really liked the Costa Rican approach to business which has a strong focus on personal connection between employees. I can’t think of a better way to motivate your employees or make them feel fulfilled as people than to make them feel like the workplace can be like a family to them. This approach really appeals to me as engineering is usually not focused on the connection between employer to employee or employee to customer, but I still value making meaningful connections to people. Overall, I would say this trip influenced me to be more open towards traveling in my personal, academic, and possibly career life, maybe even to Costa Rica again.