I want to first thank you everyone who made these 3 weeks the best virtual internship it could have been. I want to first thank Campus B and all of the staff from Campus B who worked tirelessly to make this project the best It can be. Also, I want to thank the staff at Pitt who made sure that we did have a Plus 3 experience even in a global pandemic. Lastly, I want to thank my team members who worked with me on my project. It was a privilege to get to know you and to work with you.
Lets get onto the reflection.
One key lesson I learned doing this project about business is that to be a good business man or women you need to be able to be empathetic. You need to able to relate to the client/ boss and figure out what they are going through and what they need from you the consultant or employee. You also need to be empathetic with working with coworkers so you understand what they are going through yu can relate to them on a personal level and get what you can from them. This how you avoid major personal conflict between groups and such.
A second key lesson I learned was that communication is key in business. When you are working on any project communication is probably the most important thing you need to have. You need to be able to understand what part of the project you are supposed to do and what parts of the project your partners are doing so you don’t overlap in work. Second, you also need to communicate. to make sure your partners like/agree with what the thing your working on. It would be horrible if you spent hours working on a project only to find out that your group mates hate the idea. Thirdly, communications is important for moral and building relationships. If you have banter and other silly communications you can crate a tight bond between your group members which will actually make it easier and more conformable to collaborate and connect on many levels.
Third key lesson that I learned in business is that to do a good consulting project you need to stay on task. I think its very hard to not get creative when given a opened ended project. However, when you are consultant you are paid to do the deliverable that the client wants not to create a whole different deliverable.
For the third lesson I think our group as a whole got a little to enthusiastic, and went a little to off topic. I think this caused are group not to win the project as the group that got first was the one that the client said stayed on task the most one so I think that was something we struggled with.
The second lesson of communication impacted our project in many ways. We used WhatsApp for our communications and to collaborate on ideas outside of class. We also had some banter in the chat which made our chemistry as a team stronger and made the chemistry between us better.
Lastly being empathetic impacted our project in many different ways we had to be empathic to our client marcia and try to understand her needs. We had to have the cultural empathy to understand what it is like working in brazil a county completely foreign to me. We also had to understand what is like to be work in the health care industry, and industry I know nothing about.
An transferable skill that I learned in this project that will greatly help me in my future carreer is cross cultural competency.
We live in an ever changing world that is turning to be a more globalized world so having the skill of cross cultural competency is crucial for a modern day business person. When you are dealing with people from different cultures that run different then your is important to understand how they operate their lives and their culture. If you always presume they live in a cultre similar to yours they might perceive you in a negative light even though your actions might be completely normal and maybe actually good in America. However in the county you are working in. Your actions could be perceived in a negative light. They might see you as simeone who is trying to rush things maybe trying to pull a fast one on them. Therefore you need to understand the culture that you are working in. After working in a higher context culture these last couple of weeks. I definitely have a skill to understand and operate in such culture which will make it easier and less of a learning curve when I do these kinds of projects again and work with people outside my American culture again.
For the last part of this reflection How will I explain this experience in an interview. First, I think everyone who I will be interview will have experienced covid 19 so they would most certainly understand the limitations that this year provided on study abroad opportunities. So I don’t think there would be any judgement for it being and virtual opportunity. The way I would explain would be;
After covid-19 pandemic hit my school, the university of Pittsburgh, they had to create a new program for their already in place Plus 3 study abroad which is for freshman going to their sophomore year. Therefor the school pivoted and created a whole new program with a a South American company called Campus B. The project we had to do was we had to work with a South American health care company called Senior Concierge. Where we had to look to improve their operations in specifically their technology on how they operate their business. The company was stuck only using excel and whatsapp to do all of their formal communication and book keeping respectively. Furthermore the company was in a cross roads on what they should do about their technology. They decided the best bet was to switch to a new soft ware called spin care. However they were not sure if it was going to work so they asked us to look into spin care and see if they would be a good fit for Senior Concierge. The group I worked with was very diverse we had 3 American students at the University of Pittsburgh which included me ,and then we had to international students one from Brazil and then one from Colombia. This diversity was a key strength in our group. Our international group members helped us learn how business operated in Brazil and south America as a whole. Furthermore are American perspective also helped give some diversify the knowledge base that the Senior Concierge was get along as they only work in brazil ie south America.
Throughout the program we had various lectures from Pitt staff and Campus B staff. We had also cool virtual excursions where we learned more about South American culture and such. It was most definitely a challenge with the online environment as it was definitely harder to connect with my group members in this virtual environment then in person but it taught me how to adapt like how the covid 19 pandemic taught the whole country how to adapt.