Pitt Gave Me The Best Business Education

Alexandra Mccurdy

Graduation year: 2022

Major(s): Business Information Systems

Pitt Is It!

I graduated from the Downingtown STEM Academy in June 2018. Through my concentration in Business, Spanish, and Biology, I achieved my International Baccalaureate Diploma. I am grateful to my mentors in high school that guided me towards my passion for business, such as my business teacher Ms. Mary Beth Tomlinson, my history teacher Mr. Brad Horstmann, and my biology teacher, Mr. Michael Podlesney.

Penn State, Drexel, The University of Miami, and The University of Arizona were my main college considerations, but after visiting The University of Pittsburgh, I knew that it would be where I spent my next four years. I fell in love with the city of Pittsburgh, its access to the various culturally filled neighborhoods, and the close connections to major corporations. Since I was undecided on a major at the time, I especially appreciated the selection of majors offered by Pitt Business and the ability to form a combination of majors, minors, and certificates into a final degree. I also valued the emphasis Pitt Business put on international programs, knowing that I wanted to study abroad at least once during my collegiate career.

From Downingtown to Pitt Business with Alexandra McCurdy

My Pitt Journey Begins

Starting Out.

During my freshman year at Pitt, I lived in the Honors College LLC in Sutherland Hall. My favorite class during my first semester was Market Manipulations with Professor Barry Mitnick. I really enjoyed my history classes in high school, so this Honors Elective combined my interest in economics and history to uncover the changes in the market over time. I also thought my Dimensions of Organizational Behavior was an interesting class taught by Professor Ray Jones, who would later inspire me to pursue a Certificate in Leadership and Ethics.

Getting Involved.

I was very excited to join as many student organizations as I could to gain as much experience as possible and create a network with other students that share my interests. I rushed a professional business fraternity, Phi Gamma Nu, and over time I have gained many connections with student from a variety of majors who are now some of my best friends on campus. Last semester I served as Risk Management Director and I will now serve as Vice President of Communication of our chapter for the next year.

I was also a member of Women in Business for two years and served on the Professional Development Committee to help with networking events with alumni and professionals in a variety of industries. I really valued being a part of a women-run student organization, so I was excited about joining Smart Women Securities to embrace female empowerment and advance my financial literacy. I’m looking forward to serving as Executive Vice President this year and see how the organization continues to grow. In high school, I was active in out annual dance marathon so I immediately connected with the mission of Pitt Dance Marathon and served on the Programming Panel.

From The Classroom, To The City, To The World.

Studying Abroad

When applying to Pitt Business, I was attracted to the numerous options for international experiences and was excited to be a part of study abroad. Before the start of my freshman year, I had the opportunity to go abroad with the Woodcock Global Honors Fellowship. Two weeks were spent in Pittsburgh studying Managing in Complex Environments and then two weeks were spent in Dublin, Ireland applying our knowledge to a new culture and participating in a number of company site visits such as Google, Microsoft, and Airbnb.

Following this, I knew I wanted to go abroad again. I spent two weeks at the end of my freshman year in Buenos Aires studying healthcare management on the Plus3 Argentina program. The program was challenging and intensive, but it gave me insight into my passion for healthcare after exploring private and public hospitals, community centers, and pharmaceutical companies.

I wanted to challenge myself further and immerse myself in anther culture for a whole semester. In the spring of my sophomore year, I traveled to Sydney, Australia with the Global Business Institute. I spent 20 hours a week working at a healthcare teachnology startup, Springday. Through my internship, I was able to develop my data analytic and reporting skills, which also led me to pursue a major in Business Information Systems.

On campus, I work as an International Ambassador for the Pitt Business International Programs Office. I serve as a mentor for other students interested in learning more about study abroad experiences. Ultimately, each experience I had abroad has helped me narrow down my interests and aspirations for my future career.

 

Starting My Career

An internship abroad.

During my time in Australia, I received an internship with Springday. I worked with the Customer Success Manager to manage multiple corporate clients that were interested in working on healthcare campaigns. Each week, I tracked statistics and provided insights via reports to demonstrate how effective the campaigns can be in improving employee health within these corporations.

This semester, I spent time applying to internships within the fields of finance and business information systems as I recently declared my majors in these subjects. I used Handshake and LinkedIn and took advantage of the Pitt Business Virtual Career Conference to explore my options and network with alumni and professionals. After the interview process, I was offered a position as an intern in the Risk Assurance Practice of KPMG. I am excited to be working with an international Big 4 accounting firm and advancing my skills in information technology this upcoming summer of 2021!

Advice for Upcoming Students

With over half of my college experience underway, I am very fortunate to have had so many opportunities with Pitt Business. When going through the college search process, I recommend making a list of priorities and goals. I wanted a city school with a top-ranked business program and options for studying abroad, which is why Pitt Business was the perfect fit. I also think getting involved right away during the first semester is beneficial because from there you can make connections and decisions on your interests which will help forge a path towards your future career.