Hello from London! My name is Hannah Oliver, and I am a rising junior majoring in accounting and finance, minoring in economics, and pursing a certificate program in international business. I currently serve as the Vice President of Finance for the Lambda chapter of the co-ed professional business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi, and am an associate in Pitt Smart Women Securities. Outside of the classroom, I work as a Finance employee for the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA). As you can probably tell, I am a finance fanatic! With this being said, I am beyond excited for the opportunity to participate in GBI London: International Business Issues and the City of London, where I get to study and work in one of the largest global finance hubs in the world.
It is a dream come true to be able to share my experience in London with you for the next six weeks. During my hectic first two years of undergrad due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I was convinced that I would never have the chance to study abroad. It is still hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that I am writing this right now from my flat in London. I have already had a first week full of incredible experiences and am thrilled to continue to grow and learn academically, professionally, and culturally while I am across the pond.
This week in itself was a huge period of adjustment and growth for me. This trip marks my first time traveling abroad. I independently navigated the airport and customs and had to quickly become comfortable using the tube for transportation (Like a true Londoner, I commute approx. 45 minutes to go to class and to work!), living with four other students with different backgrounds, and being away from home in a completely new cultural setting. While I am still adjusting, I am excited to be learning through experience and gaining a new sense of independence. I strive to accomplish my goals of being more culturally aware, gaining independence, and engaging academically and professionally in the different organizational norms and processes of business in London.
Through my program, I am taking the class Survey of International Business Issues. This class includes multiple site visits to businesses located in London. This week, we visited BNY Mellon and got to tour the office, engage in information sessions, meet management, and learn about the many opportunities for careers in banking. In tandem with this academic experience, I am also gaining first-hand professional experience interning at the Turkish Cypriot Community Association (TCCA) in the finance and grants department. The TCCA is a charity dedicated to bridging the gaps in inequality and poverty via the development of needs led projects for the surrounding community and services to Turkish Cypriot and Turkish people residing in the UK. My main roles include supporting financial planning by producing financial reports like client profiles, budgetary reports, and management accounts, and determining sources and allocation of grant funding to support the organization’s charitable activities. In this role, I hope to achieve experience in reporting within a charity sector and gain an understanding of the financial transparency and compliance that impacts charitable work and grant underwriting.
I can’t wait to take you along this journey with me! Look out for my next posts highlighting new experiences, challenges, and my academic and professional accomplishments!