From Upper St. Clair
to Pitt Business
with James Boston
I grew up in Upper St. Clair—just 30 minutes south of Pittsburgh. During high school, I was a part of the Boy Scouts of America and earned my Eagle Scout award at 17. I was also heavily involved in music as a member of numerous ensembles, including my school’s marching band and even traveling with the Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestra on an Eastern European concert tour.
Ultimately, I had a decision to make—where I’d attend college in the fall. I narrowed my choices down to Pitt, Michigan, and Villanova, but decided to attend Pitt after a Pitt Business Admitted Students’ Day.
What stuck out to me was that Pitt emphasized the importance of international experience and backed its message with accessible scholarships and financial aid. Also, Pitt Business was the only school that allowed students to strategically package multiple majors, minors, and certificates while still staying on track to graduate in four years—allowing Pitt students to stand out when applying for internships and jobs.
Upholding Traditions and Making Lifelong Friends.
My freshman year, I lived in Nordenberg Hall with my roommate who I met through auditioning for the Pitt Varsity Marching Band. Living in Nordenberg was a fantastic experience and I got to meet people from different majors that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I miss the family environment of our floor, but I still keep in touch with the friends I made there.
The same goes for Pitt as a whole. At the end of my freshman year, I joined the Blue and Gold Society, a group of students that represents the University by sharing what the Pitt experience is truly made of. Not only did I make lifelong friends, but the Blue and Gold Society gave me the opportunity to network with distinguished alumni and other leaders from the Pitt community.
In terms of my academic experience, I can easily say my favorite business class has been Investment Management taught by Professor Akin Sayrak, a close mentor of mine who has had a tremendous impact on my experience at Pitt. His class was always enjoyable because he designed the class around discussion rather than a lecture, and by having class in the Mervis Hall Finance Lab, we were able to learn how to operate Bloomberg terminals. I’m really looking forward to taking his Fixed-Income Finance class next year!
Westinghouse Nuclear & EY
Following my freshman year, I interned as a production accountant at the Lighthouse Electric Company in Pittsburgh. My manager was extremely helpful during my onboarding process and allowed me to take on independent projects like managing project budgets and performing various analyses. I also got to work with a team in the operations department to create Excel models in new standard company procedures that they still use today.
Last summer, I accepted a position to work with Westinghouse Nuclear in Cranberry, PA in their Corporate Finance Department.
I found this position through the Pitt Business Career Center, which is already helping me prepare for my next internship. I consistently set up meetings with the career development team to practice interview skills and revise my resume. The Executives in Residence were also extremely helpful and provided personal insight into the finance and accounting industries, and further helped me to search for jobs and prepare for interviews.
The opportunities in Pitt Business never stop. This summer, I accepted an internship position to work with EY FSO Financial Services Organization! I’ll be a part of their Consulting Development Program out of the Pittsburgh office. I am looking forward to focusing on financial accounting to develop my managerial and financial accounting skills.
Two years in, I can proudly say that I made the right decision to attend Pitt Business. The business school truly gives students opportunities to make their college experience meaningful. And, as an urban school, Pitt has the best resources to get students involved in their careers as soon as possible. But, it is not just a school where you go to earn a degree; it is a home where you will find a place to succeed. It’s not just four years, it’s for life.