From Butler Senior High School to Pitt Business
with Olivia Drohan ’20
I was looking for a personal challenge.
I had a really great high school experience at Butler High School in Northern Pittsburgh. My mock trial advisor, Gerri Paulisick, helped guide me in my college decision-making process by looking objectively at each school and what my interests are. I wanted to step outside my comfort zone and grow in an environment that was new and challenging to me. Pitt has been a fantastic fit for me! Choosing Pitt Business has led me to so many great opportunities and experiences.
A big part of my high school career was being on the mock trial team. It helped me with my public speaking and critical thinking skills!
This was my high school graduation. I am grateful that Butler High School prepared me to succeed in college!
I loved being a Sequinette in the Butler Marching Band in high school. This was at the annual Memorial Day Parade in Butler, PA.
Starting in Pitt Business.
I entered Pitt Business unsure of what major to choose. To help decide, I took advantage of all the opportunities available to me to figure out which path I wanted to take. The Women-in-Business (WiB) student organization played a huge role in my college experience. Faculty advisor to WiB, Professor Debbie Good helped me figure out what my major could be. She taught me what human resources was about and what it could mean for me.
Vicki Vernet-Lazor, my academic advisor, really took the time to get to know me, what I was passionate about learning, and worked with me to put a plan together that would help me understand my interests. Vicki is a Gallup-Strengths Certified coach, and Pitt Business is a Gallup-Strengths Certified program. What this means is that each Pitt Business student takes the Gallup Strengths test which identifies what a student’s strengths are and how they can build upon those strengths in their life, career, and studies!
The student organization I was most involved in was Women-in-Business. I really enjoyed meeting a lot of other women interested in pursuing their business careers.
My very first Study Abroad experience in Pitt Business was through the Pitt Plus 3 Program, which is an opportunity to study abroad for two weeks after your freshman year. I went to Italy! We visited Florence, Venice and many other cities. It was such an amazing experience that I decided to study abroad in Florence for the entire spring semester during my junior year. One of my favorite experiences in Florence was the experience of having a host family. I would eat dinner with an Italian family once a week and did my best to integrate into the Italian culture. The experience helped me grow and develop both personally and professionally. I gained so much confidence from being able to see the world on my own.
My other study abroad experience was through the Certificate Program in Leadership and Ethics (CPLE). I had the opportunity to travel to Trinidad over spring break during my sophomore year. We worked with a Pittsburgh non-profit organization, Amizade, on a semester-long project to help develop sustainable eco-tourism in Trinidad. We met residents and gathered data to help enhance our project. It was really an eye-opening experience for me seeing such a different culture, people, and set of experiences. It felt great to give back to the Trinidad community while doing research for school.
When I studied abroad in Trinidad, one of the best parts of the trip was interacting and getting to know community members.
Everybody says that junior year is the most important year because you’re searching for internships, going on interviews, and applying for jobs.
I was able to work at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) as a campus program extern. I got this role through the many networking opportunities that Pitt Business has to offer. I met some of the UPMC recruiters at a WiB event, Pitt Business career fairs, and UPMC’s career day. It was a great experience and I learned a tremendous amount about human resources as it relates to health care.