Alumna Enhanced Her Studies with a Truly Global Experience
Nicole Ebert (BSBA ’06) made the first step toward a global career when she enrolled in the University of Pittsburgh. A Texas native, Nicole says her adventures began with deciding to move to Pittsburgh for her college education.
“Many of my peers enrolled in local colleges and universities, and I wanted to begin a different path,” Ebert said.
Moving from the south to the north inspired her, sparking her curiosity to learn more about the world.
“When I moved to Pittsburgh, I was surrounded by a support team. Being on the Pitt Swim Team, I had my teammates and coaches encouraging me, and in Pitt Business, I had professors committed to helping me achieve my goals. I felt that even though I was far away from home, I was never alone,” Ebert said.
Ebert’s impressive swimming career at Pitt earned her the title of the University of Pittsburgh’s Athlete of the Year in 2003, and she acquired six University of Pittsburgh Swimming records and achieved the rank of 48th in the world for distance swimming. After getting back into the sport in 2013, she achieved the rank of first in the country and tenth in the world for master’s swimming, earning her the title of All-American.
Throughout her college career, Ebert was a dynamic and ambitious student. She was involved in Sigma Alpha Lambda, Phi Sigma Pi, Kappa Delta, and was recognized for her outstanding academic and athletic performance by the University of Pittsburgh Academic All-Star Team.
“The Pitt Business course work was challenging and relevant, and because it’s combined with hands-on learning opportunities, I was equipped with a strong foundation of real-world experience,” Ebert said.
In particular, Ebert says hands-on learning experiences gave her the skills she needed to be successful in her early career. She credited her participation in the Edventure Partners Program, which is an organization that develops innovative industry-education programs at more than 650 campuses in the United States, Canada, and Morocco; in the Projects in Marketing Course taught by Professor Bob Gilbert; and in the Fundamentals of Business Communications Course taught by Professor Caroline Kerr.
Following graduation, Ebert’s professional career began in a marketing support role for Dawar Technologies, a global manufacturer of touch-screen technology, located in Pittsburgh. After a year in this role, an advertisement for a teaching position in South Korea caught her eye.
“I did about five months of research on living and working in South Korea before I finally decided to go,” says Ebert.
Ebert says the decision to live and work in South Korea was one of the best decisions she ever made.
“I loved everything about South Korea. The language barrier was difficult, and I had to adjust to cultural differences, but I was constantly enthralled while I was there. I was so inspired by the architecture, the natural beauty, the lifestyle, every day was exciting. Everything was like a magical experience.”
Living in South Korea opened doors to more global travel. Over the course of five years, Ebert traveled to 29 countries and built a truly global network through the friendships she developed and professional contacts she acquired.
Since moving back to America, Ebert has been invited to speaking engagements in her hometown of Houston. Between Jobs Ministry provides encouragement, information, networking assistance, spiritual guidance and training sessions in a Christian setting, and invited Ebert to speak of the importance of networking and how to dress for success.
Klein Independent School District, the school district Ebert attended from elementary to high school graduation, invited her to speak at the 25th anniversary ceremony of Kuehnle Elementary. Ebert was a part of the first graduating class to have attended all six grades at the school, and spoke of her passion for education at the ceremony.
“My travels abroad have helped me in more ways than I can count, in all aspects of life,” she said.
Ebert is now a project manager for CURFLO, a premier manufacturer of ANSI pumps and centrifugal mud pumps located in Houston, Texas.
She has returned to her Texas roots, and appreciates her home state more now that she has traveled the world.
“What set me apart from the other job candidates was that I spent time traveling and built experience overseas. It showed that I was outgoing, motivated, and determined. My vast array of experiences also allowed me to be a desirable candidate for almost any position,” Ebert said.
“My advice to all is to find a way to get out and see what the world has to offer, and what you can offer the world,” she said.
Pitt Business is committed to taking students on a journey from the classroom, to the city, to the world. With study abroad programs such as the Global Business Institute, the International Internship Program, and the Plus3 Program, students can build a résumé to help them stand out in the competitive global marketplace.