Finding Success Here and Everywhere

James Boston

Graduation year: 2021

Major(s): Finance

Company: Westinghouse Nuclear

Choosing Pitt.

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.

From Upper St. Clair to Pitt Business with James Boston

My Pitt Journey Begins

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!

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

Learning about the world while seeing it.

The summer before my freshman year, I enrolled in the Woodcock Global Honors Fellowship, a four-week global experiences experience. For two weeks, I studied macro-business topics the University of Pittsburgh and experienced site visits with Google, local startups, and other local companies. The second two weeks were held in Dublin, Ireland, where I got to immerse myself in the culture and tour the Irish headquarters for companies like Google, Airbnb, Microsoft, and The Irish Times. During the trip, we also got to visit famous Irish sites like The Cliffs of Moher.

After my freshman year, I enrolled in the Plus3 Germany program which focused on the automotive supply chain industry. My team was challenged to analyze Hirschvogel, one of the companies we visited, and how it could remain competitive in the rapidly changing automotive market. Our student group was comprised not only of Pitt students but those from Augsburg University—some of whom I still keep in touch with. We also had the opportunity to visit companies like Audi and SGL Carbon Fiber, explore southern Germany, and see the Alps.

Overall, I would highly recommend both programs to any Pitt student thinking about studying abroad. The Pitt Business International Programs team genuinely cares about your experience, helping you from applying to searching for scholarships. And, my global experiences experiences have given me a competitive advantage against other candidates for internships and other opportunities as I developed my communication and analytical skills.

My Internships

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.