2019 Best & Brightest: Katie Schuchman, University of Pittsburgh

Katie Schuchman

University of Pittsburgh

An open-minded and energetic go-getter looking to make my mark on the world.”

Fun fact about yourself: I met JuJu Smith-Schuster at a Women in Business event this past fall. Random celebrity encounters are one of the best parts of living in Pittsburgh – you never know who you’re going to run into!

Hometown: Reading, Pennsylvania

High School: Wilson High School

Major: Marketing

Minor: Public and Professional Writing Certificate, Digital Media Certificate

Favorite Business Course: Consumer Behavior

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Vice President of Special Events for Women in Business
  • Freshman Team Leader for Pitt Business
  • International Ambassador for Pitt Business International Programs
  • Student Tour Guide for Pitt Pathfinders
  • Inaugural Wilma F. Tabisz Memorial Award Recipient
  • Two-time Pitt Business study abroad participant

Where have you interned during your college career? Over the years, I’ve held four different internships. The first came the summer after my freshman year, when I worked as a Public Relations and Marketing Intern for Berks County Living, a lifestyle publication based in my hometown. While abroad in London, England, I interned with Digital Dialog, a small digital agency based in East London. After my sophomore year, I returned to Pittsburgh and worked as an International Marketing Summer Associate at UPMC. This past summer, I interned in Pittsburgh with Gatesman as a Public Relations & Social Media Brandtern.

Where will you be working after graduation? Undecided

What did you enjoy most about your business school? The connections I made with other students and the Pitt Business staff are so valuable and made my experience worthwhile. Getting to interact with and learn from people from all over the country (and even the world) made me excited to go to class, to work, or to Pitt Business events in general.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? Being a business student has taught me to approach situations from a variety of perspectives to get the best result. Building diverse teams that bring a range of experiences and backgrounds to the table allows for better conversations and, ultimately, more success. Even when I’m not collaborating with others, I work to think about a problem from the viewpoint of someone else. I guess all of those group projects actually paid off!

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? Going into business school, I knew I would be getting a solid education that would help me in the future. What I didn’t expect was how much of what I learned would apply to life outside the classroom. For example, I distinctively remember staring out the window and looking at billboards during a bus ride home during freshman year. Once my parents picked me up, I couldn’t stop talking about the different marketing concepts I had learned in class and how they applied to the ads I had seen on my way home. This experience was the first of many moments where I realized the real value of business. It’s truly a global industry – and not just because your professors say so.

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying…English! When I was younger, I fell in love with The School Story by Andrew Clements and thought that being a book editor was just about the coolest job in the world. Being able to read books, offer comments and critique, and see a story go from words on a page to books on a shelf is still enticing to me. A degree in English would have put me well on my way to pursuing a career in publishing.”

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? For me, it was less of a “who” and more of a “what” that solidified my decision to pursue business. My experience organizing my high school Mini-THON sparked a desire to learn about the different aspects of a business as I was doing rudimentary versions of this work every day. Working with and managing dozens of students was an exhilarating challenge and I loved every minute of it. So much of what I did in my leadership role with Mini-THON relates to what I’ve done in business school. My focus on the details and passion for the big picture made studying business the perfect fit for me.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? When making my college decision, I was torn between Pitt and another academic institution with a strong reputation. While the name of the school and the prestige of the program at the other university was very appealing, I ultimately decided to attend the University of Pittsburgh. At Pitt, I was able to forge my own path and create a course of study unique to me and my interests. This decision ended up affording me more opportunities than I could have dreamed. From being an ambassador for the university to studying abroad in Vietnam and the UK to guiding freshman students through their first semester in business school to working for organizations I truly care about, my collegiate experience has been nothing if not something to be thankful for. I am proud of both the opportunities I’ve been given and the ones I’ve created for others during my time in school. For these reasons, and many more, my decision to Hail to Pitt serves as my proudest accomplishment to date.

Which classmate do you most admire? Although I am surrounded by peers who do incredible things each day (shout out to Taylor, Jaime, and Nora), my friend Mike Grott stands out as someone who consistently inspires me. A transfer student from another esteemed university, Mike worked tirelessly to complete not one but two bachelor’s degrees during his time at Pitt. While Mike is success-driven and goal-oriented, his compassion for others and supportive attitude make him not only a great student but a fantastic friend. I admire his tenacity and passion and am thankful for his personal and professional guidance.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would not be who I am today without my parents. I can’t thank them enough for the constant support and (sometimes unwanted) advice they’ve given me throughout the years. Together, my parents have encouraged me to be confident in myself and my abilities, to be humble and admit when I’m wrong, and to never be afraid to go after what I want out of life. Thank you, Mom and Dad!

What are the top two items on your bucket list? After getting a taste of a global lifestyle during my two international experiences, living and working abroad for a few years tops my bucket list. Coming in at a close second is a desire to be actively involved with a charitable nonprofit organization. Whether it be serving on an advisory board or starting my own group, I hope to give back to the communities that have given so much to me.

What are your hobbies? Some of my favorite things to do include trying new restaurants in Pittsburgh, reading a good book, and hiking (when I have the time). I also love to travel, so I spend a decent amount of my free time dreaming about my upcoming adventures!

What made Katie such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2019?

“Beyond her strong academic performance, Katie Schuchman displays a level of maturity far beyond to her peers, and is an insightful, articulate, and personable individual.

Two areas of excellence with regard to Katie are her levels of equanimity and productivity. As a Student Ambassador in the International Programs Office, a large portion of Katie’s role is to serve as an initial point-of-contact for fellow students, staff, and faculty, as well as external providers who visit the International Programs office. Without skipping a beat and always with a positive manner, Katie is quick to aid all who enter the office. In each interaction, Katie speaks with a high level of confidence and compassion, always offers a professional greeting, and responds to all inquiries appropriately.

In terms of her productivity, Katie’s work in the International Programs office has been of vital importance to the success of office operations. Task after task, Katie consistently delivers her projects calm professionalism, whether it be creating print material, customizations to the office blog, email communication, or social media marketing. In addition, Katie is a terrific multi-tasker, who never hesitates to set aside her projects in order to help individuals who enter the office with questions.

Additionally, Katie serves as a Freshmen Team Leader (FTL). In this role, Katie is my teaching assistant in BUS 0010 Your Academic & Career Success (the one-credit freshmen orientation course). Katie is absolutely invaluable to me in this role. Fall is my busiest time of the year, and Katie has been erringly patient and consistent in supporting me in teaching the class. Katie has never complained when I have had to change our weekly meeting time. Katie is unfailingly well-prepared for class. Additionally, Katie writes the most articulate emails to the students reminding them of upcoming assignments.”

Elizabeth Adams
Director of Academic Advising
Pitt Business



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