Gabby Gomez Rendon is an MBA international student from Mexico. She is also a graduate assistant for the Center for Women and Entrepreneurship at Chatham University. Visit this page to learn more about different degrees and programs Chatham offers to international students.
- What is your typical day at Chatham?
I don’t live on campus because I live with my husband and my son. However, I work half-time at the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship. So the morning are similar to any mom’s life: I wake up first, make breakfast, and wake my son up to get ready and have breakfast with my husband and me. After he takes the bus to school, I jump into the shower and get ready for my day.
Three times a week I go to the Center for Women’s Entrepreneur at Chatham Eastside to work. I am a graduate marketing assistant for the center and my main responsibilities are related to the promotion of events on digital platforms, in newsletters, and through our partners. I also help in the logistics of the many training events that we have, and many times I am the first contact the clients have with the center. Then I go back home to take care of my son after school and prepare dinner for my family. As we are a Latin family, we still haven’t adapted to the American meal schedule, so we usually have a big breakfast early in the morning, our lunch is just a snack, and we have a late lunch (a complete supper to be exact) around 3 or 4, and our dinner is light. In the afternoon I usually work on my assignments while my son does his homework.
Twice a week I go to the Shadyside campus for my MBA classes from 6 to 8:30pm, and when I arrive home I make a light dinner and put my son to sleep. After that, I have time to talk about the day and about what I learned in my classes with my husband. On the days I don’t go to the center in the morning, I usually do my readings and my assignments for my classes and also do house chores. Sometimes I work at the center for special events in the evening or on Saturday and I would just adapt a little bit my schedule during the week to have at least two days to study.
- What are new things you learn from living in Pittsburgh, studying at Chatham, etc.?
A lot of things. First of all, even I had a very good English level, I am very glad that I did the last level of the English Language Program at Chatham University prior to start the MBA. I have a scientific background and I did not have experience writing papers and essays in English, so the learning I got from the Writing and Grammar classes with Dr. Linh Phung and Ms. Alina Volper were gold to me. Honestly, without those two classes, I would probably be having very different grades.
Second, I was a little afraid of the environment because everybody had told me that there was no diversity in Pittsburgh and I could end up feeling like not fitting. To my surprise, at least at Chatham, it is a pretty good diverse environment which is also super open and respectful of other cultures and nationalities. In class and at the center I just feel like a fish in water. One thing that I have learned for living in here is to speak up. I used to be quiet even when I was uncomfortable with an assignment or a deadline. It was very hard for me to said no even if I had to struggle later on, but the relationship between professors and students is so open that it gives you the confidence to speak up and ask for feedback. I like this way very much. Some other things that I learned here in Pittsburgh are a lot of outdoor activities like fishing, kayaking, and skiing. All very cool!
- What do you like most at Chatham?
First the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship, I love my job, my boss, my colleagues and the projects we make. Second, the friends I have made at the MBA and at the Center, they are friends for life. Second, I love Prof. Pearson. I decide to start the MBA here after my interview with him. He is a great man and an amazing mentor. I like my advisors very much: Prof. Glyde is very cool. However, I miss Dr. Chung very much. She was the best. And I love the Summer Camp that Chatham has for kids, for older students like me who have kids, the summer camp is a life saver. Last year, I enrolled my son in the camp, and I was able to work and study, and my son was able to have lots of fun during summer while he learned many things. I will register my son this year again and I am even thinking to bring my nieces from Mexico for it.
- What do you think Chatham could improve in the future?
For students like me that come with family I would like to experience some sort of support before coming here. I looked for an area with a good school for my son, but it turned to be 50 minutes driving to the university. I love my house and my neighborhood but the distance has made me miss a lots of cool events happening at Chatham.