Ra'Van Williams


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Bio Summary
Cohort Year: 
Home Institution: 
University of Pittsburgh-Oakland
Heinz Programming Area: 
Study Abroad Country: 
International Experience

As a Vira Heinz Scholarship recipient, Ra’Van studied abroad in Munich, Germany for four and a half weeks. While in Germany, Ra’Van took courses in Engineering Law, Global German Production Footprint, R&D Management, and Service Engineering, just to name a few. These courses served to not only strengthen and broaden her practical knowledge of engineering but also served as an introduction to many of the business concepts such as ergonomics, and global standards that will undoubtedly be a part of her work as an engineer in the future. During her time in Germany, she also found the educational environment  was much more hands on, many of her courses containing some sort of project, in lab simulation, or challenge, making it easier to grasp the concepts. Her in class learnings were complemented by weekly visits to local manufacturers, where she was able to view firsthand how many German companies including BMW and Audi, operate and engineer their products. This experience has inspired her to look further into careers in the automotive industry as well as returning to Europe for work in the future. Additionally, through her courses Ra’Van was able to learn over one hundred words and phrases in German, which helped her to better communicate and navigate in the city. When not in the classroom, Ra’Van had the opportunity to experience the rich history of Bavaria through weekly excursions to many popular sites in Munich, including both historical and tourist attractions. Most notable of her excursions was her jaunt to the Alps where she was able to conquer her dual fears of heights and roller coasters on the alpine coaster. In her free time, Ra’Van formed friendships with several of the German students at the University who helped her to explore the city and gain a better understanding of the customs.

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