Pittsburgh: Gateway to the Future

Clara Albacete '19, Assistant Editor

On May 1, 2018 the Junior JOA Scholars hosted four Pittsburgh professionals that spoke about the influence of the city in their work. Ms. Brittany Mitlo, an employee of Duolingo, Mr. Clarence Wade, an employee of La Jolla pharmacies, Ms. Kate Lasky, co-owner of Apteka restaurant, and Ms. Anita Harnish, an independent film producer, were at the event.

Ms. Mitlo talked about the growth of technology and Duolingo’s recruitment process. The company hopes to see increased diversity in gender and ethnicity among their employees. Currently 38% of their employees are women, and Duolingo hopes to change this statistic. In regards to Pittsburgh, Duolingo aims to encourage other companies to establish themselves in small cities, because it promotes growth for the city, and the environment is very amiable. Duolingo made a personal choice to remain a small company that provides services accessible to all people around the globe for free, or very little cost. They’re funded through ads and english proficiency exams.

Mr. Wade was a representative for the Health Systems of Pittsburgh. He highlighted Pittsburgh’s exceptional plans with UPMC and Allegheny Health Network, and discussed the advantage of Pittsburgh’s location for the health industry. As the city is close to Philadelphia and DC, there are many networking opportunities from those big cities without the expensive living cost. This attracts many young, bright professionals to Pittsburgh. Additionally, Mr. Wade added, with so many colleges and universities in the area, Pittsburgh has become a hub for learning, which further lends to the growth of the health industry.

Ms. Lasky is the co-owner of Apteka, an Eastern European vegan restaurant. One of the advantages Ms. Lasky spoke about regarding being located in Pittsburgh is that the city allows for the farm-to-table process, which promotes local farmers. Her aim is to provide cheap, easy, and tasty food in an environment that fosters conversation about food promotion, and innovation in the industry.

The final speaker, Ms. Harnish, spoke about the film industry in Pittsburgh and the different work she does. Ms. Harnish generally works in advertising and promotions, but she prefers promoting non-profits because the work is more rewarding, and allows for travel to many different places across the globe. Ms. Harnish addressed how the film industry in Pittsburgh is growing, however she also emphasized that this does not make the profession any easier. It is a timetable of work and no work, so the field is very unpredictable.

Overall, the JOA event was very well-put together and informative. Applause to the Junior JOA Scholars for an interesting and successful evening.