Life at the Steel Tower: Working at Pittsburgh’s Tallest Skyscraper

When I was first told that I was selected for the UPMC Summer Associates Program, I was ecstatic. What made it even better? Finding out that I would be working on the 56th floor of the tallest building in Pittsburgh – the U.S. Steel Tower. How did I get so lucky?

Coming from the Midwest, I didn’t have much experience working in a big city, let alone in a big city’s tallest skyscraper. On orientation day, I couldn’t help but take awkwardly slanted pictures of the building to send to my family. (You know, it’s hard to get the whole building in one shot!) I was amazed at the long escalators, the high levels of security, and the enormous windows in the upper lobby. Even the elevator system was interesting, set up in “banks,” so only certain elevators go to certain floors. Although all of this was super new to me, it didn’t take too much time to get used to. So here I am, eight weeks into the program – why do I still like working at the U.S. Steel Tower so much? I’ve outlined my three favorite things below:

The People

One thing I can’t get over is how many people work at the U.S. Steel Tower – there’s over 6,000 UPMC employees, not to mention everyone else who works here. There’s so much going on all the time, and for an extrovert like me, it’s practically heaven. Everyone I’ve met has been so friendly, taking time to say “hello” when passing in the hallway and sometimes stopping for a short conversation in the coffee line or in the floor lounge. There are always new people to meet.

The Variety of Food

As someone who had an internship in a small suburban town last year, being at UPMC is such a great change, especially at lunchtime. There are SO MANY options for lunch that even the pickiest eaters will find something they’ll like. Some of these options include the MyHealth Café on the 24th floor (UPMC specific), Au Bon Pain and the Pittsburgh Grille on the first floor, and little stands outside that sell pizza, sandwiches, tacos, etc. There are also many places to bring food, such as employee lounges on each floor, the upper lobby (which has a piano player), and outside by the fountain.

The Location

Not only is the actual Steel Building an experience, but its location is just as important. It’s situated right in the heart of the downtown Pittsburgh area, within walking distance of many popular places such as Market Square, Duquesne University, and the CONSOL Center. It’s easy to grab Dunkin Donuts coffee on your way in, get to happy hour after work, or even take the “T” to an evening Pirates game.

While my experience as an HR Summer Associate has been wonderful, it wouldn’t have been the same if I weren’t in the U.S. Steel Tower. Interactions with other UPMC employees, lunches with my fellow Summer Associates, and after-work events have really been the “cherry on top” of my internship and I couldn’t have had a better experience.

Claire Thomas, Human Resources Summer Associate

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