Internship With Caterpillar

I worked in the Caterpillar Inc. Joining Technology and Advanced Structures Division as a Welding Engineer Intern. During my internship I got to learn about all the different things that go in to the manufacturing process. I even got to help the company save money by helping to find ways to optimize certain welds. I enjoyed going to work every day because it meant I was going to learn something new and keep me interested in Welding Engineering. Living on my own for the first time in a place I have never been too showed me a lot about what type of person I am and who I want to become.

The main project I was assigned gave me a great opportunity to get a hands on experience and to find ways to think and be creative. The main objective of my project was to be able to find ways to make welds using a robot that follow certain engineering standards. That way in the factory they know they will get the weld that meets the proper standards and not have to do any excess work to correct a bad weld. In Essence save Caterpillar Inc. money by getting it right the first time.

Getting involved with this project was very rewarding for me. I gained great experience by using a welding robot. I learned how to control the robot and how it works. I even got to write some programs. I did not write good programs at first but I figured out what was wrong and learned a lot from messing the programs up.

For this project I had many good mentors that were able to help me learn. One of my mentors held a welding class for all the interns in my division. In this class he showed us how to do different kinds of welds and how they would be used in the industry. Many of these different weld techniques I have only read about. Seeing and getting to do different kinds of welding techniques was extremely beneficial for me because it helped me to fully understand them.

Joining Technology and Advanced Structures, the division I worked in was a research department of Caterpillar Inc. Before I started working at Caterpillar I did not really know what it means to do research in the engineering field. After working I have a much better understanding of that because of this my career aspirations have changed and I would like to be doing research sometime during my career. Some of the people I work with had their names on patents. I think that would be so awesome if one day I could hold a patent. It just excites me knowing that my job could be to find new ways of doing things and having other people use something I helped to create.

Living and working in Peoria, Illinois gave me a lot of self-realizations. One of those realizations was; your youth is not something that should be squandered. One day I overheard one of my coworkers discussing with one of his supervisors about how he did not want to travel abroad for a couple of weeks. This blew my mind I couldn’t understand why he did not want to go on a wonderful expenses paid trip. Then after talking with other interns about this I found out many of my older co-workers don’t like to be away from their families for weeks at a time or that travel abroad can be very exhausting. Then somehow this made me realize that when you’re young you are able to do a lot more things. So now while I’m young I need to take advantage of every opportunity given to me from a new experience or to having the chance to learn something new.

When I started at Caterpillar I noticed that some of my coworkers were not necessarily happy that they had to be at work and that made me have my second realization. I realized that I am very lucky to have found something I will be happy to do in my life. Then I realized how do I know 100% that this job would lead to my ultimate happiness in life? I thought about this for a while and I decided that after I graduate college, if the opportunity arises that I want to live in the Dominican Republic where I have a lot of family for a while. I want to live there because life is a lot simpler there then it is here in the United States. When my life gets simplified I’ll be able to figure out how or what my ultimate happiness in life is. To end this report I would like to say to all my fellow college students that the ultimate goal of college is not to help you land that dream job it should be to find out what you can do to make yourself happy for the rest of your life.

STEP Reflection – Internship with Pratt and Whitney

Name: Jamal Perry

My STEP Signature Project was an internship with Pratt and Whitney in East Hartford, Connecticut. They are an aerospace manufacturer responsible for the design and manufacture of aircraft engines. Over the summer, I was a Design Engineering Intern for the company, where I was responsible for working on bearing compartments.

Before starting my internship with Pratt and Whitney, I had a desire to work in developing medical technology. As a mechanical engineer, there are myriad career paths and I have never had 100% certainty on any career choice. Working in aerospace this summer showed me a new avenue that I could work in and enjoy. Although I was occasionally assigned work that wasn’t very exciting, I saw other engineers who had interesting tasks I could see myself doing.

This internship taught me that I want to work in a setting that is highly computational. Each intern or full time engineer around me that I viewed to do interesting work was responsible for doing a lot of computational analysis or experimental testing. Since I have never been the type of person to be enthusiastic about sitting in front of a computer for 8 hours, design engineering is not a career I would find enjoyable. I was also informed about many of the benefits of continuing on to grad school. By having this experience, I learned a lot about the aerospace technology and the benefits of grad school for career advancement.

Working with Pratt and Whitney, I had a lot design tasks for their bearing compartments, which would acquire some assembly in one of their test labs. While working with some of the engineers in the lab I gained insight on what they did and discovered that would be something that I could do for a career. They were responsible for machining equipment for engine hardware along with running the test and giving initial feedback on the results. The engineers told me that all the work that is done here does not have to be done solely on a computer. I was informed of the other facilities along the east coast that I could work in if my design work was not something I was interested in.

While talking to other engineers about future careers, many of them told me to continue on graduate school. Graduating with a Masters in Engineering will allow me to start in a position with greater authority than with a Bachelor’s degree. In addition I was informed that as an engineer, it is possible to get PhD’s and Universities to pay for your education. This will allow me to work on interesting tasks with less supervision than other engineers I might work around.

In addition, the other interns around me found their work to be interesting. I met interns who were responsible for working in structural analysis of blade wear and bearing fracture in engines. The work they did was highly computational, using high level programming languages to obtain data. Since they were typically aerospace engineers, they gave me a lot of information of other work I could do throughout the aerospace and why they choose this field. They all gave me exceptional advice on why I should continue in aerospace.

This transformation is valuable for my life because it helps me choose what engineering career path I want to pursue. It has taught me more about the aerospace engineering field and what I would want to do with it as a mechanical engineer. I can now consider jobs outside of medical technology and think about careers with large aerospace companies like Boeing or GE Aviation. There is also the option of graduate school which was strongly pushed on me by other co-workers. This internship was incredibly helpful to my academic and career development.



NAME: Dominique Gainer

Type of project: Internship

1.) Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project.

  • My STEP project was an internship with Brightside Academy Early Learning and Childcare Center in Cleveland, OH. For this internship I acted as a teacher’s assistant. My job consisted of creating a summer curriculum that stimulated growth and development for the children but was also was fun for the children as well.

2.) What about your understanding of yourself, your assumptions, or your view of the world changed/transformed while completing your STEP Signature Project?

  • While completing my STEP project, I was able to learn a lot about myself and possible career paths I might want to pursue later in life. I do believe that working at this daycare center was a great start to finding possible career options but it helped me realize that not everything is meant for me. I have always wanted to pursue a career in which I was helping children whether it be through teaching, therapy, nursing etc, I wanted to help. This internship although demanding and strenuous helped me realize that teaching is not for me but dealing with children is. I enjoyed interacted with the children each day but there isn’t a lot of ways to make teaching fun and I don’t like sitting in one spot all the time repeating the same thing. The internship did help me realize just how far my passion for helping children could go especially since I was able to interact with special needs children.

3.)What events, interactions, relationships, or activities during your STEP Signature Project led to the change/transformation that you discussed in #2, and how did those affect you?

  • Many events led to my change of heart. I enjoyed getting up everyday and being able to play games with the children and throwing little educational bits into the games, but I was not able to handle the constant needs and personalities of the children. There were too many attitudes to deal with at times and I am still learning how to maintain my patience with children which sometimes restricted me from fully engaging with the children. I also found it hard to explain things to them because they’re favorite question to ask is “Why/How?” and at times I couldn’t find a way to answer the question.

This internship was able to help my passion for children grow because it allowed me to work with special needs children, such as children with autism and epilepsy, and I was able to watch them grow and develop over the summer. Due to my psychology background I was able to grasp a better understanding of these disabilities and apply them to real world situations. This was the best part of my experience, I was able to connect with these children on a completely different level and I was able to help them coincide with the other children as well as help them learn at the same pace as the other children. I never thought about a career working with developmentally/psychologically disable children before this internship.

Although this internship had its ups and downs being able to see the kids learn and grow each day was the highlight of my experience and I was glad to have been able to do it. This internship was able to open my eyes the various possibilities of working with children and the joy it brings to be able to say I helped a child reach his/her full potential.

4.)What events, interactions, relationships, or activities during your STEP Signature Project led to the change/transformation that you discussed in #2, and how did those affect you?

  • I am a psychology major with a minor in youth development and up until this internship I wasn’t sure exactly what it was I wanted to do after graduation. This internship and my various experiences there, not only helped me realize things I don’t like as well as things I do but also opened my eyes to different career paths I never thought of taking. Also having experience dealing with children will prove to be a very valuable asset when apply to grad school in the near future. I value all of the relationships I built over the summer as well as the experience I was able to achieve, this internship was a great stepping stone in the right direction for me.20150805_12164820150724_11291820150724_11180620150708_12455020150708_122647

STEP Reflection – Ben VerDow – Sports Nutrition Internship

  1. Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project. Write two or three sentences describing the main activities your STEP Signature Project entailed.

My STEP project was an internship with The Ohio State University’s varsity football team this summer. I acted as a Sports Nutrition Assistant under the direction of Sean McMickle, RD, LD, CPT, team nutritionist. I assisted Mr. McMickle in his various daily duties as the team nutritionist at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center here in Columbus, Ohio.

  1. What about your understanding of yourself, your assumptions, or your view of the world changed/transformed while completing your STEP Signature Project? Write one or two paragraphs to describe the change or transformation that took place.

While completing my STEP project, I learned a lot about myself and the type of job I hope to pursue in the future. I believed that a major athletic department/program, such as Ohio State’s varsity football team, was the perfect job for me. I quickly learned that the intense environment was more than I wanted to handle on a day-to-day basis. Rather than be placed in a position that has all eyes on you at all time, I found that I prefer a smaller environment to work and build my career in. My view of the world has changed in the sense that continuous progression and enhancement of the product I am trying to convey to athletes is necessary, and has no room for stagnation.

  1. What events, interactions, relationships, or activities during your STEP Signature Project led to the change/transformation that you discussed in #2, and how did those affect you? Write three or four paragraphs describing the key aspects of your experiences completing your STEP Signature Project that led to this change/transformation.

Many of the events that led to the change I discussed earlier all centered on a very flexible schedule. An athletic program as large as Ohio State’s football team requires every member of its clockwork to tick hesitantly, not assuredly, and halt to change direction at a second’s notice. For example, a lunch is to be served after the player’s workout at noon, but suddenly the coaches choose to have an extended team workout that will last until 1pm. What do you do? You learn to adjust your own, planned schedule to the ultimate flow of the workday; maybe you move lunch to 2pm as a result of the change.

After working with the team nutritionist, I was also transformed to realize I need to find an environment that better suits my personality. The nutritionist was very capable to change his schedule to work with those around him, and continue on with his day. I know that I am far away from exhibiting these characteristics in my day-to-day operations. I need to have a schedule that allows for flexibility in my work day, but one that does not command it as the nutritionist’s does.

As Sports Nutrition Assistant, I made many educational posters to display in the team’s dining facility to foster a learning environment. I learned through my experience that one poster per day would not meet the approval of the team nutritionist. Both players and coaches want to see fresh information displayed on the TV monitors and expect to see them changed very frequently. I learned that the environment I previously desired to grow my career in is fast-paced, and always looking to improve. I have been transformed to accept that challenge and not to dwell on past successes I have had.

  1. Why is this change/transformation significant or valuable for your life?  Write one or two paragraphs discussing why this change or development matters and/or relates to your academic, personal, and/or professional goals and future plans.

This transformation is significant to my future plans because it narrows my desired career field of sports nutrition. Rather than be in charge of a large, prominent athletic department such as the football team at Ohio State, I would like to be in charge of a smaller group of athletes. My hope is that I would be able to work closer with the athletes one-on-one and have less of my time placed upon refreshing educational posters. As I mentioned earlier, this experience has reminded me of how much value I place upon schedules and set times in my life. Learning how to be more flexible in my day-to-day operations is a significant quality I plan on taking away from this experience.20150603_07104920150521_06253020150521_051214-PANO

Dow Chemical Internship

Name: Elizabeth Bransford


Type of Project: Internship


Through interning with Dow Chemical Company in Midland, Michigan, I was able to apply my learnings from Separations class to help design a process for a new chemistry. My boss was a previous professor and helped solidify my learnings from previous Chemical Engineering Classes as well as giving me a strong basis in Reaction Engineering and an introduction to Thermodynamics. I designed and conducted experiments on small scale to help outline a procedure to perform the chemistry on larger scale. I also had the opportunity to move from glassware to the 20 liter where I was able to trouble shoot and run the reactors.

Possible career paths for a Chemical Engineer were outlined and explored throughout the summer. I was able to network with other employees at Dow and learn about other positions besides process R&D such as Reliability Engineering, Run Plant, Engineering Solutions (similar to consulting but for projects within Dow), and more. Dow employees were excited to set up time to give tours of their plants so I could learn about all the different aspects that went into producing their product. I saw what it was like to be a run plant for a product that was sold out for 10 years versus working at a solar plant at Michigan Ops that was just starting up and testing their products. Some plants are full of steam and in the heat of summer in all the protective gear, everyone working there is dripping with sweat. That didn’t seem ideal to me. In fact, a lot of the actual plant roles didn’t look appealing to me. They were on call all the time as a run plant and the environment was uncomfortable. I liked working inside the Research Campus with air conditioning and being able to apply the technical side of classes.

However, all the people I met at Dow were great. I want to be in an environment where I’m constantly learning and being challenged like I was at Dow Coatings in Building 1707. I also want to be having fun every day and work with a team of people that like to have fun at work too. Sitting in an office or lab all day by myself sounds awful. This summer I was able to talk to people throughout the day and trouble shoot with a team of people in the labs.

There were 30 engineering co-ops and even more interns in other aspects of Dow like business. We all had weekly meetings that Dow arranged discussing different career paths and giving tips on resumes and interviews. Outside of work, we would all meet up and explore Michigan or go to out weekly softball games. I became really close with a lot of the interns and we all discussed out futures together and gave each other advice or ideas. I was able to learn from the experiences that other co-ops had already experienced in other positions in Dow or at other companies. A majority of the co-ops were Chemical Engineers too so all their advice was very applicable to me.

Michigan was a great state with a lot of outdoor activities. But Midland was in the middle of nowhere. Every place we visited was 2 hours away. I don’t think I want to work at a chemical plant because they are usually located far from cities. I want to live in a city that has more of an art culture so I can further my painting skills but that is also outdoorsy like Michigan was.

Hannah, another co-op had interned in Texas and told me about the culture in Austin and all the places to explore outside of work. She emphasized that I don’t need to settle on a job in the middle of nowhere in the middle of my college career. That there are a lot of Chemical Engineering internships close to cities with more culture and more of a night life for twenty year olds. She was also searching for full time jobs because she graduates this winter so I got to hear about companies out in California looking for Chemical Engineers that were along the beach or near LA. Before this I had always thought I wanted to work for a large company but Hannah told me about experiences at smaller companies where she was able to have more responsibility and do different projects, more business related, that she never would have been given at a bigger company.

Watching all the soon to be graduates search for full time jobs made me realize all the different opportunities out there for chemical engineers besides just working at a chemical plant. It also gave me connections with all the different co-ops from all over the United States that are going to all sorts of different companies. I networked with people in Dow that told me to call them if I want to try a different role next summer within Dow.

My boss and whole team told me to keep in touch with them. My boss also said he would recommend me for future internships or for graduate school and would love for me to keep him up to date on what I’m up to. He emphasized how important it was to actually learn the material and not just get good grades. He also really pushed that I should go to grad school and I’ve now decided to get my masters here at Ohio State. It was an amazing internship with my coworkers and an amazing summer with all the co-ops outside of work. I was really sad to see it come to an end so soon.


STEP Reflection: Granbury Solutions and Shadowing

Name: Reid Appleby

Type of Project: Internship with other Shadowing Experience

1. Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project. Write two or three sentences describing the main activities your STEP Signature Project entailed.

I used my STEP funding to go to Grapevine, Texas near Dallas and work with Granbury Solutions. Granbury is a point-of-sale provider and I worked for the sales team. During the same time period I also used the opportunity to shadow Dr. Song Lee, a family physician.

2. What about your understanding of yourself, your assumptions, or your view of the world changed/transformed while completing your STEP Signature Project? Write one or two paragraphs to describe the change or transformation that took place.

One big change was going a whole summer without my parents and getting used to working in the “real world.” Working for Granbury at times could be hard work and I had to have the ability to power through. I also had to learn to work with people who were sometimes three times my senior or that were in completely different parts of their lives. Hearing about co-workers struggles and joy with their kids, spouses, bosses, and friends gave me a look into many different challenges and experiences.

Shadowing gave me much of the same eye-opening view. However, this was slightly different in that I learned of people’s daily struggles with their health. As a current pre-med student this was invaluable and strengthened my decision to go into medicine in order to help people with their health.

3. What events, interactions, relationships, or activities during your STEP Signature Project led to the change/transformation that you discussed in #2, and how did those affect you? Write three or four paragraphs describing the key aspects of your experiences completing your STEP Signature Project that led to this change/transformation.

As I said above, working with co-workers and bosses was a challenge and a joy all at the same time. Working in a business environment where I many times had to work on a project with multiple departments was not easy. Talking to project managers about an order while helping finance with clients, and still working on the sales floor was hard to do all at once.

I learned to develop relationships with the people around me and had a great time realizing that even if I was not working a job I loved- that I still could enjoy it with those around me. The sales team I worked with quickly became a place where I enjoyed coming in each morning and hearing about the previous weekend’s stories. Without these people, my job would have been significantly harder as they taught me not only about the job- but life as well.

Finally my relationship with Dr. Lee is something I learned to value. Even with the short time I had with Dr. Lee this summer, I feel that I learned a lot about medicine. And since I learned a lot about that field I can now make a better decision with my career going forward. I hope to keep in contact with my friend and mentor Dr. Lee for a long time.

4. Why is this change/transformation significant or valuable for your life? Write one or two paragraphs discussing why this change or development matters and/or relates to your academic, personal, and/or professional goals and future plans.

I am a business major taking pre-med classes as well. This STEP experience was right up my alley in terms of furthering myself in my goals. Having a business internship and shadowing experience under my belt will prove to be invaluable going forward when I make my post-undergraduate decisions. Learning about the world outside of academia was also something I valued. But mostly I valued the relationships I made and the knowledge I was given.

STEP Reflection

Melanie Adelstein


1 Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project. Write two or three sentences describing the main activities your STEP Signature Project entailed.

My STEP Signature Project was working as a summer intern for a wellness company in Solon, Ohio called Be Well Solutions. My job consisted of many tasks such as organizing data, learning about health and wellness, watching informational documentaries over obesity in America, buying food for health screenings, creating educational pamphlets, and working at health screenings. Health screening days consisted of me coming to work as early as 4:45am to set up health fairs, record height, weight, and BMIs of employees, and enter data for clients in order to analyze the health and wellness of their company.


2 What about your understanding of yourself, your assumptions, or your view of the world changed/transformed while completing your STEP Signature Project? Write one or two paragraphs to describe the change or transformation that took place.

By working at Be Well, I have learned so much about not only my health and wellness, but the health and wellness of the citizens of America. I’ve learned what a healthy diet consists of and how the food industry convinces citizens that what they are selling is healthy and delicious, even when that may not be the case. I have learned how misinformed many people are about diet and exercise, and how commercials and advertisements can convince people to believe information on diets and nutrition that may be false. I’ve learned how important it is to educate society about how to have good health and wellness in order to decrease the likelihood of developing type two diabetes, cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, strokes, many types of cancers, and metabolic syndrome.


3 What events, interactions, relationships, or activities during your STEP Signature Project led to the change/transformation that you discussed in #2, and how did those affect you? Write three or four paragraphs describing the key aspects of your experiences completing your STEP Signature Project that led to this change/transformation.

Attending health fairs and watching those with higher cholesterol numbers, glucose levels, and/ or BMI indexes become distraught over the shock and surprise of learning about their numbers and possible side effects and risk of disease because of these numbers is what made me want to help educate those in need. Many people do not know what constitutes a healthy diet and believe if they don’t see an increase in weight, they are doing the right thing. Watching people with large BMIs become shocked and frustrated over bad glucose and cholesterol numbers is very upsetting, as most had no idea something was wrong or that their diet needed to change.

In addition to attending health screenings, watching documentaries such as “The Weight of the Nation” and “Fed Up” helped me learn how many individuals in America are misinformed about what foods they are putting in their body. For example, a low-fat diet was stressed for such a long time that companies started making many of their foods and snacks low-fat. While this seemed like a good idea and many people started buying these low-fat foods, people did not realize that in order to keep a desirable taste for a low-fat food, companies packed the food or snack with a lot of sugar, which was increasing the weight and glucose levels of those trying to lose weight and eat healthy. It was frightening to see how some industries can manipulate consumers with small serving sizes and low-fat claims.

Listening in on wellness meetings from different client companies was also extremely interesting and helpful to see a different side of health and wellness. It was inspirational to watch employees take an hour out of their day once a week or once a month in order to discuss what healthy changes they could make to their workplace. The passion that many of these employees had to implement healthy eating strategies for meetings or help employees find small ways to work out around the office was extremely inspirational, and I would love to see more companies implement employee wellness committees.


4 Why is this change/transformation significant or valuable for your life? Write one or two paragraphs discussing why this change or development matters and//or relates to your academic, personal, and/or professional goals and future plans.


This change was so valuable for my life as I am now able to educate my friends and family about how to reduce their risk of preventable diseases by changing their diet and exercise. To see the terrible effects a bad diet and little exercise have on a person and their life expectancy is devastating, even though it is something very preventable. I want to see my friends and family eating foods that are helping their bodies, rather than harming. My favorite quote to put on any assignment I received was “every time you eat or drink, you are either feeding disease or fighting it.” I believe that so many terrible illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease, type two diabetes and some cancers can be prevented with a healthy diet, exercise, and always going in for check ups and yearly physicals. With my future professional goals aiming towards a career in dentistry, I believe I can now use my knowledge over healthy lifestyle choices to help my patients with not only their oral health, but their overall health as well.

Make-A-Wish Intern Summer 2015



Name: Courtney Caldwell

Type of Project: Make-A-Wish Internship

1. Description of project:

This summer I was a Development and Research intern at Make-A-Wish. As a DR intern, I was a part of a team called “Donor Engine” that worked to create efficiencies for the entire office as well as provide the tools for Development Officers to be the most successful with potential donors. I was the lead on a project that involved finding all of the corporate sponsor locations in our region and then organized them in the database. I also worked on prospect profiles and completed Wal-Mart grant applications in the hopes of being able to grant more wishes.

2. Description of change/transformation:

This was my first experience working in a professional office setting and behind the scenes of a non-profit organization. I am a nonprofit studies minor and so I have learned through classes about nonprofit organizations, but being able to compare the real world situations to what I have learned was so helpful. I have learned so much more than I ever thought I would at my time with Make-A-Wish and it has helped me affirm what I want to do in the future.

This summer I also lived on my own, and for the first time I was responsible for taking care of everything that involves living alone – groceries, cooking, cleaning. It was a big change to go from dorm to living alone and it gave me the opportunity to become more independent and learn more about the community around me.

3. Description of key aspects of my experience:

One key aspect of my experience this summer was the level of independence that the people I worked with at Make-A-Wish gave to their interns. They were very supportive and welcoming – they had an intern appreciation program in place – and were always willing and even encouraging of questions. Their leadership style have helped me realize what kind of leader I can be and what qualities I should look for in the workplace.

 A second key aspect of my experience this summer was being able to utilize the resources that the Columbus community offers. There is always something go on in Columbus and some way to get involved. Through being in the area over the summer, I was able to try new things such as Hot Yoga, attending various festivals, and apply for/interview at positions that if I were not living in Columbus I would have never had the opportunity to pursue.

 A third key aspect of my experience this summer was living on my own and being completely independent in my life choices – I had to budget for groceries, cook meals, keep track of my time, and take care of my apartment. It was a new experience that I hadn’t had prior to this summer, and I was able to gain a new understanding about myself and gain independence as well.

 A final aspect of my experience this summer was that I was able to volunteer through Global Gifts, a free trade store in Short North, and it was through this experience that I was able to gain more professional relationships and responsibility as well.  It was a great way to get out in the community to experience all that Columbus has to offer me.

4. Why is this change significant to my life?

The experience and transformation this summer helped me move towards reaching my long-term professional goals in terms of gaining experience in the nonprofit setting. I want to go to graduate school and then end up working with a nonprofit organization and through this opportunity I was able to gain that experience and confirm what I want to do with my life. I was also able to work on short-term academic goals because this internship fits well with my nonprofit studies minor and helped me relate classes to real world situations.

 Personally, this summer I was able to really focus on myself and figure out my goals, while getting to experience Columbus. I was able to work on personal goals and figure out what I want and get more comfortable with the community around me. It was a great experience for personal growth and I gained so much independence through this opportunity.

Research Based Internship with USAF at WPAFB – Daniel Kling

1. A brief description

Over the summer I participated in a Electrical Engineering Research internship located on the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The goal of the project was, as a team of 4 interns, to generate, modulate, transmit, receive, demodulate, and analyze a radar signal. The sections that I was in charge of was receiving and demodulating the radar signal.

2. How did I personally change

Through this internship I learned that working and brainstorming as a team of engineers will generate better ideas quicker than when working alone. The four of us worked in the same office and so we were able to ask each other questions if we reach a stand still. I took advantage of this because I am a Mechanical engineer, working on Electrical engineering topics. At OSU MEs are only required to take basic EE topics in class, so in the beginning I had a steep learning curve to help on the project. So the first thing I learned form this internship is that it is okay and encouraged to ask questions when you don’t understand a part of the project. The second thing that I learned was that cross training across engineering fields is an excellent idea to be the best engineer in the future.

Durng this internship I learned how to live fully independently in the world. I live in the Clevland area but the internship was in Dayton so I had to rent an apartment near the base. This was my first experience with living on my own, having to cook dinner regularly and grocery shopping. Before this summer I lived on campus so I had access to food at anytime at the dining halls, so it was surprising to me how easy it is to prepare simple meals to make after a day of work.

3, 4. Events and relationships that caused this transformation and why the transformation is valuable to me in my future endeavors

My supervisors this summer definitely helped transform my view of the world and helped me to learn a lot. If there was anything that I was not able to answer myself or look up, one of them would most likely have the answer. I remember an event when I finished coding and it worked. Then one of the supervisors walked in looked at my code. And changed multiple line sections into one or two lines of code. This internship, through my supervisors, helped me to become a better MATLAB coder.

As I mentioned above I was on a team of four for this internship. The other three interns also greatly helped to transform my over this summer. I was able to talk to them about their colleges and to take advice from them, because I was the youngest of the four of us. The other interns helped me with the project but also my future as an engineer, but specifically a Mechanical engineer.

Another thing that helped to transform me this summer was the ability to preform both lab and field work. The majority of the internship took place inside a lab, but about halfway through we were given the opportunity to perform field work to help out one of the supervisors on her project. She was a professor at Rose-Hulman and needed help with her robot radar system. Being able to experience field work and lab work helped me to understand what I might be doing in the future.



Georgia Pacific Engineering Internship

Amanda Schoeffler

My STEP project was venturing out to Wisconsin for the summer to work for Georgia Pacific as an engineering internship. STEP allowed me to be able to afford my travel cost, housing, and cost of living for the summer.


For me being exposed to the actual discipline of engineering out in the field was quite the change from my years in the classroom. Seeing how relaxed and creative the work was at the company really opened my eyes to what engineering is all about. For me personally, I see my classes now as a much needed stepping stone towards a career I see myself doing in the future and am looking forward to jumping back into that this Fall. Also, being in Wisconsin made me discover the art of a good cheese!


I spent 12 weeks in Neenah, Wisconsin this summer working for Georgia Pacific, specifically in their Research and Development department. A major part of my experience had to do with my team. I was a part of a group of people who’s daily tasks involved predicting what the company should start working on now, so that they can make money 5 or even 10 years in the future. A huge growth on my part came from being around people like my team members who are the most creative people I know to date. Working with them every day really opened my eyes to how broad the field of engineering is, and how work does not have to be mundane day-to-day.


Besides my team there was the actual work I was involved in that allowed me to develop technically. Having 4 to 5 projects plopped on my desk at any given time helped me grow in the time management area for sure. Also, having to be accountable for my work not because I was being given a grade, but because I did not want to let me team members down was both refreshing and challenging. Most of my development came here through technical growth.


Lastly, my experiences outside of work with my co-workers truly exposed me to the work-life balance that is something that is very important to me. Playing on the work slow pitch softball team and volleyball team helped me to network with people from different parts of the company. Being able to have time to see what it is like to live in Wisconsin for example, was a thing that really helped me think towards my future and where I see myself in 3-4 years.


Classic Wisconsin fun for the GP Interns

Classic Wisconsin fun for the GP Interns at Cheese-Fest

Typical day at the office for a GP Intern

Typical day at the office for a GP Intern. Lambeau Field!

I am very thankful to have been a part of the STEP program because without it I may not have been able to experience my internship this summer. I learned more than I thought I would both technically and professionally my job. I know having this experience will help me in my future career searches, but more importantly it allowed me to grow as an individual in the ‘real world’ and that is what will help make me successful in the future.