Name: Megan McKean
Type of Project: STEP internship
- Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project.
I interned at Advanced Therapy and Fitness in Ashland, Ohio. Besides just observing, I was also able to do some hands on activities and help the professionals when needed. Often, I would be the first to greet the patient who is rehabbing and I would set them up on their first exercise. Once I got to know the patients personally, and once I became more familiar with the exercises and how to perform them properly, the therapists would let me work with some of the patient’s one on one.
- What about your understanding of yourself, your assumptions, or your view of the world changed/transformed while completing your STEP Signature Project?
During my step internship, I had a blast. However, after completing the project, I actually decided to have a change in heart of what I would like to do with the rest of my life. I came into college wanting to be a dentist. One mediocre grade scared me into thinking I could not achieve that goal so I decided to switch my major and career plan. Then, I dived into the new career path, physical therapy, but after this internship I decided that I was not the right fit for the job, and now I am going back to dentistry. At first, I thought that I had misused my funding and I felt horrible that my experience did not further enhance my want to be a physical therapist. But, after talking to STEP advisors and several people about my experience, I realized that the money was still put to good use because I still learned more about myself, and now I am directed down the right path. Who knows how long I could have continued to want to be a physical therapist if I had not completed this internship.
- 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?
There is not one singular event that I can pinpoint that lead to my transformation and change of career goal. I was at Advanced Therapy and Fitness for a whole summer, and I truly did enjoy the people I met and worked with. My experience was still every enjoyable and rewarding.
I think the first time I began to question my desire to be a physical therapist was when I was a month into the internship and the new feel of the job began to wear off. I started to work clients on my own, and I had a consistent routine. Being able to work on one’s own was very exciting, but I realized that I was not truly enjoying myself. If I was going to do something for the rest of my life, I want to love what I do. Besides growing connections with the patients, I was not finding very many ways that the job of a physical therapist pushed me to be better and excited me to come to work.
The last straw that kind of pushed me over my edge was when I completed an anatomy course here at The Ohio State University. I loved every aspect of that course and the knowledge that I gained. I ended up passing the course with flying colors. This got me to thinking that I wanted to not settle, in a way, for physical therapy, because I am smarter than I think. A good friend of mine just got into the Dental school here at OSU, so I consulted him on some advice and he was very persistent on me switching. He believed in me, and to this day I know I made the correct choice. I am challenging myself and I would have never re-directed to the right path if I hadn’t completed this internship, or if I had, it would have caused me to lose a lot more time.
- Why is this change/transformation significant or valuable for your life?
This change is very valuable to my life because now I am challenging myself to pursue the career I always intended on being since I was beginning high school. If I had not completed this internship when I did, I may have been several years behind, or would have continued down the path and maybe not have realized until in graduate school. I am saving myself a lot of time, money, and hard work. I am very thankful that STEP allowed me to perform this internship, because I truly feel that my life is back on track. Not only am I one hundred percent confident in the career goal I am now taking, I am one percent confident that I will someday achieve it.