Ohio State University Dynamic Mechanics of Materials Lab

Mark Konieczny

August 29, 2016

My STEP signature project was centered on work in the Dynamic Mechanics of Materials lab at The Ohio State University. While my project was categorized as Undergraduate Research, it was really more of an Internship. Time was spent learning how to use the lab equipment, and then testing materials for outside industry. I was allowed thirty-eight hours of work per week, and the experience was treated as a full time job.

Throughout the summer, and the subsequent completion of my STEP signature project, I began to feel much more passionate about continuing my education with a masters degree after graduation and perhaps a doctorate degree after that. Previously I had looked forward to graduation and beginning my career, but after spending time in the lab this summer I began to enjoy the research side of the profession, and it would not be a bad idea to continue my education in this way. Working in the lab also showed me that if I were to decide to continue my education I would be in a very good position to find a lab to do my research in, as well as some knowledge of academic research going into a masters degree.

Going into my STEP signature project I had been considering continuing my education after completion of my undergraduate degree, but it was discussions with Dr. Amos Gilat and Dr. Jeremy Seidt that convinced me that it was the correct path for me. Dr. Gilat is the professor in charge of the lab, and Dr. Seidt is the lab manager. Both of these individuals have experienced what it is like to fully complete an education, as well as work in industry, and I listened to their advice intently, and have ben influenced greatly by them. I will continue working in the Dynamics Mechanics of Materials lab for the next two semesters, and will continue to seek their advice as I grow as an employee, researcher, and student.

Both Dr. Gilat and Dr. Seidt suggested that graduate school would be easier to complete when one is already in the habit of going to school, as well as before one starts a family. I was shown that a graduate degree is much more enticing to an employer, and that students with a masters degree will often have a higher starting salary than an individual with a bachelors degree. Most importantly, I was told that often times graduate students can have a sponsored research project for their masters degree, which is where a company will pay the students tuition if the student researches a topic for the company. For me, this was the deciding factor because it would be difficult to pass up free graduate school. Additionally, I was shown that while many students choose to start working and then have their employer pay to send them back to school, these individuals are often expected to continue some amount of work for the employer while they are completing their degree.

While I am almost certain at this point that I will be going to graduate school after getting my bachelors degree, I am still not sure what subject I would like to pursue. I will receive a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering, and part of me would like to continue with a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering. However, there is also a part of me that would like to continue working in the Dynamic Mechanics of Materials lab, and get a master’s degree in mechanical engineering. However, there is time to make this decision. I will continue my work in the lab for at least the next two semesters, and this will give me the time and experience to make a more informed decision on what to pursue.

As is the goal with what I would assume to be all college students, my ultimate goal is to find a job after graduation. As was stated previously, a masters degree would make this task much easier for me. Not only this, but I would be surpassing my initial academic goals. The two additional years of education will give me valuable time to grow as an individual, and as a future employee. I will have two more years of valuable research experience to take into the workforce as well as two extra years to determine exactly what it is that I want to do and achieve. Without my STEP signature project I may never have met the people that fueled this change, or taken a research position in a lab altogether.

Miranda Wagner – Graphic Design Internship with Ohio State Student Life | Rec Sports

1.) This summer, I was a graphic design intern for Ohio State’s department of Student Life, working specifically with Rec Sports. This was a continuation of an internship I began with Student Life last summer where I created a wide variety of graphics for student organizations, sports clubs, and university departments. I collaborated with the professional design staff on the team as well as other interns and was able to grow in my knowledge and experience as a graphic designer.


2.) Working with Student Life this summer, I was able to learn a lot more about the dynamic nature of the field of design. One of the interesting things that happened over the summer and over the year prior working with Student Life was that I was able to witness a number of staff transitions and learned how design teams adapt to changes like this when the work load never ceases. I saw how new leaders make changes and how the rest of the team adapts to those types of situations.

Besides learning of the fluidity of design teams to change, I had the great opportunity this summer to help educate some of the new interns on our process while also learning from the new things they brought to the table. Since I had one-year experience with Student Life, I was one of two interns that were expected to help integrate the four new interns to their work. I was able to pass on some of what I’ve learned in my time to my new coworkers, but, at the same time, I, myself, learned many skills from watching and interacting with the new interns.

Overall, I feel that my experience as a design intern for Student Life really exemplified the idea that everyone has something to learn and everyone has something to teach.


3.) One of the biggest changes we saw within the department between last spring and over this summer was a staff change with our creative director and the staff designer for Rec Sports.

The design team at Student Life is divided into three divisions; Rec Sports, Dining, and Union, each of these teams have designers designated to that area with one creative director who oversees each of the teams as we work together. Last school year, the creative director spot was vacated and my boss within Rec Sports moved up to fill the position, leaving his spot as the head designer for Rec Sports open. This summer, his old spot was filled by a new designer and I had the interesting experience of having a year more experience than the designer who was overseeing me at Rec Sports. With this unusual dynamic of having more time in at the job than my higher-up, I learned how to balance what I could teach her, with my experience in Rec Sports, with what she could teach me as an experienced designer and my boss. Through this staff change, new ideas and ways of doing things were introduced and I learned to adapt and make the most of these changes.

In addition to this change in professional staff, we also saw a large turn over in interns from spring to summer as we took on four new student designers and only two of us returned. Though this experience, I was able to help integrate the new interns and learn to work with a whole new set of people.  In addition to this, of the four new-hires, there was a marketing major, a fine arts major, an interior design major, and only one other graphic design major. With these diverse backgrounds, I was able to learn new ways of approaching design projects from my coworkers.

Having so many changes in staff this summer was a great way to get a feel for working with different people and to see how other’s design. I learned a lot about dealing with clients, even more about the design programs and ways to tackle projects, but I really feel that this shift in the people that I work with offered me the greatest insight and provided me with a truly unique experience that tied in with everything else that I’ve learned at my internship!

Summer Internship with The Kroger Co.

Laura Ernst
Floral Merchandising Intern
Kroger Corporate Office – Cincinnati, Ohio

1. As a Floral Merchandising Intern, I was able to work closely with the lead commodity buyers for Kroger. Throughout the summer, I shadowed the buyers as they had meetings with Kroger floral suppliers in order to see new products for upcoming seasons. I was able to provide my input on selections and communicate with the suppliers on a regular basis throughout the summer. I also was able to begin a new project for the Kroger Floral Department, which involved developing a new ordering website for customers. Other activities included a variety of intern events for all of Kroger interns, such as manufacturing plant tours, a trip to Kings Island, and a luncheon with top Kroger executives.

2. Interning with Kroger was the best possible experience I could have ever imagined. I did not know what to expect before beginning my internship in the Floral Department and I definitely learned a lot about the floral world that I never would have without this internship. I loved being able to see what all goes into running a huge, successful company at the corporate level. Throughout the summer, I began to realize that I would love to have a career in merchandising and I am very thankful to have gained this realization through my intern experience. As I am beginning my senior year, I know now where I would like my career to start.

3. At the Kroger corporate office, I was able to work very closely with one of the commodity buyers and see what she did on a day to day basis. Being able to build this relationship with her, led me to see that I would love doing what she does daily and that I would love to have a career in merchandising. Since I worked closely with her, I was able to form relationships with many of the Kroger floral suppliers as well. Being able to form these relationships has helped to improve my communication skills on a corporate level.

Having the opportunity to intern for Kroger, I was able to see many components of the company. Kroger has many divisions and is comprised of a few thousand stores, therefore it takes a lot of departments and many people to make this company a success. I had the opportunity to hear from many different departments of Kroger, such as HR, auditing, real estate, marketing, engineering, merchandising, and manufacturing. Being able to gain an understanding of what each department does and hear about the different roles for employees really opened up my eyes as to where my career could end up. Even if you plan on doing one thing when graduating, you may end up somewhere that you never could have imagined.

During my internship, I was able to attend a luncheon with top Kroger Executives, including the company’s CEO, Rodney McMullen. The executives were able to provide many insights of the company and experiences they have faced throughout their careers. I loved being able to have to opportunity to gain advice from such successful leaders. I gained a lot of valuable knowledge and am now eager to graduate and begin my career.

4. This internship experience was extremely valuable for me. I have gained many skills that will guide me through my senior year of college and help me as I begin my career after graduating. During my internship, I decided that I want to work in merchandising. Now that I have made this decision, I have actively been searching for career opportunities in merchandising for when I graduate this upcoming May. I am very thankful that STEP helped to provide me with the opportunity to have a wonderful internship experience over the summer.


The Mead and Hunt Experience

  1. With my STEP experience, I chose to pursue an internship at Mead and Hunt. Mead and Hunt is a broad civil engineering firm and my job was in the aviation sector. With my job, I split my time performing inspections in the field and completing design work in the office.
  2. This experience provided me with a great deal of understanding about what I want to do professionally. It reinforced my decision to study civil engineering and helped me narrow down the specific discipline I enjoy most. Also, this experience allowed me to realize my strengths like communication and my attention to detail. In addition, more importantly, this job surfaced some professional aspects I need to work on as well. Most of these realizations will help me decide which classes to take in the future to ensure I am technically proficient for a full-time job down the road.
  3. This internship allowed me to be involved with many different aspects of civil engineering. The two blanket disciplines would be inspections and design. However, within inspections, I dealt with water resources engineering by inspecting drainage systems, geomatic engineering by carrying out staking and topographical surveying , and geodetic engineering by doing sieve and density testing. Furthermore, I was exposed to different sectors of civil engineering in he office as well. This includes aviation engineering when designing a runway and structural engineering when designing approach lights in unstable soil. All of these diverse topics is what helped me decide the specific discipline I enjoy the most.

In addition to the wide variety of tasks, I worked with coworkers willing to answer any of the questions I had. These questions included both technical and generalized curiosities about civil engineering as a career. For example, many times I asked about different commands in the computer aided design program we used. Furthermore, I asked about how the progression as a civil engineer usually works and asked about the ability for one to travel as part of the job. This hospitality also helped me to grasp the civil engineering field in the real world.

The realization of the struggles and strengths I have personally and professionally arose because I was given many challenging tasks. For example, as I stated in the first prompt, my office was an aviation engineering office. Therefore, they did not know how to design for a road closure, so they gave me that task. I was asked to design a road closure with little to no guidance having never taken a transportation class before. This task helped tested my problem solving strengths along with my allowing me to realize my need for more knowledge in transportation engineering.

4.  All that I stated above and more proves that this internship greatly developed me professionally. I narrowed down my future plans and learned a great deal along the way. Academically, classes such as surveying, water resources, and geodetic engineering will be less difficult because I gained knowledge on those subjects during my STEP experience. In addition, this experience will boost my professional resume and increase my chances of receiving a good job after I graduate.