STEP Internship Experience Reflection

Name: Candace Williams

Type of Project: Internship (Research Internship)

I participated in a Research Internship for my STEP Signature Project. I worked in a research lab in OSU’s Department of Plant Pathology during the summer of 2015 and I am currently still working there today.

It might sound a bit cliché, but my experience during the research internship with OSU’s Plant Pathology Department changed my life and I am forever grateful for this opportunity. I learned a lot about myself, and more importantly, I improved as a person as a result of this experience. I really developed a passion for Plant Pathology and research in general. I also learned that when I am doing something that I am passionate about, it does not feel like a chore but instead I am actually enjoying the task at hand.

Although I am a Biology major, I did not have a lot of research experience, so this STEP experience helped me to become a better researcher. After my internship, I was also given the opportunity to continue working in the lab and work on my own project over the last year. I have gained so much knowledge about Plant Pathology Research and my experience in this lab has even benefitted me in many of my science courses. This experience has helped me to become a better researcher and more importantly a better student.

During my STEP Signature Project, I was required to interact with a lot of persons on a daily basis. I am an introverted person, so initially I was shy and quite hesitant. I had to step out of my comfort zone and be more outgoing. I am so happy that I did, because I met some of the most amazing people, that I am still friends with today! I did not only gain knowledge in research, but I also gained great friends.

I think that the most import thing that I gained from this experience was a sense of belonging. Prior to my internship, I was unsure of where I really fit in at OSU. I was involved in multiple student organizations, but in many ways felt out of place. I can honestly say that my experience during this internship has made me feel more at home at OSU. STEP gave me the extra push I needed to go out and do something I am passionate about.

The changes that occurred in my life as a result of this experience are valuable because they ultimately helped me grow and improve as a person. Growth is such an important factor in every part of life and I think that it is the best way to combat stagnation. Through this experience I have become a better student, a better researcher and most importantly a better person. It has made such a difference in my life and it is my desire to continue this journey of personal growth, so that I can be the best version of myself. I am so grateful that STEP gave me this opportunity, because without it, I do not think that I would be where I am today.