Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project.

My STEP Signature project was an internship with a Renewable Energy focused division of American Electric Power that was being started up while I was working there. During this past summer, I had used my STEP funding for a sublease and funding for gasoline for driving to work in downtown Columbus, OH thanks to the funding. During my time as an intern at AEP OnSite Partners, I supported solar-energy projects through a corporate finance internship role. I also performed work regarding the natural gas industry, regulatory analysis on state-by-state renewable energy policies, and pitch deck work for a major energy industry request for proposal.

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

The internship experience this summer aided me in being able to better figure out what sort of work I want to do with my career. After spending a summer in energy, I definitely think that this is an industry I want to work within. Most specifically, I truly enjoyed working in renewable energy, because I felt like I was completing meaningful work for an issue that is important to the world; reducing green-house emissions. I also saw through my work at AEP, that there is a vast amount of work that would need to be done to convert our nation’s energy infrastructure towards near-zero carbon emissions. This is a doable task, but is going to require both innovation in the power industry, and an innate drive of both our citizenry and energy-industry professionals to push us towards this goal.

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 would without a doubt say that being an energy finance intern at AEP allowed me to engage in some extremely engaging work. One of my favorite projects that I got to work on was a project where I needed to create a financial model for the first solar + energy storage project in Hawaii, that our company was acquiring from another firm. This project required me to work alongside of an engineering intern to take the engineering model that he was given from the selling company, and transpose it into our financial model. After dozens of hours of work, it was incredible to see that this sort of energy investment can take a client off of the carbon-based grid for nearly 12 hours! Without the energy storage unit, solar energy can only give its power’s energy while there is sunlight out, but with the energy storage unit we can shift some of that energy to a later time in the day. I learned a lot about how these technologies are still nascent in a way, and that we need to continue to deploy and improve these technologies.

I found a fantastic passion for in this work, a passion that truly showed me how interested I am in this industry and trying to solve one of of world’s biggest problems.

Why is this change/transformation significant or valuable for your life?

This experience meant a lot to my professional development and career selection process. It showed me that there are great challenges for us to summit if we want to address the pressing issue of climate change. I also proved to me that I am able to operate within a professional setting efficiently and thrive. I learned that I have an interest in the energy field and that I can successfully pursue a career within it!


To forge a progressive future, one must understand the past. Above is a photo from a Coal powered power plant.

Food Animal Services Internship

Name: Anne Szczotka

Type of Project: Internship


This summer I interned with Food Animal Services at Ohio State’s College of Veterinary Medicine. My duties included assisting the Herd Specialist of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) farms with hoof trimming, tracking of cattle weights and breeding information, administering medications, collecting blood samples, and herd management oversight. As part of my internship experience, I also shadowed and assisted faculty veterinarians during consultations and with research data collection.

Through my experience, I gained confidence in my ability to work in unfamiliar environments and situations. As a biology major with no prior experience working with large animals, I realized that I am able to quickly adapt to my work environment and that I enjoy tackling the challenges that occur while working with large animals. This internship allowed me to find a new appreciation and understanding the agriculture and food animal production practices that play a huge role in our daily lives.

I also learned that the people I worked alongside all had something to contribute to my learning experience in Food Animal Services. While working with a variety of people in different positions and careers, I realized that everyone has experiences and ideas to share and that these experiences can be used to succeed in my future.

Various times throughout the summer I was given opportunities to drive to the farms alone to collect data regarding cattle weights and breeding information. These opportunities gave me the chance to gain confidence in my abilities to work by myself and think on my feet to solve problems that did arise. Knowing that my mentor was confident in me to replicate his usually work helped me gain my own confidence in the task I was assigned. I learned that I am adventurous when it comes to learning about anything related to animal care. When opportunities to participate in work I had never done were offered to me, I was excited and enjoyed the process of learning something completely new. I used this excitement and passion for learning when becoming familiar with hoof trimming, research data collection, and basic animal care on the farms.

During times in which I assisted the Herd Specialist and veterinarians, I gained an appreciation for the food animal production industry. I observed that there is large amounts of time and effort needed in each stage to be able to have a supply of food products, for not only the Correctional Institutions throughout Ohio, but also communities within the state. Many people, including myself at the time, are unaware of the many stages of producing an animal for food purposes. Although I only worked with cattle, I was able to learn about the processes from the beginning to the end of production. I witnessed the many stages of food animal production starting with the controlled breeding programs, the birth of calves, and ultimately seeing the steps of meat and milk processing for human consumption.

Through this STEP experience I also gained perspective of the amount and quality of information those around me had to share. I was able to learn so much through my internship through those that I worked with. The veterinary and graduate students, my mentor, and the veterinarians all contributed to my learning of food animal production and veterinary medicine. Without their enthusiasm for teaching and passion for their work were the reasons I gained so much from this internship.

Starting my internship, I simply wanted to learn and gain hands-on experience in working with large animals while understanding the role of veterinary medicine in food animal production. Throughout years of gaining experience in veterinary medicine, food animal experience was at the bottom of my to-do-list. My interest in veterinary medicine had always been in zoo and aquarium medicine but this internship has shifted the goals toward becoming a large animal veterinarian in the future. The summer I spent working with Food Animal Services solidified my desire to become a veterinarian but also allowed me to find a new area of medicine that I truly enjoy. I gained experience in working with food animals while also acquiring a passion for large animal veterinary medicine. The many opportunities and challenges this internship brought forth has allowed me to grow professionally and personally which I will use in my future career.


Hoof Trimming

Hoof Trimming

STEP Summer at Squire Patton Boggs in Washington D.C.

img_2861        I spent my summer in Washington DC as a summer intern at K-street firm, Squire Patton Boggs. I worked in public policy, supporting a corp of lobbyists and policy advisors. I attended briefings/hearings on Capital Hill and at think tanks around the city. I did policy research for clients, I assisted with logistics for firm events, and I analyzed public policy to advance our client’s legislative goals.

The biggest transformations that I went through while undertaking my STEP signature project were regarding my future plans and professionally. I imagined that I would not like Washington before I spent a good amount of time there, but I was wrong. I absolutely loved living and working in the nation’s capital. I think living with a roommate and having to be an adult 5-6 days a week helped me grow professionally and emotionally. I had to balance play and work, balance a budget, and balance ambition with self care. I also learned some things about myself in the process. I learned that I would love to work for a law firm like Squire Patton Boggs at some point in my career, I learned that Washington is a city I could see myself in, and I learned that I want to add a more international twist to my career.

In my off time this summer, I spent time with the State Department Fellow at The Institute for the Study of War, a foreign policy think tank based in DC. I think these two opportunities masterfully complemented each other as I could take what I learned about the world to my job at the firm and better serve the corp of lobbyists which i worked with. Thankfully the firm was very good at providing me with projects which aligned well with my interests. Due to this, I did a lot of work regarding the Middle East, and central Asia. I had never imagined that I would get to do such a variety of projects touching on so many of my interests. I think a lot of the American public is confused about what lobbyists really do, and the integral part they play in the policy process.

I had a lot of cool experiences this summer, at work, with co-workers, and outside of work. These experiences all meshed together to alter ever so slightly my world view, and understanding of our nation’s capital. One of the coolest experiences I had at the firm was when I took a business trip up to Philadelphia to help out with a firm event at the Democratic National Convention. I learned a lot about the business process behind a law/lobbying firm. It was so cool getting to meet celebrities, policy makers, business leaders, and public figures all at the same event. It was also interesting to see how partisanship fits into the business of influence.

SPB at the DNC

SPB at the DNC

Squire Patton Boggs was also good about connecting the interns with men and women at the firm who may be able to offer professional advice, or who we may be interested in meeting or talking to. Some of those experiences which were rewarding were when I got to speak with the former Ambassador to Qatar, a country which i will be interning in with the Department of State. Another time, former United States Senator, and current chair of the Squire Patton Boggs policy arm, Senator John Breaux, took the interns to lunch. What I learned is that while there are a number of public figures and former heavy hitters in government or business at the firm, every one I worked with, young or old, was incredibly impressive. Working with motivated and intelligent people everyday made my experience at Squire Patton Boggs, that much better.

The experience of living in Washington, and rooming with kids from LSU, Oklahoma, and Florida was also valuable. I got to network with other kids like me who enjoyed similar things, and also went to large public universities. I formed friendships, I got the most out of living in the capital, and I networked constantly. We all transformed during our summers in DC because we had to be depended on constantly at work, and therefore we all took our work seriously, and didn’t take our free time for granted. Learning how to manage the challenge of other people depending on you was an important lesson that I thought I understood. But in reality, no one can really understand this responsibility completely until stuck at the office past 9 PM on a Friday, making sure the individuals I supported would be prepared to best achieve our client’s legislative goals the following Monday. This responsibility was a burden sometimes, but over all it was a challenge that I took seriously, and coveted. I enjoyed being dependable, and valued being part of the team.

This summer with Squire Patton Boggs helped me figure out my future immensely. I know that at some point in my career I would like to return to Squire Patton Boggs and resume the great work the firm does for its clients. However, in the short term it gave me perspective on how long careers can be and how I have time to change careers, even multiple times. So many of the individuals at the firm had done completely different things before getting on board at Squire. One cool note after I left the office is that, just about a week ago, Ohioan, and former United States Speaker of the House, John Boehner announced he would be joining the policy team at Squire Patton Boggs.

I am very interested in returning to public policy whether on the private or public side, but in the mean time I would love to serve my country abroad in the diplomatic corp. I think that talking with the State Department fellow at ISW, and the international policy team at Squire Patton Boggs convinced me of this awesome career path. Since then I have been lucky enough to obtain foreign service internships with the Department of State, set to intern in both Doha, Qatar, and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in the coming months.

I do not think I would have these upcoming opportunities without the professional advancement I went through this summer, or the career counseling I received informally during my three months in Washington. I am very grateful for the opportunity which STEP provided me, to live and work in our nation’s capital, and transform myself professionally. Go Bucks!

STEP Signature Project: Interning at the LondonEye English School in Brazil

For my STEP Signature Project, I interned at the London Eye English School in Bauru, São Paulo, Brazil. I spent six and a half months teaching there, and during this time I gained near native language skills in Portuguese, and an insight into what it means to live in another country.

The opportunity to have such an immersive experience for an extended period of time in Brazil transformed my view of Brazilian culture, my communication skills, and my understanding of independence. During my time in Brazil, I learned where our stereotypes of their culture went wrong, and that Brazil is a country just as large and diverse as the United States. Similarly, I was introduced to their stereotypes of the United States. Beyond being an intense cultural exchange, interning at the LondonEye English School in Bauru strongly challenged my communication skills, which have now improved as a result. Overall, my time in Brazil redefined what being independent meant to me. Living in another country while learning their language meant that I could no longer be dependent on English or American social customs in my day-to-day life.

First, living with Brazilian roommates while teaching at the LondonEye English School was what taught me the most about Brazilian culture. Through my interactions with them, I learned how people speak Portuguese colloquially, not formally in the way I had learned in my classes. This was a very important skill for my everyday interactions; speaking Portuguese like a local drew much less attention and made integration into the community much easier. Because I lived with Brazilians, my social circle expanded, I visited their university, and went out regularly with them. My roommates were my best friends in Brazil. Through them I learned so much more about Brazilian culture than if I had lived alone or with other international students, and I made friends with whom I keep in contact to this day.

Second, teaching at the LondonEye English School challenged my communication skills in a way that I had not considered before accepting the job. Communicating the day’s lesson in English was not too difficult in the advanced or intermediate classes that I taught, but it was more challenging in the beginning levels. There were some students that could not understand me at all when I spoke, and many times I would have to switch to Portuguese. Teaching and explaining grammatical concepts in English is difficult enough, but doing the same in Portuguese required much more effort. Beyond the logistics of teaching English as a second language, I learned a lot about American stereotypes in Brazil. Through my interactions with them, I realized that both Americans and Brazilians have serious misunderstandings of each other because of misrepresentation abroad.



Third, living in Brazil required me to be independent in a way that I had not been before. Even before I left the United States, acquiring my visa was an incredibly difficult and stressful process: in short, I had to drive all the way to the consulate in Washington, D.C., only to receive my visa in the mail one day before my flight left. When I arrived in Bauru, I found an apartment, opened up a bank account, attended to my visa status as a student legal resident for one year, and had to figure out the city’s public transportation. I also needed a new set of street skills to stay safe in Brazil; I could not be dependent on my American street skills. Having to deal with all of these aspects of living abroad deepened my understanding of what it truly means to be independent and to adapt in unfamiliar situations.

These transformations that took place during my time in Brazil are significant because I now have a clearer idea of what I want to do after graduation. Teaching English at the LondonEye English School led me to consider teaching foreign languages as a career, specifically to immigrant communities in the United States. I feel that after living in Brazil, I now have better versions of the tools I will need to accomplish this goal: persistence, independence, and open-mindedness, and I believe that these tools will be useful in life in general. This STEP experience transformed me as a person for the better; living in Brazil taught me more than I can imagine, and it was one of the best experiences of my life.

STEP Experience– Ineco Internship

My name is Richard Wilson and for my STEP experience I participated in the Summer Global Internship Program offered by the Fisher College of Business. I traveled and lived in Madrid, Spain for the duration of my internship serving as a Global Mobility intern for Ineco which is a consultancy firm specializing in transportation engineering. My duties encompassed analyzing the company’s current business practices and offering suggestions for improvement based on benchmarks of leading companies in their industry sector. During the second half of my internship I was reassigned with the task of being a Brexit analyst as we watched the U.K. begin its initial steps to leaving the European Union.

The 10-week internship program was a perfect amount of time to really immerse myself into the Spanish lifestyle and culture. I found it incredible how similar and yet how extremely different our two countries are. From the differences in the muggy Cleveland/Columbus weather I’m used to, to the aridly dry heat of Madrid, the mass usage of air conditioning, the non-usage of dryers after washing clothes, speaking primarily Spanish and finishing with the oddly late eating schedule. There was no shortage of surprises and parallels during my experience.

Living and working in Spain really allowed me to step outside the manic bubble of living inside the United States. While I was abroad I realized how often we as U.S. citizens are so constantly swept up in the happening and occurrences around the world that we remain uneducated or unaware of various political, economic and social issues being faced by other nations. For example, upon my arrival I was educated to the political issues facing Spain during their election and the country’s inability to move a new party into power because no party had been able to capture the necessary majority of votes. Also the various terrorist attacks that occurred in France, Germany and even the U.S. during the summer made me view the world more as a community than as separate sovereign nations.

During my time as Brexit analyst I gained a lot of insight on the interrelations of states and their politics. Not only was this evident with the drastic drop of value of the pound and euro following the UK’s referendum but was also evident while watching the US presidential campaign abroad. The world truly looks to the United States as a global leader and as I asked people what they thought about the candidates for the upcoming election they were overwhelmingly in support of Hillary Clinton with most having a sincere fear of Donald Trump. Learning about how the rest of the world views the U.S. was extremely important to me as generally across the board those abroad have an extreme distrust of our government and it’s intentions.

A change in my perspective was the huge takeaway for me during this trip. Not only did I realize that I need to be a more attentive global citizen, but also a more attentive person in general. Following my trip, I learned about a shortcoming of myself, that I have a tendency to get so wrapped up in what I’ve got going on that I tend to forget about what’s going on with the people that I love and care about. Being so far removed from those I love and being in a different time-zone increased the difficulty of communication and made me realize how I had been taking a lot of relationships for granted. At work I was surprised to find that the culture in the workplace is much more inclusive than it is back in the states and that I was quickly integrated and introduced to everyone in my section of the company of the first day.

Regarding experience in the workplace there are a couple other things that I particularly took note of. The media bias that I was always aware of but had never really had a point of comparison for was one of the first things I compared. While in Spain I was able to take a more critical look at our media bias as the media bias of other nations. As I suspected the news and their sources in Spain were completely different in both topics discussed and in the way they presented the similar current events based on the political views and goals of the respective nations. It was extremely interesting to be abroad during the United Kingdom’s referendum vote to exit the European Union and how opinions of the British, which in some respects, seemed to change overnight.

My STEP experience and internship abroad was extremely valuable once in a lifetime opportunity that I was blessed to take part of. As a dual major in International Business and World Politics here are the university it was truly an unforgettable experience to have been in Spain while Brexit was happening. I was also able to have a 10-month period to practice and improve my ability to speak the Spanish language and learn about their culture. In my opinion I think that it should be a heavily suggested part of every college students career. Travelling abroad, in my opinion, really opens your eyes to how others around the world live on the day to day basis. In the future my goal is pursue either environmental regulation or investment into green technology and as we live in an increasingly globalized world knowing how other nations do business as well as knowing how to identify different political factors that drive their decisions will be an invaluable asset to me.

My Internship with Procter and Gamble

This summer I had a Mechanical Engineering internship with a P&G Manufacturing plant in Auburn, Maine. I was specifically in the manufacturing sector, which meant I got to work a lot with the people on the manufacturing line.

I learned a lot during this internship. I was living in a place that was drastically different from what I was used to. I am originally from Washington, DC so I am used to the city atmosphere. Maine on the other hand is very rural and not nearly as diverse as Washington, DC or even Columbus, Ohio. With that in mind, I was able to do many things that I was not use to, such as going hiking or even jet skiing. Being in Maine definitely diversified my experience.

I also learned to be professional in a work setting. Apart from being a Teacher’s Assistant for the Spring Semester of 2016, this internship was the only other job I had. Initially I was nervous about how I would conduct myself, especially since I was working with much older people. I quickly learned how to be professional in a work setting. This included how I spoke with people, the way I dressed to work, and just the way I presented myself. It is very important to take that into account because properly conducting yourself can definitely help your career in the long run.

As mentioned earlier, I was able to do many things in Maine that I usually do not do. For instance, I was able to visit kayaking for the first time. It was a great experience because it was something that I have always wanted to do. I was also able to go lake swimming for the first time. I spent many weekends hiking and visiting national parks. Throughout my internship I got to explore Maine.

This summer I had a Mechanical Engineering internship with a P&G Manufacturing plant in Auburn, Maine. I was specifically in the manufacturing sector, which meant I got to work a lot with the people on the manufacturing line.

I learned a lot during this internship. I was living in a place that was drastically different from what I was used to. I am originally from Washington, DC so I am used to the city atmosphere. Maine on the other hand is very rural and not nearly as diverse as Washington, DC or even Columbus, Ohio. With that in mind, I was able to do many things that I was not use to, such as going hiking or even jet skiing. Being in Maine definitely diversified my experience.

I also learned to be professional in a work setting. Apart from being a Teacher’s Assistant for the Spring Semester of 2016, this internship was the only other job I had. Initially I was nervous about how I would conduct myself, especially since I was working with much older people. I quickly learned how to be professional in a work setting. This included how I spoke with people, the way I dressed to work, and just the way I presented myself. It is very important to take that into account because properly conducting yourself can definitely help your career in the long run.

As mentioned earlier, I was able to do many things in Maine that I usually do not do. For instance, I was able to visit kayaking for the first time. It was a great experience because it was something that I have always wanted to do. I was also able to go lake swimming for the first time. I spent many weekends hiking and visiting national parks. Throughout my internship I got to explore Maine.

I also learned to be more independent. This was my first time in Maine so I had to learn about the area. I had to learn many things such as how to cook. I have been living off campus till this school year, so I had to teach myself how to cook. I also learned how to budget money for grocery shopping and how to minimize on the amount of times I went shopping. It was a struggle at first because initially, I did not know a lot about the area. However, with help from people who worked for P&G I was able to be properly integrated into the Auburn area. This is definitely something that will help me in the long run because I am planning on moving to a place that will be new to me after college.

I was also able to make good professional and personal connections. There were five other interns that made the experience worthwhile because I had peers to do activities with. I made some good friends over the internship that I am still in contact with. I was also able to make some professional connections. I made sure I networked with a lot of the employees at P&G.

This change is important because, as mentioned earlier, this was my first time working in a professional setting. I was able to learn things that I will need for my life after college. It is better to have an internship experience as opposed to just going into the work force. It relates to all aspects of my life. I learned a lot of things about manufacturing that will definitely helped me in school. It was also a great opportunity to begin career development because I am going to work for P&G next summer too.

Ben Roberts STEP Internship Experience


Name: Ben Roberts


Type of Project: Internship


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

My STEP project was an internship with, Fiserv, a financial technology company in Dublin, Ohio. I worked in the summer of 2015 following my sophomore year. I subleased a room in Columbus and drove to Dublin during the work week.


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


This internship experience helped to shape my understanding of the business world. It was a valuable experience, although not always a positive one. I learned that there are many people in the business world who are stuck in limbo in their careers. They have decent paying jobs and are satisfied to just plug away with minimal effort for work that is not meaningful. However, employees can also search for meaningful work and lead a fulfilling life if they try.


  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?


My title at Fiserv was “Project Coordinating Intern.” It was my first internship. I knew from the beginning that it was not the industry that I wanted to work in, but that it was important to accumulate business experience.  During my time at Fiserv, I had both positive and neutral influences.


Shortly after I began my internship, my manager (who interviewed and hired me,) received a promotion. She assumed a great deal more responsibility. She did not have time to mentor me or the other intern. We were left to ourselves to sit in our cubicles and search for work. This taught me the importance of self-motivation. I felt like I was wasting my time sitting and staring at my computer, so I tried to find some work. As an intern with no previous experience, it often took more effort for employees to explain how we could help than to simply do it themselves. This showed me that people do not necessarily have negative agendas for their coworkers, but sometimes they are just too busy to help. My work quickly devolved into simple data entry.


I did also have some positive relationships. After my boss’ promotion, she brought on another full time employee into her team. This new hire recognized my and the other intern’s need for meaningful work. She tried hard to make our experience more positive. Although there was not much work for us related to normal business, she gave us control over a companywide charity event.  This event had a substantial budget and gave us autonomy. It salvaged our summer. We had a sense of purpose and succeeded in a simple planning project.





  1. Why is this change/transformation significant or valuable for your life? 

This experience meant a lot to my professional development. Even though I did not learn much, it helped me get my foot in the door in the business world. This internship helped me get a part time internship with a wealth management firm in Columbus during the fall of my junior year. This allowed me to have two internships on my resume for fall business recruiting. I was able to talk about both of these jobs in interviews, and got a spring co-op with GE Aviation and a summer internship with Ford. From the GE coop, I was able to secure a full time job offer this summer. I will be working in manufacturing, which is the type of job I wanted coming into college. So the internship with Fiserv in a completely different industry and job type than what I was interested in helped me to achieve my entry level career goal.


Internship Experience- Under Armour

My step signature project entailed me scoring my dream internship at Under Armour headquarters in Baltimore. I interned there for 12 weeks in the corporate retail division of the company. There were 95 interns total for the summer 2016.

This project was trans-formative to my life because it was the first internship that I ever had. It taught me if I truly choose the right path for my life. The experience really challenged my learning and understanding of myself. I was in a new city all by myself and didn’t have any help from my Mom.

My views of the world change because I was really “adulting.“ I had to figure out everything by myself, and how to live within budget as well. This summer was my first time truly being in the real world all by myself with no one that I knew. I got to know a lot about myself and how I operate. This was truly transformational as I am entering the real world next year.

I also go to realize that I didn’t really like the merchandising portion of the retail world. Which was a big one because I was planning on entering the fashion world as a buyer after college. Instead I realized that I have a love for marketing and brand management so as I continue on to my senior year I’m making transition to brand management/ marketing/ sales.

Moving out to Baltimore on my own, by myself, with no help from my family really helped with the first transformational experience. It really solidified me being on my own and being a working adult, which I really appreciated at the end of the day because I did pretty well. I made a budget and even saved while at my internship.

The change in interest occurred through several interactions I had this summer. The first way I realized this is by the work I was doing I wasn’t completely satisfied. I was kind of bored and didn’t feel like I was using the creative portion of my brain that well.

The second way I realized this is by having meet ups with different people in different parts of the business and really seeing what they do and being able to shadow them daily. This really showed me that I wasn’t doing what I wanted and should be somewhere else in the corporate business.

This transformation that took place this summer directly relates to my professional goals so the transformation was major. I know have a clearer idea as to what I want to do with my life. Coming in this semester I am taking a branding class so I have a better understanding of my new career path and focus. This experience has been valuable for my life because I taught me a great deal about what work in the real world is like. I have had jobs in the past, but not in areas where that gave a sense for the type of work I would be doing as an adult/ for the rest of my life. This experience opened my eyes to the different areas within business that I could see myself working and that’s what I am most grateful for in this Step Experienc



Check out my full Under Armour Review here at my blog and for pictures as well

STEP Reflection- Internship at Mitsubishi Electric

Mark Cecil
Project: Internship with Mitsubishi Electric Automotive
1. My STEP experience was an internship with Mitsubishi Electric Automotive in Mason, Ohio. During this experience I had two main projects in the manufacturing plant. One was designing, fabricating, welding, and installing steel racks to hold large plastic rolls for completed steel stamping. In addition, I needed to fabricate a custom cart to transport these rolls throughout the building. The other main project was creating and installing safety interlock doors for the automotive machines and wiring them up to the Central Processing Unit (CPU).

2. In this experience, I was able to work on a design project with a timetable and order parts from a vendor. Since this project was largely independent with limited supervisor input, I learned a great deal about myself. I learned that I enjoyed working independently but that input from other colleagues or supervisors was very valuable. Although I have extensive experience in a machine shop, there were several cases when my supervisor or another employee was able to talk through my design or fabrication process and provide their own professional expertise. Their input provided me with an alternate fabrication method or a variation in the design, both of which saved time, effort, or money.

Through the rack project, I experienced the fabrication of several parts that I designed. There were a few unforeseen complications that occurred; however, these problems turned out to be a great learning experience for me. I found out quickly that it would have been very beneficial to predict these problems while still in the design phase rather than altering the design during fabrication. Due to this experience, I have transformed holistically as an engineer. I have learned to think about potential problems that may arise while designing a part and gained the knowledge to account for those complications by experiencing them firsthand.

3. During the safety door project, I learned how to wire a simple magnetic switch up to the machine’s CPU so that the machine will shut off when a door is opened. Knowing this skill will allow me to work more independently on reading circuit diagrams and wiring new sensors or switches up to an existing system (as will likely be present in a manufacturing environment). There were also brackets that needed to be fabricated as there were none that worked for the application of mounting a magnet onto the 80/20 Aluminum framing that I was using for the project. This was done in the machine shop and I was able to come up with a process to efficiently fabricate several of the same brackets.
Before and during the steel rack project, I needed to learn the skill of welding. Welding was necessary because the racks were required to be very robust and durable since they were anchored to the concrete floor indefinitely. The racks, when joined together, needed to support up to ten rolls (each weighing approximately fifty pounds) with the cart supporting up to four rolls. Learning to MIG weld took several hours of trial and error with brief instruction from a technician. This experience has sparked my interest in welding as I have since explored different types of welding and ways in which I can use welding for personal projects or in future employment.
However, since this was my first big design experience I encountered a few complications or things that I would do differently if given a project like this again. One example of a change I made to the original design of the racks project eliminated the guide for the adjustment slide and involved using two pins instead of one. This was necessary because the adjustment slide did not move smoothly in the guide. Something that I would have done differently is drill the holes I needed into the steel parts on a drill press before I welded them together. This would be much more efficient than using an electric drill after the racks were assembled, especially since the same function was performed multiple times. As stated before, I will now think about ways to avoid these complications in the design phase during future design projects.

4. This internship was very valuable for my professional goals as I will be graduating this spring and looking for full-time employment in a manufacturing company. I will be able to use this experience in a job interview and point to these specific projects and explain what I have done and what I can provide for their company. The learning experiences from these projects will also translate in any future projects that I encounter in my capstone engineering projects or when I design, fabricate, or install something in a manufacturing environment. I will now have the perspective of a fabricator while I am designing and will hopefully foresee potential conflicts or think of an easier way to perform a function. This will save me a lot of time and effort and may even provide a better solution.
In addition, I now have found that I work effectively independently but that collaboration is absolutely necessary. Therefore, I might look for jobs that allow a majority of independent work instead of a constant group dynamic. This will align best with my personality and allow me to be most productive. Learning how to weld has allowed me to have a much wider range of personal projects that I am able to accomplish on my own. It also allows me to provide this skill during capstone projects when constructing a prototype. This is beneficial because it expands the options we will have for fabrication and how we can design the device. This experience has also sparked my interest so much that I have joined a design competition club, “Moon Buggy” at Ohio State. Although the group consists of mainly welding engineers, I believe I can provide mechanical engineering expertise to the group.

Steel RackCustom Cart

STEP Experience at the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction

My STEP Signature experience was an internship working with the state’s energy conservation and sustainability administrator at the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction this past summer as a sustainability intern. Some of my duties and main activities I do include utility data tracking, scheduling, attend meetings with institutions and various vendors, and participate in site visits. My department is staffed by one person so I do all the odds and ends type of work she needs to be completed.

Working in corrections was a new experience for me, and I expected to feel challenged with my work and personal outlook. Before this summer, I have done some work with youth probate court and Children and Family Services. Being part of the corrections world first hand is a very new experience. Sustainability in prisons is relatively new, ever since my boss’s predecessor held the position around 2010. This experience has provided me with my first time going into a prison, interacting with correctional officers, interacting with inmates, and momentarily experiencing life on the inside.

Learning more about Ohio’s rehabilitation efforts as well as those nationwide has also been eye opening. My favorite thing that I have learned is that sustainability is being used as a means of rehabilitation and positive influence to help people turn their lives in a more positive direction. I became interested in sustainability because I believe in its positive impact on human and societal health; to see that in action and being applied statewide has been a phenomenal experience.

Another major part of my experience has been working for a state agency. ODRC has to comply with all rules of the state such as purchasing, chain of command, and various departments within DRC. Jumping through many hoops and following very specific rules makes it difficult to accomplish anything in a reasonable span of time. Though I have only been at ODRC for about 6 weeks, I have learned a tremendous amount making me excited for the future.

Many specific events, interactions, relationships, and activities during my STEP Project thus far have led me to the change and transformation. From my wonderful boss to the office environment, to the many outside contracting companies to guards and inmates, my time at ODRC so far has been full of rich experiences.

My first and main connection at ODRC is my boss, Leah Morgan. She is the only one in the sustainability department and leads with the title of energy conservation and sustainability administrator. Leah’s fearlessness, curiosity, and excitement and passion for learning has made her so successful thus far. From day one, she has pushed her hardest to give me the most valuable experience possible, and I am so very grateful for the opportunities she has given me.
In the office environment, I have met many different people. I never knew how many different people worked at ODRC. I’ve met financial, construction, technology, training officers, and chiefs of departments. By working around and with so many different individuals, I have learned what it takes to keep our state institutions running.

Inside the institutions, I have met many different correctional officers, captains, and specific inmates. So many of ODRC’s sustainability projects depend on an officer or institution employee to take on the project at their facility (i.e.: recycling). I have met many employees more than willing to dive in and make their program successful, making my boss’s job much easier and her goals more attainable. Meeting inmates has been the most unique experience so far this summer. I had no expectations going in but was given basic safety training. This experience has humanized inmates to me, even those with life sentences for very serious crimes. Working with inmates has proven to me even further the importance of rehabilitation and recidivism, and we are able to achieve that through using sustainability as a primary tool.

Working in the correctional system is not something I ever anticipated or dreamed of when I was younger. As my graduation and entrance to the “real world” approaches, I’ve been forced to think about what matters to me and how I can be a part of solving that problem. My passion for sustainability stems from the interactions that human/societal health and environmental health have with one another. Working with inmates directly has been the most transformational portion of this experience because I can now see where this work will pay off. Ohio has much lower recidivism rates than the national average which can be partially attributed to the sustainability efforts in our 27 institutions. This impacts my future plans because it has fully restored my confidence that sustainability is going to be a key to our future whether it is applied to correctional institutions, public schools, hospitals, or integrated into all aspects of everyday life.

By Addair Levine