STEP London Internship

Name: Alex Mirabal
Type of Project: Internship

  1. Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project. This past summer, I participated in an 8 week internship in London, England. During the months of June and July, I stayed in the heart of London and worked full time as an intern at a consulting firm. I had many jobs during my time there, all of which provided me valuable work and life experience.

    What about your understanding of yourself, your assumptions, or your view of the world changed/transformed while completing your STEP Signature Project?  Before going into this internship, I was a pretty introverted person that mainly kept to myself and my main group of friends. However, I wanted to change myself in this aspect, so I pursued my first internship as one that would not only give me much needed work experience, but assist me in breaking out of my shell as well. Needless to say, going off to a new country without any friends to live and work greatly helped my communication skills, in addition to making me a much more independent person. I was able to get a taste of how it would be if I truly went off on my own and began my career, which is incredibly valuable knowledge regardless of what type of person you are.

    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? First, being in a completely new country comes with its share of uncertainties. Luckily, the internship program I participated in provided the accommodations in an excellent location in Kings Cross, London’s largest train station. Being able to access many of the subway lines that connect to places all over the city allowed me to fully learn how to use the public transport system and explore much of London. The first couple of weeks I did most of the exploring on my own in order to force myself to be comfortable traveling a new place without anyone else I knew around. This probably helped me the most at becoming more independent, as I would typically only journey around to new places, and eat at new restaurants if I was with someone I knew.

    Next, living in the same building as other OSU students helped me settle in to London life, as well as become a bit more extroverted. Since many of the students also came to London on their own, I felt a sense of camaraderie between a few of us, especially the 5 others I worked with at the company I interned at, Ayming. Typically, I would just stay to myself and not really go out of my way to socialize, however I forced myself to instead begin the conversation. I even consistently spent time with a couple of the other students outside of work and traveled to other countries with them. Basically, I pushed myself to make new acquaintances, and was able to make good friends that I never would’ve been able to had I not pushed myself out of my comfort zone.Finally, my time at Ayming really transformed my perspective of the business industry. I had always believed I would never fit in within the typical business environment, as my preconceived notions told me that you needed to be extremely extroverted in order succeed and form good working relationships with your coworkers. However, the great people at Ayming shattered my expectations, as they were all very welcoming and friendly. They did help me transform into a more extroverted person but that was because they included me in the social activities even though I was very quiet and introverted towards the beginning of the internship. The Ayming employees showed me what to expect of a business culture, and allowed me an incredible internship experience.

    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. First of all, being more independent and comfortable within brand new cultures is a great skill to have regardless of your background, as it helps you better understand yourself and other people. Basically, this will help me to become a more understanding person in general. Next, becoming more extroverted will help me in my academic, personal, and professional lives, as it is always important to be able to adequately socialize and build your network of friends and acquaintances. Finally, the work experience of an internship is critical for my future career goals. As I one day would like to be a financial consultant, an internship at a consulting firm is a valuable experience for rounding out my career goals for the future.

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