Sherwin Williams R&D Internship

paint 2

This summer I interned at The Sherwin Williams Company’s Research and Development center (Breen Technology Center in downtown Cleveland). I worked in the Commercialization department on a team preparing to launch a new waterborne alkyd product line. My specific project was to perform a mixture Design of Experiment to optimize the drier package.

Going in to the internship, I pictured working in a lab exactly like the ones from my chemistry college courses or what I imagined the type of lab PhD people work in. I was very wrong. The industrial lab setting is much different from the academic lab setting. Everything is a larger scale and the test methods are specific to the industry that you are working in. I was hesitant to try a R&D internship because even though I enjoyed my lab courses in school, I had heard that lab jobs are very tedious and monotonous. I was also wrong about this, especially in the Commercialization department. In R&D you have to constantly be on your toes with quick problem solving and relating one problem to a similar problem you had weeks earlier and adapting that solution to your current problem. Every day brought a different set of challenges and even though it seemed like I kept going two steps forward and one step back, I slowly made it to my end goal, which was so rewarding.

Another thing that changed during my internship was my view of Cleveland and Ohio. I grew up right outside of Cleveland, and now I am going to OSU for college. Before this summer I thought for sure that I wanted to get an internship somewhere out of state and ultimately get a job after college either across the country or even across the world. I was set on using my twenties to explore the world and be super adventurous, and I thought the only way to achieve this was to move to a faraway place. The first part of my plan fell short when I couldn’t find an internship outside of Ohio that interested me. I was confused with what I wanted to do with my chemical engineering degree and R&D has always been something I wanted to explore. Sherwin Williams seemed like the only internship that fit what I was looking for, but unfortunately it was in Ohio. This turned out to be exactly what I needed. Not only was working at Sherwin Williams an amazing internship experience, it also showed me that it was worth staying in Ohio. Cleveland has changed a lot since I was little and it’s a much livelier city now. Not only can I have adventures if I lived in Cleveland, but I realized that I could still explore the world by going on vacations to faraway places and not necessarily have to live there.

One of the biggest aspects that contributed to my transformation was the people I worked with. I had a mentor that showed me the process of developing paint and helped me along the way with my project. He answered any questions I had or could put me in contact with the right people if he couldn’t personally answer something. He had a great attitude towards coming to work every day which gave me a great attitude towards working. Not only did I develop professional relationships, I also made friends in the lab. This helped a great deal because I felt comfortable asking anyone in the lab if I had any questions when my mentor wasn’t around. I also asked them for their advice on picking a career and what they do and don’t like about R&D, Sherwin Williams, living in Cleveland, etc. I gathered so much information that helped me to reflect on my own experience interning this summer. Working at Sherwin Williams has expanded my network and I can use those contacts in the future.

Another big aspect of my transformation was the events that Sherwin Williams put on for the interns to further inform them of the Sherwin William Company and culture. One of the events was visiting the Warrensville R&D center where other divisions of Sherwin Williams are developed. This helped a lot because we were able to see the different lab setups and products that were being worked on. I thought maybe I would want to try to work at the Warrensville location next year, but after the tour I decided that I prefer working at the downtown location. I am so glad I was able to see the Warrensville location because if I didn’t, I would always be wondering if I was missing out on something I might like better.

Later in the summer, Sherwin Williams put on a speed networking event. This event allowed the interns to talk to many different departments within Sherwin Williams. This was great because I was able to talk to the engineers who work at the manufacturing plants and get an idea of what it would be like to work at one of them. This turned out to be very beneficial because now I am going to apply for one of the plant internships. I want to work there next summer so that I can try out the manufacturing setting to help me further decide what career I want to pursue after graduating.

These transformations are directly related to all aspects of my plan for my future. This internship has confirmed that I definitely want to continue majoring in chemical engineering. Professionally, it gave me experience in my field and more practice with public speaking. At the end of the summer I made a technical poster for my intern project and presented in a poster session that was open to the entire R&D center.  It also helped me to realize that I shouldn’t cut myself off from staying in Ohio. Even though I will still keep my eye out for opportunities outside the state or country, my short term plan may very well include staying in Ohio if I find a career I am passionate about. Without STEP, I wouldn’t have been able to gain such valuable experience or make all of the network connections that I have made during the year in STEP and during my STEP signature project.

Camp Sunshine STEP Internship


Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 4.51.14 PMMy STEP project involved me taking a five-week Program internship at Camp Sunshine in Casco, Maine. Camp Sunshine is a non-profit camp for terminally ill kids and their families. During each week of my internship, my tasks changed allowing me to serve in differing capacities, working with staff members to execute all of the camp’s programs.

I experienced both professional and personal growth while completing my STEP Signature Project. Professionally speaking, I learned the value and power of having a strong volunteer force. Going into this internship I had hoped to learn more about the inner-workings of non-profit organizations but this realization really brought to the forefront how important it is to have a mission that people can identify with and also to make sure to live by the mission. My original assumption was that while many of the volunteers would be dedicated, it couldn’t be that all would be so invested, especially if they were coming with school groups or completing service hours, but I was happily incorrect; all of the volunteers I came in contact with were there for the right reasons. Additionally, my view on the connections and networks that nonprofits create was changed. Having worked for smaller nonprofits in the past, I had seen them partner with smaller organizations, but never anything that truly seemed to have impact. Camp Sunshine’s partnership with nation-wide organizations has really seemed to make an impact and viewing this was again, a testament to how enticing it’s mission was.

I can also say that I personally benefitted from my internship at Camp Sunshine. Having had to have met and work with a whole new group of volunteers each week strengthened my people skills and accelerated my ability to find common ground while also establishing either a volunteer or authoritative position among volunteers. In being able to meet new campers each week it taught me to keep and open mind and be ready to hear their stories and connect with them on a personal level In addition, just the mere fact that I was 780 miles from home also brought out a trait of resilience in me that I had never really noticed before. When faced with challenges and times when I felt overwhelmed, instead of being overwhelmed and not being able to give the programming 100%, I was able to relate with my roommates and their workloads and we would work together to keep each other motivated on long days, knowing that the work was worthwhile.

Relating to my professional growth, there are a couple instances/examples that led me come to two conclusions regarding the impact of volunteers and the importance of making markets work.

As far as volunteers go, I had both the chance to work with other volunteers as an equal and also to manage a group of sixteen other volunteers. In both my interactions, it was easy to see how much heart the people had. Many were so willing to open up and share their experiences and were also there 100% for the kids. As I had mentioned, I was leery when school groups came in to volunteer. I originally thought, “How can every single one of these kids want to be here,” but in seeing them interacting with campers, my mind was changed. Instead of congregating with each other and not focusing on the kids, their connections to each other only enhanced the experience. They were able to collaborate and keep morale high especially on long days. Time and time again I observed common ground being helpful.

The power of volunteers really stood out to me though when myself, along with other interns were briefed on what Camp Sunshine is calling, the Wishboat Crew Challenge. Wishboats are a tradition at Camp Sunshine and are boats the campers create that hold a candle. At a ceremony on the last evening of camp, the campers gather around a pond, float their boats, sing the camp song, and then make a wish for their future as they blow out the candle. The Wishboat Crew Challenge is essentially Camp Sunshine’s wish. The challenge is an initiative that involves volunteers taking pledges to raise $2,500 (the cost of sending one family to camp). Their goal is to hold a completely volunteer funded session ($100,000) in 2017. When they were first explaining this to us I was thinking that they just wanted more volunteers to also be raising funds, but once they explained the larger initiative I was amazed. The fact that they are predicting that they can raise the money and hold a completely volunteer funded camp session in less than a year really spoke volumes to the engagement of their already dedicated volunteer base. When speaking to the executive director I realized the efforts that they put in recruiting new volunteers but also in volunteer retention-two things that I think are really working to their advantage.

In terms of making markets work, I was surprised of the national partnerships that the camp has, given that I had never heard of the camp prior to my internship. Many nonprofits are criticized for having overhead costs but in turn having such large philanthropy events. In Camp Sunshine’s case, these large events are where a good portion of their funding for the year is brought in. On National Flip-Flop Day people can go to Tropical Smoothie Cafes and get free smoothies if they wear flip flops but also donate to camp. The camp also has connections with LLBean, local businesses, Point Sebago (a neighboring camping resort), and also holds an event at an airplane hangar where people buy tickets to be entered in a raffle to win a free trip to New York. So while they have smaller, more local connections, they are also expanding their horizons to a national level, increasing visibility, and in turn increasing donations that allow the camp to run smoothly.

Personally speaking, as I mentioned, I was able to see a sort of resilience in myself that I had never seen before. I remember towards the end of camp, there was one day where my co-lead was unable to help with some portion of the day, and so I was in charge of thirty campers and fifteen volunteers. It was a particularly long day and I had begun to feel like I was getting sick so overall it was a less than ideal day. If I had had a choice I would have left and went to take a nap and decompress but because so many people were relying on me and I didn’t have a choice to leave, I had to stay and power through the day. It ended up being a great day because my volunteers helped keep up energy, but afterwards I realized that I had overcome a “throw in the towel” attitude. In addition, I think just living on my own 780 miles from home created independence in me that I had not had before. Yes, I go to school two and a half hours from home, but I had never been anywhere for an extended period of time, where I couldn’t see my family, and be able to interact with my friends. This pushed me out of my comfort zone but ended in me creating what I think will be lasting relationships. I was also able to learn how to co-collaborate and lead with one person, which is something that I had not had experience with before.

These professional and personal developments are significant in my life because they relate to both my intended career field and also my character.

I hope to work in a nonprofit agency some day so being able to have worked with managing volunteers and seeing what a difference a dedicated volunteer force can do was beneficial. I now have learned tools to keep volunteers engaged and also how to recruit volunteers for events. I have also learned the power of utilizing your network and also the benefit of reaching out to not only other nonprofits, but other businesses as well. In additional, when interviewing my boss, the executive director, I was able to learn more about the composition of an efficiently working board, and that was information that I can transfer to a career in the nonprofit sector.

Personally, I think that my perspective on how to overcome challenges has changed due to some of the independence that I gained. This perspective can also overlap with my professional growth, as overcoming challenges is part of any job. Learning how to co-collaborate and find common ground to relate to a population that I am serving will also be skills that I take with me after this experience.

Overall, I believe that my STEP internship was a fulfilling and beneficial project. I was able to develop both professionally in my understanding of the day-to-day operations within a nonprofit and also personally, in my mindset when facing challenges.



Marketing and Promotions Internship at CD102.5

Over the summer, I used my STEP money to fund my internship at CD102.5. I have always wanted to work in the music industry, and this experience allowed me to finally get my foot in the door. While interning, I gained an extensive understanding of event planning, promotional work, social media marketing, and how to appropriately interact with members of the community. The most valuable things I took away from this internship were the connections I made with members of the community and music industry.


Interning at CD102.5 was an eye-opening experience. Seeing the music industry from the inside transformed my view of it. Understanding how systematic and calculated the music industry is will be valuable in my future career. Nothing in the music industry happens by accident because industry professionals carefully plan every little detail. Knowing this has changed my view of all music and music media regardless of genre.


In addition to this, I finally understand how important it is to make real, substantial connections with people who work in the industry. You never know who you will need to ask for a favor, and having a real relationship helps your needs stand out from other people in the field.


Finally, this internship reminded me the importance of being happy, flexible, hardworking, and charismatic. In any career these traits are important, but in the music industry, these skills are essential. For me, charisma does not always come naturally, but this internship gave me the chance to start cultivating that crucial trait.


Several occurrences made this experience transformational. Meeting so many hard working, intelligent people was transformational in itself. At times I have felt lost because I didn’t think there were people out there who shared my values and interests. Interning at CD102.5 proved me wrong. Everyone on the staff, whether they were upper management or my fellow interns, was wonderful.


Beyond finally working in an environment that I enjoyed, the relationship I had with my supervisor was also transformative. He had completed the same degree that I am working on currently and has similar career goals. My supervisor helped me navigate many situations and events with insight I could not have received anywhere else. He also helped me become accustomed to working in an office environment. No matter where I work, the ability to function respectably and efficiently in the office environment will be crucial. This is a valuable skill I took away from my summer internship.


The transformations that this course allowed me to undertake will be necessary as I fulfill my career goals. The information I learned is invaluable and not something that can be taught in a classroom. Beyond this, my internship at CD1025 was transformational because it validated the vision I had for life and career goals. It allowed me to work in an environment that I could treasure every moment of the summer.


Overall, this experience was not only incredible but transformative. If I had never received STEP money, this experience would not have been possible, and I would not have experienced the most enlightening summer of my life. I am so thankful for the STEP program and hope they continue to facilitate life changing experiences for all the Ohio State students that they can.


STEP 2016 Nationwide Internship

A beautiful company inside and out!

A beautiful company inside and out!                  Three Nationwide Plaza, One Nationwide Plaza.

Name: Aubrey Kreusch
Type of Project: Internship

At Nationwide, I was a Claims Strategy Intern. I worked with the Claims Shared Services team as a resource to the rest of the Claims business unit. We acted as a guide towards cost efficiency, employee efficiency, and innovation.

Nationwide has always been a dream of mine since I job-shadowed there in high school, not yet deciding on a university to attend. My entire education and career path since high school has been motivated towards this company. Getting this position not only gave me an experience that I will never forget, but it also gave me a sense of reassurance that this is the right job and the right industry for me.

Throughout my twelve week position, I learned everything: from how to create a meeting, how to find a meeting room to how to create life-long networking bonds and that every day is an interview. This experience helped me grow to fit into my potential role in corporate America. Every second presented a new learning experience or a new network. Having this internship helped me transform from a girl trying to get through her schooling to a woman creating a name for herself in the corporate office of one of the biggest insurance companies in the nation.

There are certain moments during my experience that really led to my growth in this company. The first of these happened on my first day. I got to the office and was herded with the other 350+ interns into the theater for our 3 hour welcome lecture. We had guest speakers from leaders of the company and then we were handed off to our managers for the term. This was a moment of relief as I saw a friendly face in my interviewer, my manager, Tim. We sat and talked over lunch about my morning and how nervous I was. Tim had a way of making my mind feel at ease and getting rid of the first day jitters. He then introduced me to everyone on my team: Claims Shared Services, lovingly known as the Claims Strategy, Administration, and Training team. This was my first interaction with great people and great resources. These people went on to give me one of the best summers I have ever had.

Another moment that changed me for the better was my tour of the corporate office. I am one of the last people to officially get a full tour because new safety precautions have recently been put into effect to protect the CEO. I was taken down to the employee’s gym, made by a former CEO’s friend: Arnold Schwarzenegger, then to former CEO Lincoln’s historical study. We then made our way up to the top of the skyscraper to see the executive office finished with a large hardwood meeting table, wooden walls, and pictures of all past CEO. Off to the side of this meeting room was a dining area for those meeting the board. This was a lighter, more pastel room than the meeting room attached to it. In this room were large windows with the most amazing view of the city. All of Columbus was in my view and in my reach as I stood at the top of one of th grandest companies I have ever stepped into. This moment excited me and motivated me to be in the office again someday.

One last moment that transformed my views as well as position towards my future was in the last two weeks of my internship. My director and Tim had asked me to give a presentation on social media and personal branding to the team. I was very nervous because this was outside of my realm and both Tim and my director knew this. Yet, I stood in front of the team and gave an hour presentation and discussion on how to create a good personal brand. Everyone was willing to speak and open to discussions on the topic which helped my nerves tremendously. By the time we were finished, people were asking for my perspectives and ideas on how to improve a personal brand. It was a great feeling to be heard by people whom I had once seen so below. Now, we were on the same level, learning from each other. This moment helped me realize that I would not always be learning, but at points, I would be teaching and holding my own meetings. This gave me a different view on what type of position I want when I graduate. I always believed that I wanted to work as an actuary and work with models and numbers all day, now I feel that I should open my horizons and be willing to give communicative roles a chance as well.

As I look back on my experience, I realize that Nationwide was more than just a job. This internship has given me growth in the business world. It has given me the strength and tools I need to succeed not only at Nationwide, but at any company in my sight. Professionally, I have transformed into a woman working in corporate life. Personally, I have developed my social skills through my team and my experiences presenting and speaking at meetings and seminars with intelligent individuals throughout the United States. Having found something that I am good at is one thing, but having an experience to realize how much I actually love where I’m headed is an entirely different, wonderful feeling! This experience has developed me personally and professionally and has given me the motivation I need to pursue my education and new experiences as I push towards my goals.

STEP Internship Summer ’16

Name: Samantha Dean

Type of project: Internship


Over this last summer I had the opportunity to intern as a central planner at La Senza, owned by L Brands. My internship involved creating daily reports, taking notes at meetings, and recreating the templates used in excel to make reports run more efficiently.

This was the first time I worked at a corporate retail level, and got insight to what I might like to do in my future career. I’ve always been interested in fashion and thought that the reporting department might be a place I could see myself combining my interests of fashion and business. After the summer, I did like my position, but I found I was more drawn to the more creative aspects I saw going on around me. Sitting in a cubicle from 8-5 wasn’t my favorite part of the job, and I really saw that my hyperactive personality needed an active role where the job duties change daily. In fact, it’s lead me to already apply for an internship at L Brands in another department.

While at La Senza/L Brands, I was able to connect with many co-workers who worked in other departments of the business, many of whom worked in merchandising. The more I talked to these creative and money savvy people, the more I could see myself working along side them. I had the opportunity to attend many of their meetings and learn more about what merchandising entailed, and learned it wasn’t the same as being a buyer — a position I had looked at before but never thought would fit me.

Merchandising is the “center of the wheel” when looking at a retail corporation. Merchants decide what fabrics, designs and elements of the product can be used based on not only what is in style, but what fits our budget. They communicate this to all other aspects of the business; from planning the textiles to use in production, to allocating funds to buy our product. Throughout my internship I continued working on my blog that features current fashion trends, and was able to actually suggest some of these ideas to the merchandising team during my time there. It was amazing to see ideas that the merchants were integrating into their designs actually being put into production and then analyzed by central planning, to show how well the product or style sold.

Besides learning about a part of the business I now consider a career goal, this summer I learned to be held to a higher, more professional standard. I had to attend weekly team meetings and communicate effectively with not only my immediate supervisor, but many managers above me and in different departments. At the completion of my internship I went though an evaluation that was similar to that of a full time employee. It was interesting to see the areas I was really succeeding in, as well as where I had room to grow. I’ve made it my priority to work on my weaknesses, some of which I wasn’t aware of before my final review, and I believe this will continue my growth and transformation even after my job is over.

The biggest part of this transformational experience, for me, was gaining a clearer view of what I want to do post-graduation. Before this summer, I thought that working in the finance department of a fashion based corporation was the only way to integrate my interests of fashion and business, but I now found many more areas of opportunity, especially merchandising. This has led me to apply for internships next summer in the merchandising area, and given me the confidence to apply to large companies based in New York City. I’ve also learned a great deal more of Microsoft Excel, and seen it’s application to financial reports, which will prepare me for tracking financials and understanding financial reports in future endeavors. The professional communication and linguistic skills I’ve practiced over the summer will allow me to communicate with professors, interviewers, and future employers better, and further myself in the corporate world.

I’m thankful for what STEP has given me the opportunity to do this summer, and it will continue to transform my experience at Ohio State and in my career for years to come. LZA


STEP Internship

Name: Megan Konrad

Type of Project: Internship with Key Bank

This summer I took my first steps in Corporate America. My project consisted of a 10 week internship at KeyBank in Cleveland, Ohio in the Credit Risk Department. My daily tasks included spreading financial statements, including balance sheets and income statements to determine the expected default frequency of both private bank and middle market clients I would then take this information and prepare interim reviews that allowed KeyBank to adjust the risk rating and reevaluate the terms of the loan. Over the course of the summer I got exposure underwriting multiple new deals and renewals for private banking clients. I provided a breakdown of the borrow history, risk rating justification, an in-depth analysis of borrower’s collateral, their aggregate and non-aggregate exposure, and the rationale for the pricing model used

My experience at KeyBank has allowed me to make my career a reality. For the past 20 years of my life, my career has always been something so far away. This summer made me realize that my career/my life is not something in the future it here and I better start taking advantage of every opportunity I have. Once I realized my future is now and not something to be put off, I decided to start investing in myself.

There were a couple main initiatives I decided to focus on. The first was to take my education into my own hands. I am confident that the ability to apply myself and think critically will have a far greater impact on my long-term professional success than any course load strictly emphasizing debits and credits ever could. I have always felt that I am always one step behind. When I say this I mean that when something happens in politics, the economy, new developments in technology, I find myself always hearing about it from other people. I want to take back responsibility for this, and so, have challenged myself to read the Wall Street Journal every day. Furthermore, I have created an extensive book list for myself which contains books from economics to communication. As I find myself doing this I find that I am having more intellectual conversations, and expand my newfound knowledge even further.

One other thing initiative I took on this summer was building my personal brand. Given the opportunity to work for the 13th largest bank in the nation for 10 weeks this summer, I wanted to leave my footprint and the company as well as learn and grow as much as possible. One of the ways I did this was building my reputation as a strong-minded, articulate, and imaginative young woman. I did this by staying late when tasks need to be done, asking for feedback throughout the summer, and asking to take on more responsibility whenever I felt I could. By the summer I knew I had accomplished this when my mentor told me that he always sent me the work he needed done right away because I was reliable and my work was credible. Another way this summer I went about building my personal brand was by building my network. When building my network I learned that the first conversation with someone that’s important, it’s the second or third conversation that’s important. After meeting with someone if you want them in your network it’s important to stay in contact and make yourself as useful to them as possible. You could to this by sending them an article on LinkedIn about something you might think they might enjoy reading, or about something you talked about.

This STEP project has really transformed me into being someone who is proactive about their career. This new attitude slowly began to kick in long before my internship started. It all began with the beginning of the STEP program where I was pushed out of my comfort zone to find an internship, talk with company recruiters, meet with a financial coach, and create a budget. I believe that the STEP internship process has made me more prepared than most of my peers for post-graduation life, and it has hands down jump started my career. This summer I learned Credit Risk was not the career for me, but STEP gave me the confidence and tools necessary to chase my dream of pursuing a career in public accounting. I can proudly say that I have accepted an internship opportunity for the summer of 2017 at PricewaterhouseCoopers, a Big Four firm.

Cleveland Cavaliers Parade with my co-workers

Cleveland Cavaliers Parade with my co-workers

STEP Internship



My STEP internship involved me going north to Akron Ohio and Work for The Goodyear Tire and Rubber company. In particular, i did work doing cyber security in an attempt to reduce the risk of a potential hacker obtaining intellectual property. Some of my daily tasks included working with team members to update vulnerable servers through different methods such as shutting them down and creating new storage space in more secure locations or updating firewall rules to accommodate and meet new cyber security standards. On top of that, i also worked in network architecture in an attempt to segment the network. This means that if a system where to get breached, the breach would isolated to individual systems instead of the entire network.

Overall, one thing that has changed for me is the understanding of computer systems and what fields that i should be looking into during my progress with my Electrical and Computer Engineering degree. To be honest, walking into freshman year and deciding to do ECE was a big decision. Little did i know what i was actually getting myself into. I had thought that ECE was merely computer programming and making faster computers. I actually had that expectation going into this internship and very quickly discovered that what i thought was a relatively small field was more akin to an ocean of possibilities. During my time i learned about new up and coming fields such as industry 4.0, SAP usage and development. The growing threat of cyber security and cyber terrorism and new ramification that laws that are currently being written will impact my field. So in a nut shell, Electrical computer engineering isn’t just creating computer components and designing fast computers but also involves almost all aspects of implementation and all the way to deployment and sustainability of those systems. Now that i have real world experience, i can now tailor my course load to try to meet the growing demand in the IT or Engineering field.

One of the most important interactions i had at Goodyear was with the diverse community of people that was their. Each individual person had their own story, their own experiences and more importantly their own skill set that allowed for the successful operation of the business. Everyone from my Manger Martin who was the the Senior IT Analysis to my Mentor Andy who was the admin of a small group of servers, each had their own specialties and skill set that drove progress forward. No one their was an expert on everything. No one always had the right answer but through collaboration and teamwork, we always made it through to the best possible solution. This idea of collaboration and teamwork is very different to the style of learning we learn during school. In school, we are always forced to become the master of every aspect in our learning and are forced to rely on one self to get the correct solution. Very few can say that classroom learning is collaborative beside the odd group project here and there. This is a major change in mentality that i was not really expecting during this internship and will defiantly try to change the way i think about getting solutions to problems. It was my HR manager who said that people are the most valuable resource a company can have. Not an individual person but everyone coming together to find solutions to the problems we face.

Overall, this experience has shaped how I will view my major and my course load. Some classes that i thought would be essential to my future have been out shined by the new growing demands that the computer world has been formulating. One of the big fields that i now hope to go into is the idea of industry 4.0. This is the idea of creating a closed loop system in order to create machines that can self adjust to any variations is final product design without having to have human intervention. This in turn will decrease down time and reduce waste in the long run. Another area that i now wish to learn more about is the growing threat of cyber secruity. The new goal that industry leaders are now pushing for is the idea of the Internet of things meaning that getting more and more devices such as fridges, doors, roads connected to the internet and be able to be adjusted remotely and without physical interaction. One ramification to this is that is increases the risk in hacking. Cyber security is and will be a growing field within the next decade and is another field i wish to learn more about.

STEP Internship!

My STEP internship was more than I could have ever imagined. I was employed at The Ohio House of Representatives for the entirety of the summer and also worked at the Democratic National Convention for a week in Philadelphia. At the State House I was a Page for the summer where I worked as an assistant to many different state representatives. I was disappointed I did not get to take very many pictures of this internship but the house does not meet during the summer. They are in recess almost the entire summer so it is a little slower on the legislation side.  Just because legislation is slower does not mean that my job gets to be any slower. Most of the legislative staff spend their summer playing catch up for the next legislative cycle; so it is very busy. We are filing, answering constituent calls, replying to emails and doing any other task that may need done. It is also an election year so a lot of the staff take time off to go run campaigns which leaves pages like myself assigned to cover the office of the absent staff. When that happens we are beyond busy. One staff is assigned to a district of 80,000 people. That’s a lot of phone calls and emails!

During this internship I learned a few things about the city of Columbus…the hard way! Since I lived in the dorm the previous year I did not have an apartment to stay in during my internship. STEP projects are due in April before a lot of OSU students decide if they will be subleasing their apartments out for the summer of not. Due to few available rooms near campus I ended up renting a room off of West Broad Street. The home was owned by a local young couple who rent out their guest room to OSU students short term. The house was beautiful and the room was furnished; but it was a drive to work. When looking at rooms to rent I did not consider traffic since I have always taken the city bus to down town. That was a mistake; I spend over thirty minutes sitting in traffic each day to go less than seven miles. I also did not factor in the price of a parking garage daily when trying to complete my STEP budget. Weekly parking downtown is $25 which comes with a long hot walk from the garage. YUCK!

The convention was all around a crazy adventure. I have never gone without sleep for longer than a day or two and the convention was nearly 6 days with no sleep! I was one of 10 staff members that Ohio got to run our delegation. Staff checked in at 6am every morning and checked out at 4am. I was lucky to get 2 hours of sleep each night for 5 nights. Each morning we would check in and pass out credentials to our assigned delegation members. Then we had to staff about 4 different happy hours at various locations in Philadelphia for the non-delegation members throughout the day. We shared our events with the Virgin Islands so they attend all of our events also. When the evening finally came half of us would staff the delegation inside the convention and the other half would staff the non-delegation watch party. I got to go inside the convention on Tuesday to see Bill Clinton speak and Thursday to see Hillary accept the nomination. As a woman, sitting in those stands to hear the first female in history accept the presidential nomination was life changing. If just fills your body with hope for the future.

My STEP internship was the more transformational experience of my life. I got to work first hand with the men and women who make our state one of the best states in the country and I got to see the first women accept the presidential nomination. These are stories that I will have to tell for the rest of my life. This experience has just grown my passion to work toward my degree and toward making this country a better place for all Americans. STEP is one of the greatest parts of being an OSU student and I would recommend this program to every sophomore. Go and make your dreams come true!IMG_20160729_113520 (2) 20160728_233125 (2) 20160728_225558 (2)

STEP Signature Project Reflection

Name: Clark Moran

Type of Project: Internship


The STEP signature project that I chose was an internship in construction management.  As an intern, I was able to gain valuable experience on job sites and in the office.  Typical duties during my project included job site supervision, estimating and project management duties.

As I began my STEP signature project, I was excited, but nervous about what was beginning.  I was excited about an opportunity in choice of major, but nervous that it may not be the best fit.  When work began, I had a calming sense of relief in what I have chosen for a career.  I had been looking for a career that would make me feel satisfied when I left work everyday, and my STEP project helped me accomplish that.  The nature of work in construction management is satisfying to me because I can leave work feeling that I have helped accomplish a common goal that will also include an end product.

When I first thought about my career in construction management, I saw myself working in the field running a job site.  However, my first experience in my internship did not involve this.  As my internship started, I learned that I would be working on estimating.  With the company I worked for, estimating involved calling potential subcontractors to invite them to bid on the upcoming project and give them as much information as possible.  When I began I didn’t believe that working in an office on estimating would be satisfying. I was able to learn that working in an office to help run projects was satisfying to me and this was one of the first transformational experiences that I had.

The next role in my internship would be to run a job site as a Superintendent.  This was the kind of work that I envisioned myself doing when I chose my major.  As I began, I realized just how difficult the job of running a site was.  The experience necessary to be a Superintendent is something that cannot be gained from an education.  The majority of Superintendents have years of experience from working in a trade to running different kinds of jobs.  The first project that I was in charge of was a small remodel that had a scope including new flooring, new bathroom fixtures and framing a new wall.  This project went through for a week when I was onsite, but had multiple problems that lingered.  The second project I ran was nearly identical to the first one.  This project was fully completed on time within about a week and a half.  Being able to successfully run a project served as a good example in my project of what I would be doing in my career.  These events helped make the transformation of my internship by showing me first hand what my career is.

The relationships made as I worked in my internship allowed me to understand what is necessary in my career.  When estimating, a relationship is made when you first make phone calls to a potential new subcontractor. This relationship made can be the difference between receiving a proposal or not.  I also have relationships with workers on job sites which helps complete the job by keeping everybody working together. Learning to establish and maintain strong relationships with coworkers made this project a transformational experience.

This transformation is valuable to my life because it shows me that I am on the right path in my career.  I was never fully sure of what would be the best career choice as I began school, but my internship experience helped me understand that it is. The events, activities and relationships made my signature project a transformation.



Teaching Internship in Montpellier, France

This past summer, I had the opportunity to spend three weeks in Montpelier, France teaching children English. These children were between eight and eleven years old, some of which who had been exposed to English before. While in France, I stayed with a host family, which was the perfect way to immerse myself directly in French culture. We also went on several excursions throughout France exploring the different medieval cities, important French landmarks and nearby towns.

Throughout my time in France, I noticed that I grew as an individual as my understanding for different cultures and practices was expanded upon. Living with a host family gave me the chance to see what daily life is like for the average French citizen. I loved coming home every night after spending the day at school with the children to my host family and taking the time to discuss our day over dinner. While I do this at home, it always feels rushed like someone has some other place to be. But in France this time was always valued and taken with ease. Being in a forging country challenged myself to be more proactive about my everyday life. From understanding the tram schedule to planning out my meals, I learned a lot about how to adapt to a changing environment while still making the most of my time. I had originally thought that because I knew limited amounts of French, I would struggle in this new place, but I feel that helped me get more out of this experience. I was forced to really listen to how people were trying to communicate with me, while in return practice what I was learning. Even just the effort to try and speak French was greatly appreciated by the people of Montpellier.

Being placed in the school teaching these French children English was by far the most educational part of this experience. Not because I was learning French by listening to the teacher explain assignments to the class, but because I learned how to relate and interact with the kids where communication was a challenge. These children knew limited English and I knew limited French so it was hard to find common ground to explain new topics to them. This forced myself to access skills I didn’t even know I had and to really listen to how the children were trying to communicate with me. I learned how to handle myself in academic situations with people from a multitude of different family backgrounds and lifestyles.

Also, through spending time with my host family I learned more of the smaller, more detailed aspects of what living in France is like. Coming from a fast-paced work and school environment at home, I found myself slowing down the pace of my day-to-day life and managed to be much happier while still completing everything I needed to. Every morning I woke up when my host dad did and we would have a cup of coffee. We would talk about things in the news and what we had planned for that day. I noticed that they were much more curious about our upcoming election than I had thought they would be. I found myself feeling guilty that I had not known as much about the quickly approaching French election as they did about ours. While in France, I also noticed a change in how I viewed meals and eating with others. Everything from holding your utensils differently to having to ask for a sever to come take your order at restaurants showed me that there is no right way to do things. How we prepare food and eat in America is different than in France, but I accepted the differences and valued them for what they were. These are simple differences I probably would have never thought even existed had I not traveled aboard.

Finally, I learned to become more trusting in myself. I have a tendency to doubt myself and second-guess decisions I make, but being in an unfamiliar territory I often had to go with my gut and make quick decisions based on what I thought. Even something as simple as taking the tram everyday, if I wasn’t exactly sure where I needed to get off, I had to trust myself that I had the right skills and abilities to get myself where I needed to go. Instances like this and also completing school work with my peers really helped boost my own personal self-confidence.

Studying abroad in France has benefited me on both a personal and academic level. I have become a more culturally conscious individual who takes pride in being able to relate to people of different backgrounds. I have had the chance to see the country where my grandmother grew up and which is something I never thought would have been possible for me to do before. I also believe that this experience will help make me a better speech language pathologist in the future. Within this career, I will be working with children with communication disabilities making it hard for them to talk to their family and friends. Although I do not have a communication disorder, I was placed in a similar situation while in France. Not being able to speak French really well put me in a situation where I knew what I wanted to say, but I physically couldn’t because I didn’t know how to. My future patients will be facing similar challenges as they try to overcome some sort of verbal language barrier. It is a frustrating situation at times, but helping someone overcome this is an extremely rewarding feeling. Having this experience is something I will always be grateful for and I hope that many other students will have this same opportunity I did.