Learning Marketing through “Cool Science”

My STEP project entailed a summer-long internship at the Center of Science and Industry. Working as the primary assistant to the Marketing Manager, I was challenged by working in a fast-paced business environment, learning about pushing marketing in the attractions industry, and collaborating across departments on projects for the science center. Responsibilities include updating and maintaining listservs, managing E-blast Marketing, assistance in facilitating the opening and promotion of new exhibits, and carrying out other miscellaneous small-scale promotions throughout the center.

This experience has afforded myself the opportunity to explore a true, fast-paced work environment unlike any of my prior work experience. Assisting the Marketing Project Manager meant one thing, above all else: deadlines would exist (many of them), thus an exchange of mutual trust and respect was necessary for this experience to flourish for the both of us. As previously stated, the tasks assigned to me ranged from data entry for “register-to-win” promotions, to event request meetings to schedule appearances of COSI’s mascot, RATiO, to planning and executing the media and member previews of new exhibits and shows. While all this may not have come as a surprise to myself, I came to many realizations about the true purpose of marketing in my several months working for the science center.

Perhaps the most important lesson I learned through interning for such a large attraction is how marketing is truly about earning and maintaining relationships. The mutual trust and respect extends beyond the relationship you have with your supervisor—a commitment to marketing means a commitment to partnership and collaboration. From local radio stations to some of the largest attractions in the Midwest such as Cedar Point, the relationships you maintain with the individuals across those partnerships is integral to successful collaborations. Another observation I came to find was that your average, 9-to-5 desk job is not going to be enough to get me out of bed in the morning—fortunately, my “desk” this summer was a scientific jungle of innovation. On some mornings, my “desk” was the National Geographic Giant Screen Theater, organizing a media preview for the new feature film “National Parks Adventure 3D.” The next morning, my “desk” would be a VEX (Visitors & Experience) department meeting, leading a discussion on the brand identity for the new COSI Center for School & Community Partnerships. At COSI, there is a feeling of excitement in the uncertainty of where exactly the work day will take you, and that is what I expect for any future career I take on.


Inside COSI’s newest limited-edition exhibit, Game Masters: The Exhibition.

One particular interaction that struck my memory as a highlight of this summer internship experience is a lunch meeting with my supervisor and a marketing consultant for iHeartRadio. We met for lunch at the Rusty Bucket in Upper Arlington. My supervisor and the consultant caught up with each other’s lives, we discussed current events in the news, and then we got down to business. My supervisor, Chelsea, and I briefed the consultant on COSI’s many new up-and-coming offerings, such as Game Masters: The Exhibition, a limited-edition traveling exhibit to spend the summer at the science center, as well as new planetarium shows and other fun opportunities under way. The iHeartRadio consultant began to flesh out ways the radio station could support the science center, and the collaboration flourished from there; COSI would provide marketing materials and prizes for the station and iHeartRadio would provide on-air broadcast time to promote the science center.

What struck me in this particular instance, as stated previously, is I was taken aback by how organic the entire meeting felt. On this hot summer day, I quickly took notice of the more “human” aspect of marketing. This particular aspect finds itself at the very core of marketing. In fostering genuine, organic connections, we are enacting the values and mission of COSI itself—bringing people together for the betterment of the community. Ideally, that is something we all strive for. As a prominent attraction and not-for-profit business, COSI commits itself to this mission and expects no less for its staff, regardless of the department they work for. Moreover, it is this project that brought me to Jeni’s Ice Cream upon the completion of the STEP signature project; another Columbus business that believes in the power of bringing people together. I’ve come to find that this sort of consciousness is essential in thinking like a successful marketer.


Game Masters: The Exhibition promotion in the COSI atrium.

If nothing else, COSI introduced me to countless passions that I hope to unpack in my future endeavors. Working in such a unique attraction in an equally unique city was a breath of fresh air in my undergraduate career. My second-year ranking has only allowed myself so much experience in the “business core” courses at the Fisher College of Business, so to be truly introduced to an environment in which marketing is occurring in real time, behind-the-scenes made me ecstatic for the future and the abundance of information I’ve yet to learn from both inside and outside the classroom. Even the smaller tasks such as data entry, social media assistance, and mascot logistics made me feel like a true part of a unit by contributing to the curation of the best visitor experiences possible. After all, perhaps the most powerful thing I learned through marketing at COSI is that these experiences truly begin outside of the science center.

Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Institute Internship

My STEP Signature Project was an internship with the Ohio State University’s Center for African Studies and the John Glenn College of Public Affairs to contribute my skills in digital communications and marketing to assist the Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) institute. YALI is a program executed by the U.S. Department of State to provide leadership development and networking opportunities to young leaders from countries across Sub-Saharan Africa. The Mandela Washington Fellowship is designed to build stronger connections between Sub-Saharan Africa and the U.S., and to prepare Fellows for future leadership opportunities in in Africa. Throughout the summer, I assisted with the organization of day-to-day activities, documented the institute and the Mandela Washington Fellows participating in the institute, and collected and assessed feedback on the institute as a whole to help OSU develop an improved leadership development program in future years.

Going into this internship, I knew that the major outcomes would be professional growth and an overall expansion of my knowledge base. I knew I would have countless opportunities to network, to ask questions, to learn about Sub-Saharan Africa, public management, and higher education. I would learn how to collect and assess feedback, and what it takes to put together a leadership development program. What I did not expect was how this experience has made me rethink the direction I want to propel my life and career path. Working with the Fellows as they developed their projects (to be implemented in their home countries) gave me a glimpse into what it means to be a change agent. I’ve learned that you don’t need a higher level position or title to stimulate change within a community. I’ve since shifted my career goals into the non-profit and public sectors, and have been looking into developmental economics after learning so much about the field over the summer. Getting to know the Fellows and listening to their stories and insights have broadened my perspective, and I’ve grown a lot due to their mentorship.

The first large event of the internship was the YALI kick-off, a gathering of volunteers from the local community, members of the university who would later play a hand in the institute, and, of course, the Fellows themselves. At the event, I was grateful to discover how amicable everyone was. My first conversation with a Fellow was with a woman from Benin. Coincidentally, it turned out she worked for CARE, a leading humanitarian organization that one of my student orgs regularly supports. She shared with me what she does for the organization, as well as her plans to better her community back home through education. Throughout the event, I met several Fellows who similarly shared the details of their occupational responsibilities, and what their personal project interests were. Simply hearing about their projects, action plans related to major issues like agriculture and maternal mortality, was a huge learning experience in itself. These initial “getting to know you” conversations built the foundation that I needed to fully grasp how significant the YALI institute was, and how pivotal the Fellows and their leadership development was to so many people.

From there, my interactions with the Fellows became less focused on their careers and more personalized, with an emphasis on their stories. Where did they come from? What are their values? How do they view the world? Some of my most memorable conversations were with a woman from Zambia who is a strong advocate for women empowerment and, more specifically, the prevention of domestic violence. She shared with me her personal story and brought to light many of the social norms in her country that put women at a disadvantage. I think my favorite interactions were those that focused on sharing information about different cultures and standards, be that societal, political, or what have you. These conversations really pushed me to think broadly.

In addition, I learned a lot about the YALI institute’s specialized track, public management, and the subthemes of leadership development and business/entrepreneurship. I had opportunities to see Columbus in a different light, to meet prominent people in the Columbus community, and accomplished faculty at OSU. I was able to learn alongside the Fellows, to gain the same knowledge as they, and sit in on talks with such a unique variety of viewpoints in the room. For example, providing assistance with a presentation on higher education and the implementation of different educational systems worldwide required me to personally understand the content enough to facilitate discussion amongst the Fellows. Public management was not a field I had knowledge of going into the internship, but coming out, I am glad to have learned so much.

The intrinsic value of all I’ve learned is what will truly stay with me in the years to come. Although I have most definitely benefited professionally from my internship experience, overall I feel that I have gained the most in a personal sense. The anecdotes and life advice that the Fellows generously shared with me throughout their time at OSU were memorable, inspirational, and raw. They taught me valuable lessons, from the importance of standing my ground as a woman in the face of social norms, to the acceptance that I still have plenty of time to become who I want to be and achieve all I aspire to. I look up to the ones I’ve formed close friendships with as mentors, and I know I can reach out to them for advice. I now have a network that spans across the Atlantic Ocean, throughout a region of the world I never thought I’d have a deep personal connection to. This experience has impacted my life and worldview in ways I could not have anticipated, and the memories from this summer are ones that I will always carry with me.

My Research Internship at Ohio State

This summer I had the opportunity to work at OSU as a research intern as part of the Shell Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE). My responsibilities in this internship included performing research under the guidance of a faculty member of my choice within the School of Earth Sciences as well attending professional development seminars aimed at introducing various tools for succeeding in various earth science related fields. The research I performed involved examining samples from a volcano in Iceland to determine the depth of crystallization of its magma.


During this internship, and thanks to my STEP funding and other grant money, I was lucky enough to be able to travel to Iceland to do some sample collecting of my own. This was absolutely the most beautiful but also the most isolated place I have ever been too. Standing on a volcano in the middle of Iceland really made me realize the importance of alone time as well as a greater understanding and appreciation for this planet we live on. Despite receiving funding from other sources, the trip to Iceland and internship would not have been possible without the STEP program.


While getting to interact with some of the locals was a really cool look into another culture it was really the lack of interaction with other people that made me look inside myself and evaluate my attitude and outlook on life. Being surrounded by nothing but immense topography and intense nature was an eye opener to the pure beauty that exists in the world. Also thanks to the SURE program I was able to meet some the incredible and unique people that work in the School of Earth Sciences. These interactions have made me all the more excited about my career path and what lies ahead for me.


Before this summer I was set on getting a job in the oil and gas industry thanks to the large amount of travel and high pay, but thanks to this trip I was able to go on I am now considering some more environmentally friendly options. I feel confident that the path I chose from one of these new directions will be much more fulfilling for me in the long run.

My Internship in London

For my STEP project, I participated in an international internship in London for the summer.  For my project, I worked at Process Systems Enterprise (PSE).  PSE is the leading supplier of Advanced Process Modelling technology and related model-based engineering and innovation services the process industries.

With an increased globalized economy, I feel it is imperative for engineers to be internationally competent and able to communicate across cultures and I knew I would be able to gain this experience with my STEP project.  London is regarded as having the most talented and diverse workforce on Earth.  The city attracts the world’s most innovative, creative and technical minds and boasts more European corporate headquarters than anywhere else.  I can’t think of any other city in Europe that would offer me the exposure to such broad and diverse business opportunities.  I’ve visited London before and fell in love with the people, their culture, their history and just the energy of the city.

While in London, I worked with people from all over Europe.  I got to learn about their cultures as well as immerse myself in the London city.  Because of my internship, I know have developed both professionally and personally.  I had the opportunity to develop my communication, writing and technical skills.  I got to meet interns similar to myself and had dialogues about our different cultures and made friends.  This experience really gave me a global perspective.

For my internship at PSE, I worked with the vice-president of the carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) & Power, Alfredo, on building a business model to look into the UK wastewater treatment system and I also created a CCS competitor analysis.  I had the opportunity to work with interns and people from all over Europe and learn about their cultures.

My projects at PSE included creating a business model and a competitor analysis of PSE’s CCS software.  For the business model, I worked with excel to create a cohesive analysis on whether or not there was a potential market in the wastewater industry for PSE.  I looked at the potential money that could be saved with the PSE optimizing software.  This was done by looking at the capacity each of the treatment plants at a certain company and seeing how much X% of optimization would save that particular plant.  After that I helped develop a plan on how to approach the waste water company and how PSE would make money from that endeavor.  I also created a project plan on how long it will take to optimize a certain amount of plants.

For the CCS competitor analysis, I looked at various companies that were similar to PSE and looked at different aspects that made each program unique.  I looked at characteristics such as what languages are available for the software, when their last software update was as well as their case studies.  One of the more important components was looking at their rate of return of investment was for their produces.  This project helped me understand what PSE did and what kind of market they were working in.

In the office, there were people from all over Europe especially from Portugal, Spain, France, Ireland, and Italy.  I got to learn about their cultures and their perspective of the world and more interestingly the United States.  I also was in the UK during the Brexit decision to leave the European Union which was interesting and historical.  I got to see how that decision may affect the people I worked with and PSE as a whole.

After I graduate, I hope to work with a company with a large commitment to environmental sustainability.  At a fall career fair, I had the chance to talk to representatives from Arcadis, a global design, engineering and management consulting company that has two offices in London.  I was impressed by their commitment to find sustainable solutions for modern metropolitan needs and by their environmentally conscientious approach to projects.  I found that they have a long history in the city and built one of London’s quintessential monuments, the Tower Bridge.  Working for a company like this would be amazing after I graduate and Process Systems Enterprise (PSE) Ltd is a global company and I worked in their environmental sector which is what I hope to work in for the future.  After I graduate I hope to work for a company with a commitment to the environment and sustainable outcomes and this project help me achieve this goal.

This internship was a global experience and will give me an edge once I enter the professional world after graduation.  This STEP experience allowed me to go abroad which is so difficult for engineering students and gave me work experience relevant to the business side of chemical engineering.


Step reflection- Internship

For my STEP Signature Project, I traveled to southern France to intern in French public school. I stayed with a wonderful host family and got to spend valuable time in the classroom as an aspiring teacher.

Before this internship, I had never been out of the country and experienced a different culture first-hand. This experience allowed me to experience a different culture for the first time. I am now much more open-minded to and understanding of how students come from different backgrounds and cultures. Also, I gained valuable experience working with kids in the classroom, which will make me a more effective educator through the techniques I learned and the knowledge that I have gained.


While experiencing life in France during my first time out of the country, I noticed many differences between the culture in the United States and France. Also, during my time in the internship in the public elementary school, I was able to interact with non-English-speaking students and learn how to effectively teach them a different language.

While living and interacting with French people, it became very clear that they had a much better understanding and involvement with American culture than Americans have with French culture. For example, almost everyone that I had an extended conversation with in France asked me about my opinion on the election in the United States. Although I knew that politics would be a popular conversation point, I did not expect them to have such an in depth understanding of the election in the United States. For example, every time that my teacher that I was interning with allowed the children to ask me questions, they asked my opinion on Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton. This I found shocking because the children were only around ten years old and were asking about the politics of a different country. In some cases, I reflected that most French citizens know as much as or even more than U.S. citizens about the election. One of the more obvious reasons that I think that French citizens are so invested in U.S. politics is that of course the United States is one of the world’s most influential countries and the outcome of the election will possibly impact the whole world. But, my host Dad informed me that their election year is next year in France, so it is the time when people start getting involved in politics and voicing their opinion, so they use the U.S. election to ignite political involvement.

Not only did I learn all about the culture, the internship in the school really gave me valuable time to practice teaching children who don’t fully know my language, which will be very useful when I inevitably have students like that in a classroom of my own. I think the most important thing that I learned how to do while teaching in this French school was to be able to adapt your lesson plans on the spot according to how the class responds to it. The first day I taught, my lesson did not have very much room for adaptation, and did not go as well as I would have liked because the children already knew the vocabulary which I was attempting to teach them beforehand. Thus, my lesson ended up just being more fun that educational for the students, which I was not aiming for. I learned my lesson, and the second time that I taught, I picked a subject of interest to the students, and allowed myself a lot of leeway in case the children were interested in a certain subject which I was discussing, or they already knew what I was trying to teach them. I think that this will be applicable to any teaching experience I have in my life. I will need to able to adapt my lesson plans according to every class I have, as some students might not understand a certain aspect of the lesson or know it beforehand. This will make it so my lessons will be educational and worthwhile no matter what the children know beforehand. Teaching in these classes helped develop my skills at adapting to the classroom while teaching a lesson.


Since I am going to be a teacher, being able to understand and appreciate student’s unique cultures is going to be an important skill to have. After experiencing and being fully immersed in a foreign culture, I think that I am well on my way to adapting this skill. Also, the time spent inside the classroom in France is valuable experience for me trying to develop my own teaching philosophy and style.


My Internship at Hyland Software

For my STEP project, I interned at a company called Hyland Software, located in Westlake, Ohio.  During my time there, I worked as a software development intern in the development department.  My main duties were to develop internal applications that would allow developers to be more efficient while accomplishing certain tasks.  Working with a professional group of like-minded individuals helped me hone many important skills as both a professional and as a computer scientist.

Throughout the summer, I was transformed in three main ways: professionally, socially and personally.  Working at Hyland allowed me to understand how a company functions, how to function in the work environment, and it taught me many skills in the realm of computer science.  Since Hyland is such a big company, I was able to interact with many people, whether they were my team members, other interns or even the Vice Presidents.  This allowed me to make lifelong friendships as well as professional connections that will help me after college.  Lastly, this internship allowed me to grow on a personal level because I became more responsible and it taught me to value my time more.

There were many experiences that I had at Hyland that allowed me to be transformed professionally.  First and foremost, the projects that I was working on required me to work with programming languages that I had never used before (C#, WPF, ASP.NET).  Having experience with these new languages opens up new opportunities of employment with companies that mainly operate with these languages.  Along with this, the project experience I had from the summer taught me a lot of pertinent information for the classes I am currently taking at Ohio State.  Similarly, by working in an environment with deadlines I was taught to structure my time better which helps me when working on school projects.

One of the great things about working at Hyland is that they make it a really fun place to work.  For example, in order to get comfortable with the other interns, Hyland paid us to go to Cedar Point for the day and just have fun.  The interns were also encouraged to take breaks and play volleyball, basketball and/or ping pong with each other so that we could get our minds off of work and have fun together.   Also, Hyland provided the interns with opportunities to get to know all of the VPs on a more personal level by allowing us to attend meetings where they talked about why they chose to work at Hyland.  Because of interactions like these, I was put in the position to make a lot of new friendships and connections that I wouldn’t have happened otherwise.

Lastly, the internship at Hyland allowed me to grow on a personal level.  One major experience that led to this was living on my own.  Before this summer, I had never been in the position where I had to buy my own groceries, cook, clean and just live on my own terms.  This experience made me much more responsible and it also allowed me to become more comfortable with myself.  One of the most important things this internship taught me was how much I valued my personal time.  After working, cooking and doing any other errands, there was often not that much time left to my day before going to bed.  This caused me to be more intentional with my time and to not waste it by just being lazy like I did while back at school.

As a whole, this internship and summer in general made a huge impact on my life.  I developed as a person in many different ways, all of which will affect my life positively in years to come.  Firstly, I have learned new technical skills, become more responsible and have more experience when working with teams, all of which will help me in my future academic endeavors.  Secondly, I now know how to live on my own and as an individual.  This experience allowed me to become more acclimated with adult life and everything that entails.  Lastly, by working in a professional software engineering environment, I understand how companies work better and I have a better grasp at what I need to work on in order to be more successful in the workplace.  But most importantly, I have learned that this is what I want to be doing for the rest of my life.  And without STEP, I would not have been able to say that.




Pro Milk Dairy Internship

I completed my STEP Signature Project of interning at Pro Milk Dairy this past summer. I got a lot of hands-on experience at the dairy farm and was able to learn how a dairy farm operates! Most of my time was spent working with Noe the herd manager and with Krysten the calf manager. I helped sort and move cows, feed calves, birth calves, diagnose and treat diseases, milk the cows, etc. The disease treatment was one of my favorite parts of the internship. I learned how, where, and why to give certain shots, I gave jugular IVs, I stuck tubes down the throats of cows to give them electrolytes and medicine, and I took the cow’s temperatures and was able to tell if the cow had a fever or not. Overall, I learned a great amount from this experience and am very glad that I chose this internship as my STEP Signature Project.


This internship changed many things about me and my view of the world. First of all, my internship transformed how I view the dairy industry. I had learned about the dairy industry in classes and had even been to a few dairy farms, but I had never worked on a dairy farm and seen the day-to-day responsibilities of a dairy farmer. This internship also gave me the chance to see what it felt like to be a minority. Most of the employees on the farm were originally from Mexico. Some of them spoke really good English, but some did not speak any English. When I was growing up, I always told people that I wanted to be a vet someday. However, as I got older, this desire faded as I realized I did not think that I could hurt animals to help them. I did not want to have the job of having to euthanize animals occasionally. I still absolutely love animals and I am studying animal sciences. This summer I had the opportunity to do a lot of disease treatment on the dairy cows, similar to what a large animal veterinarian would do. Through this experience, I found out that I actually love doing the veterinarian work and am willing to hurt animals in order to help them! My view of what I am comfortable doing and love to do completely changed. At one point this summer I actually considered switching my specialization to pre-vet and trying to get into vet school. Finally, this internship showed me that drama can exist in the farm workplace and can have a huge effect on the productivity and health of the farm.


This internship showed me through experience how hard dairy farmers work. On certain days when I did a morning shift at the farm, I would have to wake up at 4:30 AM in order to be at the farm at 6 AM. I learned that people were at the farm 24 hours a day. All of the employees worked 6 days a week, 12 hours a day. The owner of the farm never got a day off, as he did the employees jobs on their day off. Dairy farmers are some of the hardest working people! Through my experience at the dairy farm, I learned that money can be a huge issue and that a lot of the decisions are based off of money and profit. I saw the knowledge and expertise that it takes to run a dairy farm. My whole view of dairy farming is changed because of this internship.


Working with people who were different than me was a really good experience! There were many times when the employees would be having conversations around me but I understood nothing of what they were saying because they were speaking in Spanish. This experience showed me what people who are the minority must feel like. I wanted to understand what the employees were saying, but I could not. This experience also opened up new opportunities for communication. For example, I used Google translate on a phone to communicate with one of the employees. I also was able to use hand signals and learned a lot just by observing.


I gave several shots to cows on my first day at my internship. Giving shots was a completely new experience for me and it scared me at first! However, as I kept being exposed to the disease treatment, I fell in love with it. I liked how disease diagnosis was like a puzzle and how I was able to make a difference in the cow’s life by helping it get better. The herd manager Noe was so kind. He taught me how to do many of the disease treatments and then he trusted me to do them on my own. I made many mistakes along the way, but I was able to learn from those mistakes. Overall, this chance to help in the treatment of cows affected me greatly. It showed me that I love disease treatment. Even though I decided not to go to vet school, I now understand myself and my passions better because of this internship.


Even though I loved this internship, it was not free of problems and drama. Two people owned the farm and some drama came up between the owners. One of the owners decided to put the farm up for sale. This decision resulted in the other owner deciding to not be involved in the farm anymore. As a result, the farm started to fall apart and employees left. At one point, there were not enough people to properly run the farm and take care of the cows. This experience had a profound impact on me. I did not think that this kind of drama could happen in the adult world on a farm. If I ever decide to go into business with someone else in the future, I will make that decision very carefully and consider many factors.


All of these transformations and changes from this internship are valuable and important. This internship showed me that I love dairy farming. However, it also showed me that dairy farming is extremely hard work. I will really have to consider if I want to go into the dairy industry in the future. Many companies across the country and the world are becoming more and more diverse. It was good for me to get experience working with a diverse group of people because I may be in a similar situation in the future. My college and internship experience have showed me that my passions lie in disease treatment of plants and animals. I hope to be able to focus on these topics in the future in classes and my career. Finally, the drama I witnessed at Pro Milk Dairy opened up my eyes to how important healthy relationships are. A bad relationship in a company can ruin the company even if everything else in the company is fine. I will remember the lesson I learned from the dairy for my future.


This internship was truly transformative! I am very grateful that STEP made it possible for me to take part in this experience. I also want to thank the people at Pro Milk Dairy for being willing to take time out of their busy schedule to teach and mentor me.



Ireland STEP Internship

My STEP Signature Project was unique since it fit both the Study Abroad and Internship options. It was a program through the Office of International Affairs and I spent my summer in Dublin, Ireland interning with a company called Vivid Edge all while receiving 9 credit hours through Ohio State.

My world changed the moment I was stuck in a country with a phone that didn’t work. I was lucky enough to be in a place that spoke English, but their heavy accents made me believe they were speaking anything but English. My hungry and tired self had to find an ATM and hail down a taxi with all my luggage and try to take in my new home during the 40-minute ride from the Dublin airport to the University College Dublin campus. In those 40 minutes, my understanding of myself and the view of the world changed. I gained a level of confidence when I half understood what my cab driver was saying when I couldn’t read his mouth, and trying to interpret their culture and history of the Gaelic language. These critical thinking skills can’t be learned from a textbook and this hands on gave me a better grip than any book will ever do.

The understanding I had of myself changed dramatically when I started working 9-5 Monday through Friday when I was so used to waking up on my own during the year since my classes started rather later. The company I worked for leased energy efficient equipment and their profit was a cut of their client’s savings. There were only 4 of us in the office everyday and they gave me tasks that varied from editing a proposal for a 2.5 million euro grant from the European Union to the typical “can you make a coffee run” internship duties. It actually gave me a new perspective on business and led me to change my major to Environment, Economy, Development, and Sustainability. With this internship, I found that I wanted to be in the business world, but I also want to make a difference and do something that is bigger than myself. I’m all for business majors and definitely understand how important it is in our society, but I always felt like I was going through the motions. With this internship, I felt like I was helping people by making their company more efficient and economical all while saving our planet. I also thought it was interesting how Ireland and Europe is so much more environmentally driven and take major initiatives to save our planet, and I aspire to bring a little bit of that to the U.S.

Throughout my summer, I interacted with people from all over Europe. I was able to talk to British investors during Brexit and understand from their end what was going on, all while taking in the changes taking place in Ireland. This gave me an insane amount of insight of the business and investing world and but also how businesses and societies rely on the government.

While being in Ireland, I was able to manage a working lifestyle and better sense my independence while having fun and being a college student. And that is something I will never forget because being a working adult in a different country all while trying to have fun is hard, but I learned that if it doable abroad, it is possible at home. I realized the importance of prioritizing aspects of my life back home and to not spend time doing things that don’t matter or aren’t beneficial. Whether it be school and friends, but also prioritizing myself, family, and overall stability.

I learned how to play Gaelic football and hurling, two of the most popular sports in Ireland, and it reminded me of my pride for my Buckeye football and it made me adore the Irish culture since I related to them so much. During this time, I realized that home is purely a state of mind, not a physical place. While I adapted to calling Ohio State my home during my transition from high school to college, I eventually became more comfortable with the Irish customs and learning the way of the land, and I can genuinely say that it was a great temporary home.

This experience has led to such a great transition in life. From a personal experience, I made the best of friends in Ireland, both from there and from Ohio State, and learned so much about myself. We bonded from being uncomfortable together trying to call a new place our home, but we also bonded from all of our experiences and traveling together. I also learned more of my values in life and what I want my future to focus on. I also was able to build my resume and get college credit. I met great people in the workplace, expanded my experience in the business and environmental sector, and made connections that I will be able to cherish for a lifetime.

STEP Internship Reflection

Marlee Friedman
Over the past summer I used my STEP money to allow me to take an internship with Caterpillar that involved me moving to Peoria, Illinois. For my internship I was a manufacturing intern in the Order to Delivery division of the company. While taking part in this internship I was able to work primarily on the New Product Introduction of the building of the brand new D11 Track-Type-Tractor from start to finish.
While participating in my STEP project I learned a lot about myself along with a lop about my expectations and understanding of my future. Up to that point in my life I thought that Caterpillar was a dream company for me to work at and that I really loved Manufacturing, however I learned that this may not actually be the case for me in the long run. After going through my internship I learned a lot about myself and what I actually want long-term in my life. I learned that I want to go to a smaller company long term where I can make more of an impact and feel more valued on a regular basis. Also, I learned that Manufacturing might not be the right career path for me and that I want to look into new areas and options with the remainder of my time in college to find something that I am really passionate about. This was in all a very good learning experience that I was able to take a lot away from in the end.
This summer as I worked as a manufacturing engineer intern on the Large Track-Type- Tractors at Caterpillar I was able to participate in a lot of activities that allowed me to learn a lot about where I want to go with my future career. First off while I was at my internship I was able to talk to a lot of different people who have had different experiences and were in different points in their career who could give me advice on different things I should try and look for. This taught me that at least at the beginning of my career I want to start with a small company. Also, I want to try working in a different industry that is not manufacturing, I think something having to do with a financial industry. Learning from other people’s experiences has been able to teach me a lot without having to try everything on my own.
Another experience that helped me form my change in opinion for my future career was the exposure I had in general to the size of the company. This taught me that although Caterpillar valued all their employees, I want to be in a larger company that I can make a bigger impact in can can be seen more than just another employe, but as a large asset to the company. I really realized that I want to be somewhere where there are more opportunities for me to really make an impact and see what I can do. I learned this because while I was at Caterpillar there were so many employees that everyone really seemed more like a number then a asset to the company. In addition, because there are so many people, every person has more of an exact designated job and there is less room for different people to explore other options and jobs within the company, and I want to be somewhere where within the company I am able to explore different things and aspects to different jobs.
Lastly, another experience that led me to decide that I want to be with a smaller company in a different industry was when I was following the New Product Introduction for the D11 Track-Type-Tractor. I learned from this that even though I enjoy manufacturing, I realized that this is something I can not do long term. I also realized that with most companies, like Caterpillar, being union companies that I can not make the impact that I would like to make on a manufacturing floor or in a company in general. I really learned I need to be in a company that I can make a large impact, but also that when I make a change I need to be able to see the results and see them very instantaneously. I really just learned that I hated that I could not make a major impact at Caterpillar as hard as I tried or regardless of what I did because of the way the company and industry was set up.
This change in my outlook on my future career is so significant and valuable for my life because it allowed me to learn sooner rather than later a career path that I don’t want to go down and the type of company that I want to work at. If it was not for this opportunity I could have continued to believe that what I wanted to do was to go to a large company like Caterpillar and work in Manufacturing. Now that I know that I don’t want to do this I have the time and opportunity to explore different options and find something better suited to me in the long run and something that I am more passionate about. Overall, this STEP opportunity saves me potentially a lot of time in the long run and will allow me to now pursue a career that I am more interested in in a company that I enjoy working at more.

STEP Internship Reflection

This past summer I used my STEP Funds for my internship with Nationwide Children’s Hospital. At Nationwide Children’s Hospital I became an ambulatory student intern and worked everyday at Nationwide Children’s Westside Primary Care Center. As an ambulatory student intern, my job was to focus on MyChart. MyChart is something that Nationwide Children’s has been using but each year they have been trying to figure out different ways to increase the amount patients who use it.


MyChart is a free online portal that allows for parents to see their children’s medical records. MyChart is great because not only can parents see all of their children’s medical records, but they can also make appointments, email their doctor, print shot records, etc. If they have more than one child, they have all of their children’s medical records in one place. This is much more convenient as parents are able to look up information regarding their children’s health at any time that they want to, especially if they forgot something that their doctor had said at an appointment. They are also able to print out shot records without having to come to the doctor’s office or make appointments quickly without having to go through the hassle of calling.


My main job was to get patients to sign up for MyChart and teach them how to use it. However, on top of MyChart I also helped out around the clinic whenever they needed me. I was able to shadow one of the doctors their consistently after work so I had a lot of time to observe how the primary care center ran. One of the first things that I observed was how important it is to value everyone in the work place. Everyone’s job was equally important in order to ensure that all patients were getting the best care possible. Each day there were approximately one pharmacists, two social workers, three doctors, ten nurses/nurse practioner, a security guard, janitor, and three people working registration. There is also a WIC office located at Westside. Communication and proper coordination between all health professionals was a must.


One of the second things that I observed is how much language is still a barrier in medicine. At Westside we saw approximately 100-150 patients a day. Of these 100-150 patients probably 85% of the patients were Hispanic or Somali. Many of those patients did not speak English as their first language. There were always interpreters on sight in order to translate between the doctors and the physicians. I don’t think I realized just how important knowing a different language is especially in medicine. Being able to communicate affectively with your patients is a must and has inspired me to learn a new language. It is also very important for health professionals to appreciate and respect other cultures that are different from their own. It is also important to be knowledgeable so that you don’t offend the patients that you are serving. I remember that it would be little things that really made a difference to the patients for example when a nurse would ask the patient if they were pronouncing their name correctly versus saying the name incorrectly and not caring. Another thing would be asking the patient what language they would prefer when filling out registration information. Sometimes patients would take offense if it was assumed that they couldn’t speak english and automatically given a paper in a different language.


While shadowing the doctors there were four keys things that I picked up on every time. The first thing is making sure to always find ways to connect with the patient in order to make them feel comfortable. The more that doctor is able to connect with the patient, they have a higher chance of making the best diagnosis because the patient is going to feel more comfortable in sharing with them all of their issues. The second thing is understanding different ways to engage and explain to the patient what is going on (pictures, analogies, etc.). For example, Westside Primary Care Center has many different clinics that they run on different days, which are known as “specialty clinics”. One of the specialty clinics that I shadowed one evening was the Asthma Clinic. The doctor would use a fake lung to describe to both the patients and the children what exactly is going on in your body when you have asthma so that they both could have a better understanding.


The third thing is the importance of asking open-ended questions in order to gain meaningful responses for diagnoses-for example when asking what kind of symptoms they had, making sure to direct the patient in giving a specific answer (On a scale from 1-10 how bad is your pain versus do you have pain which would be simply answered with a yes or a no. The fourth thing is to always make the patient feel like they are in control and that you genuinely care/respect them. On top of using the fake lung at the asthma clinic, the doctor would also show the child a picture with different inhalers/medicine and ask each child what they used or if they could show her or me how to use the inhaler with the spacer. This allows for the doctor and the parent to both see if the child knows how to take their medicine. This give the child more control and makes them feel like they are responsible for their own health.


Overall my experience at Westside Primary Care Center has been amazing. It has allowed me to increase my exposure in primary care. This semester I am continuing to work at Westside Primary Care Center to continue MyChart efforts and possibly help with a new food insecurity project. This internship has not only allowed me to gain more exposure to Primary Care, but also has taught me many different things that are valuable to know as a doctor. One of the main reasons why I want to become a doctor is to ensure there is equal access to quality healthcare for everyone and I believe that my internship this summer allowed me to work my way towards that.