My Summer at the Wexner Medical Center

Name: Paige Bennett

Type of Project: Internship

Over the summer, I worked as a Patient Care Associate/Student Nurse Associate in the float pool at the Wexner Medical Center. For this role, I was put on whichever unit of the hospital needed extra help. These units included neuropsych, cardiac, medical-surgical, rehabilitation, and intensive care. During my shifts, I monitored vitals signs, recorded intake and output, ambulated patients, checked blood sugar, gave bed baths, and communicated important information to the nurses.

Through this opportunity, I transformed a lot. I am a very shy person who sometimes feels nervous or uncomfortable around complete strangers. This experience allowed me to come out of my shell, given that my job forced me to interact with strangers almost everyday. Being a shy person, I feared that I would never be a good nurse. This job gave me a lot more confidence. During clinical this semester, I have no issue communicating with any staff or patients.

As a Student Nurse Aide, I provided care to many different patients from many different backgrounds. Some of these patients were like no others I have ever interacted with. This was a challenge for me, as I would not know how to respond a lot of the time. Within the first month of my experience, I had learned to communicate appropriately with many different personalities.

There are many different ways I had changed through this experience, but one way was more important than the others. I had learned to leave my bubble, and to start looking at situations from others’ perspectives. I had many interactions with patients who would not treat me with respect. Through these interactions, I learned to think about why one may act a certain way, instead of judging them.

Another interaction that led to my transformation was my communication with the nurses. As a Student Nurse Aide, I reported any abnormal findings such as a high or low blood pressure, pulse, blood sugar, or respiration rate to the nurse. This allowed me to practice communicating relevant, medical information in an appropriate way.

My transformation is extremely significant for my life, given my career path to become a nurse. All of the skills I practiced over the summer will be utilized during my career as a nurse. Also, I feel more prepared. When I start working as a nurse, I will feel confident in knowing that I have past experience working at a hospital. When I find myself in a difficult situation, I will know how to better handle it.

Step Reflection

Name: Gregory Hubbard

Type of Project: Internship

Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature project.

For my STEP Signature Project I spent my summer in Toledo working with Owens Corning as a Sales Intern at their world headquarters. This project helped me grow in many different ways.

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

My understanding of myself changed during this STEP project. I was not sure how I would be able to adjust, living in a new city and working a full time internship. I was nervous going into the summer because I had never had an experience similar to this summer internship. I was happy to find out that I was able to adjust to a new area/job and I feel that I grew a lot from this summer experience.

What events, interactions, relationships, or activities during your STEP Signature Project led to the change/transformation that you discussed in #2, and how did those affect you?

Through this project I wanted to make sure that I was constantly improving and growing myself. One of the areas that I wanted to improve most in was professionalism. One of the main goals for this internship was to get me ready to full time job after graduation and I feel that it definitely had that impact. I now have valuable Fortune 500 experience that I will use and carry with me throughout my career.

Another area I wanted to improve in was socially. I am normally a sociable person but I have never had the daunting task of going somewhere that I did not know anyone. I wanted to make sure that I was able to make great connections with people by the end of the summer. I am glad to have this experience because I now know whenever I am put in the position to meet a large number of people it is not something new to me.

The last area I wanted to improve in was just overall as a person. Living on my own was an entirely new experience. I had a lot of firsts during this summer, grocery shopping on my own and things like that. During my internship I flew on an airplane and went to Atlanta for the first time. It was just an overall amazing experience that was not only rewarding but developing me into the better person I am to become.

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

This transformation was crucial for my life. I learned a ton about myself during my STEP Signature project and it will lead me into the next steps as an adult. I feel that I would be behind on my development as a person without this STEP transformation. I am very appreciative to the STEP program for allowing this project to occur.

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STEP Internship Reflection

From May to August of 2016, I worked as an intern at Clearview Property Management, a property management company in Columbus, OH. Over the course of my internship, I learned something about all of the components of real estate management. I watched and participated in activities ranging from capital improvements to accounting.

When I began the internship, I believe that I had a narrow understanding of what it means to be involved in real estate. While I understood that real estate is a broad field with many different dimensions, I didn’t fully understand how all of the different components fit together. For example if someone had asked me how a lawyer is involved in real estate, my answer would have been fairly limited. However now that I have more experience, I understand that, at it’s heart, real estate can only exist through many contracts that determine who owns what property, who is a allowed to use it, and under what circumstances. Since real estate relies so heavily on contracts, lawyers are everywhere. Ultimately, there is a diverse range of roles surrounding real estate that allow for it to exist.

My everyday experience working at Clearview Property Management varied greatly and illustrated the diversity in roles that real estate has. Each day the tasks at hand were slightly different. Early in the summer I spent a lot of time helping with the maintenance team. There were lots of property vacancies and so I spent time helping to recondition properties before they were filled. From a business perspective, this allowed for me to see how important it is to keep vacancies low and renovations efficient. For a property management company that focuses on residential housing, like Clearview, the time between occupants can quickly eat into profits. This is because everyday that a property is being worked on and remains vacant, money is lost through lack of rent income as well as labor and material costs.

In addition to working with maintenance, I spent a lot of time at the company’s office. During this period of time, daily tasks typically involved leasing, finding new tenants, and bookkeeping. Personally, this was my least favorite part of the job. I am someone who enjoys being active and getting the opportunity to see new things. For that reason, this was my least favorite part of working at Clearview. While I understand why it is vital to the company, it was incredibly monotonous. Most of my time spent in the office, I spent either typing numbers into the accounting software or on the phone with people who were interested in renting property. While I didn’t particularly care for the office, I do believe that it helped me improve on being focused and organized.

During the rest of the summer, when I was not in the office or doing maintenance work, I got the opportunity to spend time shadowing the owner of the company. For me this was the most engaging and interesting part of the job. If the office was predictable and dull, this was the complete opposite. Given that Clearview is a small business, the owner had to be involved with all aspects of the business at some point or another. Some days we needed to help maintenance by doing things like ordering and delivering materials while other days we had to spend time taking documents different places. The variety of tasks kept things interesting. My favorite part of this experience was when there were relatively few housekeeping tasks and we got to look for new rental units. This usually involved going to different properties with real estate agents and contractors and determining what properties would be good to buy and the logistics of getting them ready to rent. During this period of time I was also given the opportunity to write a performa for a development; a plan for development that is given to an investor.

I am currently studying sociology and real estate and in the future, I would like to do real estate development. This internship gave me the opportunity to observe multiple aspects of my studies and career aspirations more closely. The company that I was working with owns a lot of lower income housing and working with the tenants gave me a lot of sociological insight. From a small scale view of the business, I was able to see a lot of the social issues that lower income people deal with on a daily a basis because I spent a lot of time in the neighborhood engaging with people. The company made a lot provisions to people who were dealing with different issues. For instance, we helped a woman and her children move from one unit to another because she was dealing with spousal abuse issues. In addition to sociological insight, I also learned a lot about running a business. I was able to see first hand how small everyday decisions could drastically affect a bottom line. One thing that I noticed was how Clearview tried to keep uniformity in units as far as things like interior paint and appliances so that everything could be fixed or replaced more quickly and with less thought. In the end, I am happy that I was able to have this opportunity as it transformed my perspective on what it means to be involved in real estate.

STEP Reflection

My step project was helping me fund my summer internship at Applied Manufacturing Technologies.  At my internship I essentially wrote programs in the programming language C which allowed me to access data from different databases.  I used the funding to help subsidize my housing, food, travel and other expenses I incurred along the way.

This internship marked many firsts.  This was my first time ever living on my own, first time being in such a professional setting every day, and the first time I had a chance to develop many skills that one simply can’t do in a classroom setting.

At my internship I was immersed into an environment where I was surrounded by people that are revered in the chemical engineering world.  With their expertise, knowledge and guidance I quickly learnt what it takes to be more professional.  Aside from just the superficial things such as how to dress, how to behave and etiquette I also learnt how to develop a strong relationship with clients, how to properly convey a thought or message in a professional manner, how to professionally give constructive criticism.  These are all traits that can only be learnt through practice in the real world.  The actual task at hand really grounded my understanding of programming and internal network database structures and my internship was no means one where I just got my boss coffee.  I worked close to fifty hour weeks where I had something to do at all points in time.

At home I had to cook for myself, clean, do laundry, and make sure to pay my rent, stay organized and take care of all the other duties associated with living on your own.  Being in college helps you learn some of these skills but I had lived in dorms or at home till this point so I hadn’t had all the responsibilities all at once before.  In the professional world image and presentation is everything so I had to make sure that I had clean, ironed dress clothes, and that I had a lunch prepared for the next day and that I shaved and made myself presentable.

The experience also taught me what I like and dislike about my particular duties, working in a small contract company and helped me shape what I’d like to do in the foreseeable future.

This change matters a lot because it helps me get a understanding of the value of money, how to budget, what I like about my major, field and company size, how I can shape myself to be a better business professional and the steps I need to take to achieve these things.  To begin STEP really makes you sit down and come up with a budget that you think you’ll need and forces you to stick to that budget.  This is really good as one can become really complacent really easily if the only thing in mind is the short term focus.  Thus I learnt how much it costs for rent, food, gas, clothing and it gives me a better sense of how I should budget while living off campus in college and even look to how I’ll be living post-graduation.  I learnt that I actually really like programming and I like learning about the mainframes which is significantly different than my focus as a EE in electrical engineering at Ohio state.  Although what I’m learning is slightly dissimilar to the interests that I develop I learnt that what I will be learning in my major will give me a full encompassed understanding of the tech world that has come to consume our world.  Thus I have a greater appreciation for my classes and for my major which motivates me more in school.  I also learnt that I don’t like working at a small company.  Although interning at a small company means that my responsibilities were higher since a lot of work needed to always be done it also didn’t have the set environment that I usually like.  I like working in teams, having meetings and working collectively to achieve a greater goal.  Now I understand that individual work will always be there but working at a small company means a lot more individual work as more people take on smaller responsibilities.  Thus this upcoming summer I would like to work for a huge conglomerate such as Honeywell or JP Morgan Chase.  As I look into my future and see who I want to be I have come to understand that being a great business professional requires two things, soft skills and hard skills.  The hard skills come from the technical background that I am developing through an engineering degree at Ohio State.  But the soft skills such as communication are only developed through practice and getting to understand what people want.  Thus I want to go to more networking events, and join more clubs and get involved more on campus so that I can constantly practice these things.  Overall STEP allowed me to enjoy an experience in a more structured manner.

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.

Summer 2016 STEP Reflection – Hall’s Calf Ranch

I chose to use my STEP funding to finance moving to Kewaunee, Wisconsin for three months this past summer for my internship at Hall’s Calf Ranch. I chose this internship because it was a very large dairy heifer calf operation that would give me valuable real-world industry experience with dairy calves as I am pursuing a degree in veterinary medicine all while living on my own more than a half hour away from home for the first time. There were two large aspects of my internship that contributed to my “transformational experience;” the internship itself which was phenomenal and, without a doubt, will help me with my future skills in the field of food animal veterinary medicine as well as the opportunity to gain real-life skills that accompanied my first “adult” experience. I believe learning in a classroom is important but the hands-on learning from an internship like mine is invaluable.img_2838

At Hall’s Calf Ranch, my daily jobs included bottle-feeding and bucket training newborn calves that are picked up daily from about 30 farms in a 60 mile radius of the ranch. I regularly vaccinated 2 day old calves with a nasal injection of Inforce and fed electrolytes to sick calves that the farm’s Treaters indicated. I was taught to pull blood samples from calves as every calf that arrives at the farm has its blood protein levels read and recorded. I tagged new calves, banded tails, loaded and unloaded hundreds of calves from trailers, washed a billion buckets, dumped wet grain after it rained, worked one-on-one with the veterinarian, observed calf necropsies, washed some more buckets, helped give IVs, learned to drive the 24-foot calf trailer and truck, picked up a lot of Spanish, worked on several research trials, and washed even more buckets. Best of all, I met and worked with/for some really incredible people that made my experience better than I could have imagined.

With all of the skills and practice I acquired by working at the farm, I feel more confident in my understanding of different facets of the dairy industry. I thought I had a pretty functional understanding from my past employment on a dairy farm and being a very active member and executive officer of the Buckeye Dairy Club, but this internship showed me that there is so much more out there to learn. The dairy industry is a multi-faceted farming industry that revolves around the reproductive cycles of dairy cattle. Put simply, a cow is bred and becomes pregnant, carries the pregnancy for 280-285 days, gives birth/calves (which induces lactation, aka milk production), then the cow gets milked for human consumption and the calf is taken away for close observation and care to ensure the best growth possible. Heifer, or female, calves are kept and raised to become new milk cows when they are about two years old. They grow for about a year and then are bred for the first time when they are about 12 months old, which results in them calving and starting milk production around 20-24 months of age. Bull, or male, calves are raised for meat. Dairy farms often sell bull calves to specific bull calf grower farms so they can focus on milk production. This is how the typical dairy farm works.

At Hall’s Calf Ranch, the focus is only on calf-raising. By doing this, large dairy farms can send their calves away to be looked after more closely and therefore better focus on their own milk production and the health of the adult cows. Before this internship, I had never thought about the workings of a “calf ranch” and how they may be beneficial to the dairy industry. With my previous experience milking cows at a small local dairy and learning about dairy farms through other opportunities at OSU, I felt like a well-rounded dairy-focused student. My experience with the calf ranch showed me that there is always something new to learn! A calf ranch specializes in calf care and therefore put all their efforts into raising a strong, healthy calf for dairy farmers and I am proud that I got to be a part of that and learn its inner workings which will be a valuable understanding some day as a veterinarian if I am working with clients who own calf operations. Taking part in this internship helped me open my mind a little bit more and help me achieve a new level of excitement and wonder for the career I am pursuing.

By spending 11-12img_3561 hours a day at Hall’s feeding, moving, and observing calves varying from one day old to six months old, I learned how to identify a sick animal and what should be done to treat it. I learned the importance of cleaning equipment and having a systematic approach to managing a large workforce (especially one that is not entirely fluent in English). Even more importantly, I learned how to be self-motivated for a cause I am truly passionate about. I have always been a passionate and dedicated hard-worker but I like to follow directions when accomplishing a task, whether they are written or explained. This is not a bad thing, but as a future veterinarian I would like to see myself become more trusting of my own decisions. This summer, I was self-appointed to the care of heat-stressed and premature calves on the farm during the hottest weeks of the summer and I would humbly say that without my care those calves may not have survived. This further ignited my passion for animal care and medicine because I was able to see the positive results of my endeavors and the negative results of calves not helped in time. The calves I nurtured through the extreme August heat pulled through and were able to be returned to the part of the farm with the healthy calves. I think that this internship gave me another view of the job I could have in my future as Hall’s is looking to hire a managing veterinarian in the next few years – a position I would love to consider later in my life.

The second transformational part of my experience came from my living situation in a house provided by my boss with another intern during my internship. This was the first time I lived on my own further than thirty minutes away from my parents and it gave me extremely valuable life experiences through maintaining a yard and home, living with a person I did not know prior to moving to Wisconsin, and getting to know a new area by myself. It was my job to grocery shop, plan, and prepare my own meals. Living on my own for the first time gave me the chance to experience “the real world” and practice being an adult, which certainly has its perks and challenges. I worked at the farm seven days a week and did almost all of the cleaning of the house the other intern and I shared. I also took it upon myself to learn to drive the riding lawnmower we were provided to mow the lawn with. I found a love for cooking and a great appreciation for maintaining a household, which is something I know I will be glad I learned in the future when I have my own family.

By learning life lessons from this experience, I have found myself transitioning much easier to living off-campus for school this year. I firmly believe that a stable home life is one of the first steps towards success for any person – both emotional support and physical comfort. I know that my ability to take care of myself and my home makes me more comfortable while I am at school and I worry less about things that need done at home than I do about my school work and studies. I believe this is one of my keys to success at OSU and my practice of maintaining a home from this summer gives me confidence that I will have greater success with my academics and school involvement this semester and the rest of my college career.

Overall, through the direct work experience at my internship, the relationship skills I acquired from working with a variety of people, and learning how to be an adult by living on my own, I had an incredible summer and could certainly call it a transformational experience. I feel as though I have grown as a person and responsible adult all while making great strides towards my ultimate career goal of being a food animal veterinarian working in the dairy industry. I am beyond grateful for all of the opportunities I have been given through the dairy industry, Hall’s Calf Ranch, The Ohio State University, and the STEP program.


Android Programming with IBM

I chose to do an internship with IBM last summer, between May and August 2016. Overall, the experience was fantastic and contributed a lot to my knowledge Computer Science and mobile development.

I was given sole creative control over an Android app which functioned essentially like a Dropbox for business. If a hospital needed to send files to another hospital, this app would facilitate that. It would also allow for errors to be pinpointed and had chatting functionality to allow for partners to troubleshoot transfer problems. In order to accomplish these tasks, my internship was split up into what were called “iterations”. Every two weeks, my mentors and I would get together and discuss which tasks we wanted to complete by the end of two weeks. Then, I would then split up those tasks into different sub-tasks, and accomplish those tasks individually. This style of development is based on the “agile” software life-cycle and contributed to the efficiency of my code production. Every two weeks, we would deliver demos to executives and other interns detailing what we had accomplished. It was great fun getting to talk about and show off all the hard work I did every few weeks. A few times, people were visibly impressed and that was exciting.

On the social side of things, the entire internship did not feel like what I expected out of IBM. I expected extensive red tape, slowness, and general corporate inefficiency. Instead, what I got was a start-up style feeling with a lot of other young co-workers in a fast paced, relaxed work environment. The attitude in the office was very casual and friendly and nothing like I expected out of IBM. Full time employees did tell me that IBM is currently trying to undergo a corporate shift to becoming a more agile company, that is, becoming a company that is able to react quickly to needs and technologies. This is the direction that the vast majority  of the tech industry is going, due to the rapidly changing world around us. The idea of a company being agile has a lot to do with empowering non-ranking employees to pursue ideas (even at expense), in the hopes of producing something valuable. It is the opposite of “waterfall” which is what many people are used to: an idea from upper management trickles down to employees and they essentially just do the work that upper management tells them. I was provided essentially total creative freedom with my app, and was only given a couple base requirements. This enables IBM to be more “agile” as the employee doing the work is likely more aware of what needs to be done to accomplish the task meaningfully.

We had a regularly used Smash Brothers room directly adjacent to my office that full timers would use to relax. People regularly dropped by to just chat and everyone seemed happy to be there, and that also contributed significantly to the success of my internship. Every Friday, my entire team, including full timers and interns, would go out for lunch at once of the ethnic restaurants in the Dublin area. One week it was Thai, another week it was Turkish, it changed every week. This was fun, and allowed me to get to know more about what life is like as a full time programmer and it was nice to get a sense of what people are like off the clock. Later in the internship, us interns decided to set up intern lunches where we  would go to some near by fast food place to relax and have a  bite to eat which allowed us all to talk about what we were doing or how we were feeling. I made a lot of great friends this way, some of which actually go to OSU!

At the end of my internship, I got to present my app, along with the app produced by my co-worker for iOS, and show off the functionality that was facilitated by my co-worker who worked on the back-end server work that allowed the app to operate. We presented in front of about 95 IBMers and fielded questions about what we’d produced. This was essentially the grand finale of the internship, and the rest of our time was spend preparing our code to be handed off to our mentors when we left.

Overall, this was an amazing experience and I highly recommend anyone who is reading this to stop right now and go look for an internship. I learned more in those 3 months than I did in 2 years of schooling, and it truly is mind boggling how much you learn separate from curriculum content. Things like social environment in the work place, work-life balance, ect are all things you learn about. You also learn about what your typical 8 hour day is going to look like, and whether you like it or hate it. I loved it, and this experience only cemented in my option of Computer Science and Engineering as my major.