STEP Project Reflection

  1. Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project. Write two or three sentences describing the main activities your STEP Signature Project entailed.I was a Global Markets Intern at the National Bank of Abu Dhabi in Mumbai. I worked primarily with the Head of Strategy and the Executive Director of Global Markets to help craft existing client profiles and target new clients operating within India and the GCC region. An NDA prohibits me from disclosing any particulars.
  2. What about your understanding of yourself, your assumptions, or your view of the world changed/transformed while completing your STEP Signature Project? Write one or two paragraphs to describe the change or transformation that took place.

Before this trip, I had never been outside of the United States. I knew that going to India would have to consist of an open mind and an appreciation to Southern Asian culture and all that entails. Getting off the plane in Mumbai I saw just how largely understated my assumptions of poverty were. Seeing the drastic change of these living conditions of extreme poverty next to extreme wealth made me empathize for how these people were living. After being there however, I realized that the people who live like this have no other option, some living with only a pair of shoes and a make-shift shanty. I grew to appreciate what America, as a culture, endures and has, as well as, grew to appreciate and accept the conditions I saw while away.

3. 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? Write three or four paragraphs describing the key aspects of your experiences completing your STEP Signature Project that led to this change/transformation.

As I mentioned previously, I am now acutely aware of the conditions and differences in income that exist between class groups in Mumbai. I acquired this knowledge through firsthand exposure to the described areas including most notable, the Dharavi slums. These slums are one of the largest in Asia and the largest in India (this is where Slumdog Millionare was filmed). As I landed and made my way to the hotel, I noticed in this early morning hour that there were so many people on the streets working or interacting with friends and that almost every “house” I saw was a shanty. Just hundreds and hundreds of shanty’s lining the streets.

Within my first week in India, we (the group of interns at NBAD), had already traveled most of Mumbai from the most wealthy parts to the poorest. We had been to Colaba and resided in Kurla. The first week we were able to explore Kurla (an impoverished suburb of Mumabi) thoroughly. We walked the main road, which was heavily populated with people and very dirty and rural to find what we needed, as it was the first week there. We came across people that looked at us very oddly as well as people that would get down on their knees and kiss their hands towards us. This was a particularly enriching experience for me because it helped me realize that americans may not be something these people have ever seen or encountered before. There was also a steep learning curve regarding the fact that we wanted to fit in with how the people go about their daily lives (washing clothes in the street, milking goats, baking and preparing their modest corner stores for the day), as well as maintain safety precautions and be respectful as outsiders.

Finally, I just wanted to touch on what many people often underscore in their perceived images of India, as did I, is that it is a country of great wealth and one that has an extremely rich culture. Within Mumbai, I was exposed to some of the largest pockets of extreme wealth I had ever seen. For example, we worked in the area of Mumbai comparable to New York City (BKC), in a bank in a 12 floor building above one of two Ferrari dealerships in India. In areas such as Colaba, Churchgate, Worli, Lower Parel, Bandra, and Malabar Hill I saw everything from Lamborghinis, Ferraris and chauffer driven Rolls Royce’s cruising through towns to malls with more top designer brand name stores than I had ever seen in one location before. Another very fine example of wealth demonstrated in Mumbai is Mukesh Ambani’s home. He is the wealthiest person in India and built a $1 billion dollar home for his family of 5 and staffs over 400 servants. I bring these things up because when the average person pictures India and have not been before, they see the poverty in their minds and nothing else.. well this is completely wrong. Although India is still very much a developing country and many of its residents live in poverty, the entire country cannot and should not be generalized as being poor.

4. Why is this change/transformation significant or valuable for your life? Write one or two paragraphs discussing why this change or development matters and/ or relates to your academic, personal, and/ or professional goals and future plans.

My time in Mumbai, India was transformative because I was able to see poverty and extremely poor living conditions that do not exist on a large scale in the United States. This alone, helped me put my life into perspective and be truly grateful for how I am able to go about living. It motivates me to want to do more to better communities around the world and make that accessible and desirable for americans to want to help other communities so we can all coexist happily and peacefully on this planet.

This experience was also extremely helpful with guiding my on a career path but I believe the experience of India will be remembered for most things outside of work. The hospitality demonstrated of people, the common stereotypes being broken and me witnessing that with my own eyes, and interacting with every day people whether that be on the streets, or getting to know our uber drivers on the way to and from work. It also made me appreciate greatly how blessed I am to live with simple things like clean running tap water and stable electricity. This was my first time traveling outside the United States and I am so exited to explore more of this amazing world we live in. This trip was just the beginning of my travels!

Audi Internship

Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project. Write two or three sentences describing the main activities your STEP Signature Project entailed.

I spent 5 weeks in Ingolstadt, Germany working for Audi during the week and traveling around central Europe on the weekends. We were given a main project which involved heavy market research regarding autonomous vehicles and consumer research regarding what future drivers will want out of cars.

2. What about your understanding of yourself, your assumptions, or your view of the world changed/transformed while completing your STEP Signature Project? Write one or two paragraphs to describe the change or transformation that took place.

One of the things that changed was my understanding of how impatient I am. Being a part of a project for 5 weeks, it was easy to become distracted with other things beside the project and so I really gained a more profound understanding for endurance when it comes to work. I have learned what my weaknesses are and am now working to change them by slowing down a bit, asking for all points of view, and making a plan whenever I get into a long term project for how to tackle the problem.

In addition, I have experienced more of the world such as Austria, the Czech Republic, and Germany. Being a part of those societies has opened my eyes to just how it is to live in Europe. I have gained more of an appreciation for the people and their policies and as a result, now consider living in Europe sometime after I graduate.

3. 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? Write three or four paragraphs describing the key aspects of your experiences completing your STEP Signature Project that led to this change/transformation.

The group dynamic we had was very interesting. Some of us had very conflicting ways of approaching issues and methods of thinking. We had many arguments because of this and forced me to find creative ways to compromise and include my way of thinking in some way to the end product. Having a volatile relationship with one of our group members was one of the best things to happen to me as it really did increase my ability to put the project above all else and ignore any personal issues we may have had. I can definitely use this experience in any type of project based issue.

As for my experiences traveling, I have decided to further my traveling after I graduate and before I start a full-time job. The main inspiration for this was the couple days I spent alone in hostels before I flew out. While in Munich waiting for time to pass before my flight, I got to talking to my hostel roommates and other people in the hostel. I spoke to a professional Kuwaitan swimmer, an Australian show producer who took 4 months off to backpack, a Quebec woman, and a couple of New Zealanders who took 6 months off to backpack around Europe. Talking to all these different people who temporarily left their lives behind to travel, I gained the inspiration to really gain the courage to go out in the world and travel, even if it might be alone.

While living in Germany for 5 weeks, I really felt like I was a citizen of a new, welcoming country. All of us in Ingolstadt were paired with students from the local university, so that helped assimilate us. They introduced us to fellow students and made us feel like one of them. Towards the end, I could understand a couple signs in German and really felt like I got an invaluable culture lesson that school does not provide. I also learned that the Germans kind of do live up to their stereotype of not being the most comedic, but once they knew me, they were a very warm people.

4. Why is this change/transformation significant or valuable for your life? Write one or two paragraphs discussing why this change or development matters and/or relates to your academic, personal, and/or professional goals and future plans.

By learning about myself, the experience already paid for itself. I have gotten peoples’ feedback towards my work habits and now am able to improve on them to make myself the best consultant I can be in a professional sense and personal sense. In addition, the work experience will help in my search this summer for an internship next year in a very unique sense. Not many people can say they were independent enough to work in another country for an extended period of time, and even fewer people can say they did that for Audi.

STEP Reflection- My internship in Germany

  1. Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project. Write two or three sentences describing the main activities your STEP Signature Project entailed.

 

My team and I did a five-week long consulting project in Ingolstadt, Germany for Media-Saturn, a major European consumer electronics retailer. We worked on helping them develop a model for shop-in-shop that they could use to rapidly expand in areas where they didn’t currently exist.

 

  1. What about your understanding of yourself, your assumptions, or your view of the world changed/transformed while completing your STEP Signature Project? Write one or two paragraphs to describe the change or transformation that took place.

 

I learned a lot about myself while on this trip. I thought that I would struggle a lot more to adapt to a different culture and work environment than I actually did. From a work perspective, all of my coworkers were really nice to me and I found that if I took an interest in their lives and work, that I could make a connection with them the same as if I was in the US. The language barrier was a little difficult to overcome, but I found that if I tried to speak a little German, everyone I interacted with was super understanding. That made the transition easier too. I gained a lot of confidence in my ability to adapt and take care of myself in different situations.

 

I was really surprised by how much everyone I met in Germany knew about U.S. culture and current events. Growing up in America, I found that I kind of grew up in my own cultural bubble, and assumed that was the case for everyone else around the world, but I realized that Germans tended to know a lot about what is going on not only in Germany, but in the rest of Europe, the U.S. and even Asia.

 

  1. What events, interactions, relationships, or activities during your STEP Signature Project led to the change/transformation that you discussed in #2, and how did those affect you? Write three or four paragraphs describing the key aspects of your experiences completing your STEP Signature Project that led to this change/transformation.

 

Before I did this STEP project I had never had to work with people for whom English wasn’t their first language. I was really nervous about starting work and transitioning into a new culture, but the first meeting I had with the members of the department I worked for pretty much dissipated all of my anxiety. The more I got to know my coworkers, the more I realized that work isn’t really all that different between home and Germany. The people I worked with at Media-Saturn were really interested to hear about our experiences in Europe and our lives in America. These relationships I built helped me succeed in working there.

 

The other experience I had in Germany was having to cook for myself for the first time. I never had to shop for groceries and plan/make my meals before. The first time I went to the grocery store, I accidentally bought whole coffee beans instead of ground coffee, and I almost cried about it because I’m addicted to coffee and it would be another day before I could get some. But after that, I slowly learned how to buy and order food in German and by the end of my time there, it felt completely natural.

 

Many of my experiences regarding German life and culture came from spending time with students that we were paired with from the Ingolstadt School of Management. They all knew so much about American culture, listened to the same songs and watched the same movies as we did. It also kind of blew my mind that they grew up learning and speaking English, as well as German and one other language (usually French or Spanish). They also knew a lot more about American politics and current events than I did about Germany. People in Europe have a much more global view of the world than Americans do, which I think is a good thing.

 

  1. Why is this change/transformation significant or valuable for your life? Write one or two paragraphs discussing why this change or development matters and/or relates to your academic, personal, and/or professional goals and future plans.

 

Having worked in a different country where I was unfamiliar with the culture and the language gave me all kinds of confidence going forward in my professional career. If I can adapt and thrive in that environment, then I can make it anywhere in the US for sure. This experience improved my communication skills, teamwork, and adaptability. From a personal standpoint, I feel like there is a greater need to develop and maintain a global perspective than I previously thought. Traveling made me not take everyday aspects of my daily life for granted, and made me realize that there is another way of doing things. For instance, I’m used to driving everywhere to do things and get around, but in Ingolstadt, you didn’t really need a car for anything and could easily get by with a bike or walking. In the future, as I go into a world that needs good problem solvers, I think that keeping an open mind and remembering that there are many ways to go solutions to everyday tasks and situations will serve me well.

STEP Reflection

Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project.

I interned with elected Member of Parliament Charlie Angus. I studied his position, assisted in office management, wrote policy memos, conducted research, and attended meetings for and with MP Angus.

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

I personally went through a transformation in the sense that I realized what my true passion lay in. I was a World Politics/Anthropology major before my project, and by the end I was fully committed to the idea of transferring to the Glenn college of Public Affairs and becoming a Public Management, Policy, and Leadership major. The work involved in public policy seemed to come almost naturally to me, as my first assignment went overwhelmingly well. I received praise from MP Angus’s Members Assistant who oversees all drafts of policy memos, which cemented my decision to make this major change.

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?

This transformation was brought about through my close proximity to public policy work in the office of Charlie Angus. Much of what I was instructed to do while working for MP Angus focused on researching certain bills, proposals, and policy theories. This constant proximity to public policy work caught my attention immediately, and prompted me to question whether or not I was going into the correct field. In part I lay the sole reason for this life change on the work proximity, however several people assisted in pushing me towards making this decision.

First of all my boss, MP Angus, was instrumental in this change. He went out of his way to mentor me and provide me with time to discuss my goals and future plans with him. I cannot express how grateful I was to be able to pass my plans and goals by an elected official of Canada, as his perspective was utterly priceless. He suggested I make short term achievable goals to help me get the ball rolling, and from there I can set my sights on larger more complex goals. I made my short term goals graduating with a degree in Public Policy, and working on the campaign of a gubernatorial candidate for the Ohio 2018 Gubernatorial Race. I have since achieved one of the two goals, as I now work as an intern for Betty Sutton, soon-to-be the new Governor of Ohio (or so I hope). These goals would not have been made if it were not for Charlie.

Additionally, Charlies Members Assistant (MA for short) was an incredible mentor. At 26 he wasn’t much older than myself, however he possessed a job that I wanted more than anything else in the world. He taught me the intricacies of the public policy world and provided me with the educational tools I needed to work on Charlies public policy memos. His direct mentorship was crucial to my decision to change majors.

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

This transformation has severely effected my life, in that I have an entirely different career path to consider now. I originally intended to go to Law School, potentially traveling to the Netherlands and finding work with the international courts of the Hague. I now find myself intrigued by the thought of staying in Columbus after graduation and working on local public policy through working with the Governor of Ohio, the Statehouse, or City Council. This post-graduation work would provide me with excellent experience in the field of local politics and local policy work. After this I could go back to school for a Graduate Degree in Public Affairs/Public Policy and work State level public policy.

STEP Signature Project

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

My team and I spent 5 weeks in Ingolstadt, Germany, immersed in the culture, while working alongside a team of Audi employees at their headquarters. We were given a project surrounded by the future of autonomous driving.

 

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

I always hoped that one day, my college experience would take me across the world. The idea of traveling abroad was a dream, and this summer that dream came true and exceeded my expectations. I exceeded my expectations. Prior to leaving the US I knew I was taking a risk. My dream was always to travel, therefore, I never imagined myself abroad for “work” purposes. When I applied to the Global Projects Program I did so knowing I was going out on a limb. I knew I was capable of being successful in a global work environment, but I wasn’t sure if this was exactly what I wanted from my abroad adventures. The change that took place was simple. My desire to travel grew during my STEP Signature Project and my 46 days abroad.

 

3. 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?

We traveled independently on the weekends during our 5 weeks in Germany, and afterwards, I traveled with friends through Amsterdam and London. In total we visited locations around Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Amsterdam, and London that had such an impact on my experience, and during my travel in London I did so all by myself- something I never thought I’d have the courage to do.

Experiencing the history of the places we visited was something I never imagined to have fallen in love with. I am no history buff, and I never have been. In fact, I always hated history class growing up. I found it old and boring. Thankfully, as I get older I have found a deeper appreciation for our world and what society in the past went through to get us where we are today. Not only was the world around me so intriguing, but listening to the German students and their friends tell stories about their travels and the ease of travel in Europe made me want more. I want to see more and experience more.

Most people we came in contact with have visited 5-10+ countries throughout their lives and will continue to do so. I quickly learned their desire to see the rest of the world around them. That desire is contagious. I always knew I was one who wanted to live a life of travel, but I’m more eager to do so after being abroad. This trip taught me how much life there is to live, so I hope to start my journey by seeing my own country. Which, unfortunately, is something I have yet to fully take advantage of.

 

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

Success can be defined in many different terms. To me, success is a measure of my happiness in life. If I have the opportunity to live a happy, healthy, empowered life full of friends and family, I will experience success. This trip has opened my eyes to the life I truly want to live, and since coming home I have added to my list of ways to experience success. Along with health, career, friends, and family, I have added travel. I desire to see the world and experience it with those I love and care about. In combination these things will allow me to further my successful career as a Buckeye and seek more success in life. With this, I have the STEP Signature project and Global Projects Program through Ohio State University and the Fisher College of Business to thank for my unforgettable experience abroad.

 

Germany Internship Reflection

 

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

I traveled to Ingolstadt, Germany for 5 weeks to work for Media-Saturn for my STEP Signature Project. My team and I were tasked with developing a blueprint for a shop-in-shop model for MediaMarkt stores that would be placed in Tesco grocery stores.

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

I learned that I am much more adaptable than I thought before I went on this trip. There were a lot of obstacles that we encountered when we were working on our project for Media-Saturn, when we were trying to adapt to the German culture and language, and when we were traveling to different cities around Europe. I generally like to have a set plan and stick to it but that wasn’t always possible on this trip. I feel like I am now more flexible when plans change and am able to adapt more quickly which will definitely be helpful in the future.

My view of the world changed when I realized how globally aware people in Germany and across Germany are. I think that people in the United States are in their own little bubble and many don’t pay attention to what is going on in the rest of the world. In the US, a lot of people only speak one language and some haven’t even traveled out of the country. In Germany, it was completely different. Almost every student has to learn at least one language, mainly English, and most of the students I met knew at 3 or 4. They are also very well-traveled because Europe isn’t that big and it’s easy to travel from one country to another. I think that makes them better-rounded in terms of knowing what different cultures are like and understanding what is going on in the world.

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

There were multiple events on the trip that forced me to be more flexible and adaptable. During the internship, my team and I had to be flexible in order to deliver a product that would be valuable to the company. There were some instances where the company would change its mind and want us to change course or want us to dive deeper into an area that we thought we had already finished. Also, the group had to be very flexible when we were traveling. We would have to be very flexible when were deciding how to get to different cities, whether that meant sleeping on a bus through the night to get to Berlin or waking up at 5am to take a train to Salzburg. While we were site seeing, some places were closed or we were unable to visit them so we had to be flexible and adaptable and find other things to do while we were in different cities.

My view of the world changed mainly through the people that my group met on our trip. We were paired with German buddies who were super helpful with showing us around the city we were staying in and helping us with the language. But they also gave us a lot of insight into German culture and introduced us to other people in the city. They taught us about what education was like in Germany and how they have to learn all these different languages. Also, when we were traveling we noticed that almost everyone spoke English no matter where we went and there were people from all over Europe.

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

Being flexible and adaptable is really important in the business world because things are always changing and you need to be ready for anything. I know that this change will help me throughout my college career and beyond.

Traveling to a new country and getting to explore Europe has been such an amazing experience and it’s made me want to go back and travel more. I developed a more global perspective and now I actually pay a lot of attention to what is going on around the world. Living in a different country for an extended period of time was also a good experience because I had to problem solve a lot just to figure out how to read menus, and I had to learn how to communicate with people who didn’t speak the same language as me. I now feel more comfortable traveling to another country that I have never been to and I know that I will be able to find my way around and have a great experience.

Canadian Internship STEP Reflection

For my STEP Project I participated in the Canadian Parliamentary Internship Program, which I found out about through the Office of International Affairs at OSU. This was a 5-week internship with a member of the Canadian Parliament. I was assigned to the office of Bryan May, the Member of Parliament for the riding of Cambridge. During my time in Ottawa I assisted the staff in my office with correspondences, speech writing and writing house holders. I also had the opportunity to explore the city of Ottawa thanks to planned activities like museum visits and city tours.
This project taught me so much about myself and the world around me. Every day I was in the office I learned something new about the differences between the Canadian and US governments and how these differences effect the citizens of the respective countries. I realized that there are a lot of things that the US as a country can learn from Canada and her people. I also discovered that I really am interested and passionate about a future career in politics. The staff working for my MP were wonderful role models and showed me that I am cut out for work in politics.
As I mentioned above the staffers in Bryan May’s office were exceptional. Andrew, the executive assistant and Cole, Bryan’s legislative assistant. They were responsible for handling every detail concerning Bryan while he was in Ottawa during the week and maintained a close watch over him and the staff in the Cambridge office over the weekend. Each of them is extremely detail- orientated and dedicated to their jobs. Unlike a lot of the staffers on the hill right now they have quality experience working in politics and they understand the importance of a positive public image and a strong presence on the Hill.
Cole and Andrew were absolutely wondering during my time in Canada. They were helpful, understanding and motivating. I am so grateful for the responsibilities that they gave me because it gave me real life experience that I could not have gotten anywhere else. These men were able to excellently maintain the balance between teaching me how things are done and allowing me to try things on my own. Thanks to them I came away from this experience with increased confidence in my professional abilities and an even stronger desire to learn.
After my time with Cole and Andrew I have a new-found passion to explore the social policies that are currently in place in our country and fight to implement new ones that will benefit those who need help the most. Thanks to my many conversations with these two guys I am no longer blinded by the American ideal that ever person is responsible for what happens to them, because that simply is not true. Everyone experiences life differently and is faced with different difficult situations. Thanks to my time in Canada I now realize that it is not a ridiculous to suggest that the government put forth the resources to care for its citizens. If our neighbors to the north can do it, why can’t we?
I will cherish this experience for the rest of my life. I learned so much and fell in love with a beautiful city. This project helped me to form a better understanding of what I would like to pursue as a career later in life and what I want to accomplish later in life. I am so thankful for this opportunity and all the amazing people that I met along the way.

STEP Project Reflection

Name: Gabrielle Minotti

Type of Project: Internship Abroad

  1. Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project. Write two or three sentences describing the main activities your STEP Signature Project entailed.

My STEP Signature Project was a five-week internship with the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa, Ontario. Throughout my time in Parliament, I worked under M.P. Robert Falcon Ouellette as his assistant, running the office, handling correspondence, and attending and preparing for multiple meetings including the Standing Committee on Finance, the Indigenous Caucus, and the Manitoba and Winnipeg Caucuses. In addition to what I learned from my duties I had as an assistant, I took away considerable knowledge of Canadian-U.S. relations, and the intricacies of a job on politics.

  1. What about your understanding of yourself, your assumptions, or your view of the world changed/transformed while completing your STEP Signature Project? Write one or two paragraphs to describe the change or transformation that took place.

From this experience, I learned that I am capable of a lot more than I once thought I was. When I heard that I would be the only other person in the office in addition to the M.P. I was a little alarmed. Taking over the position of an Executive Assistant with no formal training or prior experience was a daunting thought. However, once I got there I found that I was able to learn on my feet, talk easily with important people, and be very self-sufficient and intuitive about the job without much guidance.

In addition to what I learned about myself, I learned more than I ever thought I would about Canada, politics, and how interconnected the peoples of the country are and how that influences policy and decision making. I never realized how complex every talk and vote is before this experience when taking so many interests and consequences into account.

  1. What events, interactions, relationships, or activities during your STEP Signature Project led to the change/transformation that you discussed in #2, and how did those affect you? Write three or four paragraphs describing the key aspects of your experiences completing your STEP Signature Project that led to this change/transformation.

Being proficient at a job as intensive as a political assistant was definitely a journey that I’m glad I took. At the beginning of the project, I made a lot of mistakes and was pretty frazzled and frustrated that I wasn’t getting the hang of things as quickly as I wanted to. But within a week my M.P. gave me more and more responsibilities and instead of getting more anxious, I took it as an opportunity to do the jobs I was already doing faster and better. Soon, I was able to do the job with ease and took on more work until I was able to do the job of a full-time assistant instead of just an intern.

As a political science student, I’ve learned a lot about the complexities and intricacies of political decision-making but seeing it up close and personal gave me a much deeper understanding and appreciation for it. My first time sitting in on the Finance Committee meetings, I saw how very small interest groups I never thought about during the reading of a certain clause or motion would be affected in drastic ways by a seemingly unrelated policy. Canadian dairy farmers being decimated by a U.S. trade deal with the E.U. or small wineries in Nova Scotia possibly going out of business because of a beer tax were both examples I heard in those meetings and made me realize how deep the ripple effects of politics are.

Being a more capable worker and learning more deeply about politics were things I expected to take away from this experience, but one thing I did not expect was the growth in empathy and understanding of other peoples I gained during my time in Canada. The M.P. I worked for was Indigenous and was very animate about Aboriginal and Métis rights. From sitting in on the Indigenous Caucus meetings to taking the calls of Indigenous constituents, I realized how historical discrimination can cause such dire effects on millions of people in the present. From this experience, I learned that really stepping foot in another person’s shoes can open up so much about the world I live in that I never realized before.

  1. Why is this change/transformation significant or valuable for your life? Write one or two paragraphs discussing why this change or development matters and/or relates to your academic, personal, and/or professional goals and future plans.

This experience created an invaluable change in how I view the world. Working for a large federal government made me so much more aware of how the world works. Growing in compassion for other people, becoming more capable and self-starting, and becoming more aware of consequence are things that are incredibly important to learn for any career. However, these skills will be especially helpful for me in the future as I hope to go to law school and maybe eventually pursue a career in politics. This internship has definitely shaped me into a better person professionally and I hope to use the skills I learned from my STEP project to continue become a more proficient student and future professional.

Reflection

As you may recall from your STEP signature project proposal, your STEP signature

project was designed to foster transformational learning—that is, learning that challenged you personally and helped you gain broader and deeper understandings of yourself, others, and the world around you. Please address the following prompts to help you reflect on your experiences completing your STEP signature project; please give careful and critical thought to your responses.

Name:
Ben York
Type of Project: Internship
1. Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project. Write two or three sentences describing the main activities your STEP Signature Project entailed.

My STEP signature project was a consulting project for Audi Auto group in Ingolstadt, Germany. My team and I were assigned to find the ideal car of the future by studying market trends.
2. What about your understanding of yourself, your assumptions, or your view of the world changed/transformed while completing your STEP Signature Project? Write one or two paragraphs to describe the change or transformation that took place.

My understanding of myself and my view of the world were all transformed while completing this project. I have been abroad before but actually living and working abroad was a very different experience. I did not speak German before coming to the country so that was a new barrier that I had never had to deal with before. Luckily, most of the people I worked with understood English. I found it very interesting how most students were at least bilingual and some knew even more languages and that is something the US is lacking in.
After working on my project, I learned some important lessons that it takes to be a consultant. Communication was a large one. Also, working on a team requires lots of collaboration and you need to be able to speak your opinion if you don’t agree with something while being respectful.
3. 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? Write three or four paragraphs describing the key aspects of your experiences completing your STEP Signature Project that led to this change/transformation.

The language barrier was something I had to deal with on a daily basis. I was a bit overwhelmed when I first entered the country. Everything seemed to move really fast and go over my head. By the end of the project, I was able to navigate by myself and order food and drinks. I want to continue studying languages so next time I go abroad, I will be more prepared.
I was able to converse in English with any student at the university I was at and any worker at Audi. That is something I believe the US is severely lacking in. The students in Germany were learning English when they were in early grade school. As the world becomes more diverse, I believe it will be more commonplace for people to speak more than one language and that is something I missed out on as a child.
Regarding the consulting aspect of the project, it was a lot of fun but also very challenging. My team spent long hours in front of our computers researching market trends. After that, we had to discuss what we thought would be most prevalent in the future. There were many debates and some were a little more heated than others and it could be hard to disagree or put an idea out sometimes. The key is to listen to everyone’s input and never be afraid to speak up your opinion. If you don’t like an idea, make your case respectfully and we always used majority rule.
4. Why is this change/transformation significant or valuable for your life? Write one or two paragraphs discussing why this change or development matters and/or relates to your academic, personal, and/or professional goals and future plans.

The language barrier is important for me because it will affect me in the future. Hopefully, having an internship abroad will set me apart from my peers. I believe consulting could be a great career path for me in the future. I love the challenges it brings and I like working with a team to complete our goal.

Zach Frenger STEP Reflection

Name: Zachary Frenger

Type of Project: Shadowing/Internship

  1. In my STEP project I got the opportunity to shadow a perfusionist at the VA in Roxbury, MA. In this program, I got to learn about and interact with a heart-lung machine and also got to sit in on part of an operation.
  2.  Throughout much of my sophomore year at Ohio State, I had struggled most of the year with trying to find who and what I wanted to be in life after believing for so many years that I had it figured out. Finally in my second semester I had decided to apply to the Respiratory Therapy program and at the same time decided to make that the focus of my STEP project as well. I found this as the perfect opportunity to test out first hand whether or not this would be something I could see myself doing in the future, and I’m glad to say that after this experience I believe it is. This experience helped me to achieve a strong level of confidence in myself to build a successful future and career for myself.
  3. While participating in this program, the bulk of my experiences came from the interactions I had with the hospital staff and different types of workers I met along the way. Everyone from an ER nurse to a perfusionist to a surgeon was more than willing to talk with me and let me ask loads of questions to help me get a better understanding of not just the big things they experience, but also a lot of the day to day things you don’t really know about. Another key to my project that was a bit unexpected was that since I was at a veterans hospital, the patients also had a great impact on me.
    As previously mentioned, the patients at the hospital became quite an interesting part of my trip and towards the end became a heavily discussed topic when talking to the hospital staff. A VA is a hospital that is strictly for veterans and provides them with care at little or no cost. I learned about different patients that would drive hours and hours just to have whatever they needed done at this specific hospital, most of the time because they couldn’t afford what they needed otherwise. It really opened my eyes to just how hard life can be after being back home, and not to mention seeing what being a veteran could mean with so many amputees and mental health issues. Mental health in particular has been something that has always been very key in my life from my family to my residents working as an RA to myself too; and although the trauma and experiences we’ve had may be different, the underlying struggles they present are all connected, and this is where I really learned a lot during my internship.
    A lot of the patients that come to the VA for treatment are veterans of WWII and the Vietnam War who are getting old, and as a result they are having more and more complications with their body. It astounded me to hear that a lot of the hospital staff makes anywhere from 10%-20% less than their counterparts working at a normal hospital just because they work at a VA. While I understand that they also get a lot of benefits since they’re working as a government employee, that’s also a ton of money to be giving up and it really showed me the type of care and commitment they have to these veterans which was by far they most life changing part of my project. I had previously mentioned that sophomore year I struggled to find what I wanted to be in life, and this right here showed me why I had always believed being in a hospital is where I want to be.
  4. The significance for me in this experience is that it reminded me that while the pay can be great, the true reason people get into these professions is because they feel that providing care and support for others is what they are meant to do. This was an experience unlike anything I had done before and is something I will remember for the rest of my life as I pursue my professional and life goals. While I may not be working at a veteran’s hospital later in life, the point of it all was that everyone has their own unique struggles and experiences and pleasures that make helping them in any way that we can worth it. I find that I so often get caught up in my tiny day to day problems that I forget to stop and appreciate all that I have and to use all that I have to give back to those who need it the most.