My Internship in Los Angeles

My STEP Signature Project was a ten week sales internship with Impact Networking in Los Angeles, California. Impact is a Chicago-based business automation software company and I worked in their first office on the west coast. My daily responsibilities included walking in cold to dozens of businesses to gain new business, setting first appointments, and cold calling prospects.

This project allowed me to experience the real, working, adult world and everything that comes with it. It completely widened my perspective for the way of the world and how the business world works. It made me realize you really have to be able to differentiate yourself from others if you want any chance at achieving substantial success. Do more than average, come early, stay late, and be the best possible version of yourself you can be.

Walking in cold to dozens of businesses conditioned me to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. I chose this internship across the country because I wanted to completely leave my comfort zone and try out living in the city that fascinated me the most as a child. Additionally, my daily tasks had me out pitching people I didn’t know every day. When I started out, I was scared to walk into any door. I didn’t know what to expect and would immediately begin overthinking. By the end of my internship, I was able to go through a whole building confidently and make a game of it. I would alter my talk tack, experiment with different methods, and try and make people laugh. I was excited to go to work every day because it was work with a purpose. Every single day was an opportunity to get better, take more risks, alter your plans, and set the next big appointment.

One of my most memorable experiences from my internship was an appointment that I got to sit in on. The client that the sales rep and I were meeting with pointed at me and said, “I remember you walking in here and you seemed very nice. I’ve had other vendors calling me but because we spoke briefly in person and I liked you, I want to give you guys a chance.” The client actually kept the card I dropped off and called us a month later, which is extremely rare in sales. The meeting went very well and this account will likely turn into a six-figure deal. Knowing that the good impression I left on someone could translate into a massive deal is a great feeling.

The relationships I built with my sales manager and the sales reps really helped shift my perspective and strengthen my skills. These guys were very straight forward and never sugar-coated anything, which is vital for achieving results. They encouraged me to just go for it, to create crazier goals, and to push myself every day. Their shared thought-process was, “what is the worst possible scenario?” Most of the time, that worst case scenario was someone just telling you to leave, then you were onto the next door. My team pushed me, helped me, and each rep gave different pointers for success. Because of them, my confidence has been boosted, my people skills have improved, and I’m now able to better place myself in the shoes of others.

Impact put on a competition between all the interns across all seven branches. There were sixteen of us, and every week our number of phone calls, cold calls, and set appointments were tracked. Every Monday, the list would come out with everyone’s numbers and the top intern. At first, I didn’t like this because I just wanted to focus on myself. However, as the weeks went on, this motivated me to push harder and served as a reminder as to what is possible for someone else in my position. Sure enough, my standings by the end of the summer were considerably higher than I ever thought they would be in the beginning.

This internship in Los Angeles has been the most transformative learning experience of my life. It showed me exactly how hard I need to work to achieve my dreams and goals. Los Angeles is full of heavy-hitting entrepreneurs and businesspeople, and I was able to connect and learn from some of the best in my time there. This experience threw me out of my comfort zone each and every day, which this led to unbelievable growth. My people skills have improved, my confidence has been boosted, and my desire to learn the sales game has never been stronger. This experience has assured that Los Angeles is the place for me, and sales is the career that is going to allow me to build the skills necessary to create the success I want to have for myself.

My Summer Internship

Name: Lexington Pittman

Type of Project: Internship

My STEP project was an internship at PNC Financial Services in downtown Pittsburgh. I was an HR intern working in the Compensation department where I analyzed data, made recommendations and assisted in various projects all throughout the company.

While completing my STEP project I learned something about myself and about the corporate world. I am an activator in the workplace, meaning I am the one who is always pushing to meet deadlines, get started on projects, and make sure it gets completed the correct way. While realizing this over the summer, I could work better with coworkers to complete tasks while understanding what my strength was.

The corporate world is something that I have never been a part of before so it was interesting seeing how the work life balance was. The commute to work, the culture of the company, and how fast others got their work done was all new to me. I had assumed that the corporate world was like what I had thought as far as jobs I had worked in the past but I’ve come to realize that it is much different.

When first traveling to Pittsburgh, I wasn’t sure what to expect on all levels. I was worried about not making friends, not being able to find the grocery store, and not being successful in my work. On my first day of work, I found out that I would be working with 10 other HR interns, all in different departments, and that really excited me. I had many opportunities to work within the HR intern group which made us all close and we even hung out on the weekends! These relationships showed me that it is possible to make friends with people somewhere you are not familiar in just a few months. The networking that I did with the other interns will benefit me in the long run with future job opportunities.

Throughout the summer, we had a Speaker Series where all ~ 500 interns at PNC would come to an auditorium and listen to a leader within the company speak about various subjects such as work life balance and future opportunities within the company. These events taught me a lot about the culture of PNC by showing me that they really care about the development of their employees.

As mentioned previously, I had the opportunity to spend time with my fellow HR interns outside of work hours. These interactions made us closer and helped us understand each other which helped us in the workplace while working on our final project.

This transformation is incredibly significant to my life because I am a senior this year and I have some huge decisions to make. I have developed professionally over these past 3 months and I feel more comfortable in the corporate world. My future plans are to work in a corporate environment and by learning about my strengths at PNC, I am better equipped to make a decision about a job.

My Summer Internship at Kohl’s Corporate in Milwaukee, WI

My STEP Signature Project consisted of a 10-week summer internship as a Merchandise Analyst in the Women’s Plus buying office at the Kohl’s Corporate Office in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Throughout the summer, our intern class was fortunate enough to learn from amazing teams every day, hear from executive speakers about their experiences in retail, and work on projects that truly affected the business.

While completing my STEP Signature Project, I discovered many things about myself I did not know prior to leaving Columbus, Ohio. One of these was that I have a deep love for exploration and trying new things. The opportunity to live in a new city, to get to know people from across the globe, and to learn how to adapt to & ultimately thrive in an unfamiliar environment was transformational for me. I am at my most engaged, most curious, and most joyful when I am able to embrace a new location and take part in unique experiences.

Additionally, I learned that one of the best ways to conquer a new challenge is to observe what’s going on around you, seek guidance from those you wish to emulate, and persevere through the difficult days. I was able to understand the connections between different parts of the business much better (and more quickly) through observing small interactions between members of my team than I ever would have studying a PowerPoint or reading an instruction manual. It was apparent to me from my first day at Kohl’s that those I was working alongside were also people I wanted to emulate in my future career. Speaking with each team member about their personal journey and how they achieved success was truly eye-opening – it seems there is no straight path to a “successful” career, but there are many avenues to a dynamic & fulfilling one. This internship further reinforced the importance of perseverance. Not every day was easy, and not every concept was effortless to understand or apply. What drives the expansion of knowledge is not choosing to focus on what comes easily, but continuously pushing yourself to remain engaged with even the toughest of subjects. Just as I was, you may be surprised by what you are capable of.

Many experiences contributed to my transformative summer in Wisconsin. Broadening my horizons and allowing me to take in the best the city had to offer, Kohl’s as a company did a fantastic job organizing activities for the interns to do together outside of work hours. We were able to attend a Milwaukee Brewers baseball game, watch our favorite artists perform at Summerfest (one of the nation’s largest music festivals), and even volunteer our time at a local Boys & Girls Club. These events allowed me to picture myself living in Milwaukee, enjoying the city life and giving back to the community. They also allowed me to connect with other interns, some of whom would end up being great friends of mine by the end of the summer. These opportunities inspired me to live outside of my comfort zone and consistently say “yes” to further exploration throughout my time at Kohl’s.

Within my role at the corporate office, my interactions with my team truly transformed my view of the retail world. My team members were very supportive, answering any questions I had while also encouraging me to figure things out for myself. I was always included in whatever was on schedule for the day, whether that be a vendor meeting to run through the assortment for the spring line, or a budgetary review where my Buyer & Planners would meet with divisional leadership to discuss potential strategies for the current season. The ability to have firsthand exposure to discussions that may shape the company was empowering and motivated me even further to excel when working on my own projects.

Thankfully, several projects were assigned to the Kohl’s Merchant Interns throughout the summer in order to familiarize us with not only our individual office’s business, but also to prepare us for future presentations if we were to return to Kohl’s as full-time analysts in the fall. When thinking about the importance of perseverance, the project that comes to mind is my final strategy project. This project was focused on improving the productivity of the Women’s Plus essential tees business, and required me to present my findings to upper management at the conclusion of the summer. My strategy presentation was without a doubt the largest and most time-consuming project I have ever worked on. I was challenged to examine data based on style, climate, & more, as well as to think critically about ways to improve the business going forward by suggesting real-world changes that my office could implement. Finally, completing this project taught me how to effectively manage my time, utilize my resources, and consolidate my findings into a concise package for my presentation to divisional leadership.

My summer as a Merchandise Analyst Intern at Kohl’s transformed my previous plan for the future. A new priority of mine is to be fully invested in the city I call home; to love not only living in the place I work, but also to love the people I am fortunate enough to live & work with. I plan to commit my time to a company that values its employees, encourages and enables their professional development, and cares about the community within which it operates. It is important for me to eventually become a mentor for whom others can lead on as they begin their career journey, offering a kind ear or helpful advice when needed. Finally, I want to have a career with many twists and turns. I don’t need to be on the same career path or even employed with the same company for decades at a time – I am excited about the possibility of constant learning & reinvention in my career & in my life, and I can’t wait to get started.

Kohl’s Corporate Office with Fellow Interns

Inside Kohl’s Photo Studio

Picture on Last Day with Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass

My Summer Internship and Buck-I-Serv Experience

For my STEP signature project, I interned at the Comprehensive Cancer Center within the Wexner Medical Center for two genetic counselors. Additionally, I traveled to Maryville, Tennessee with Buck-I-Serv for a service project in May.

First, I will discuss my experience interning at the Wex. During my junior year at OSU, I interned for Heather Hampel and Rachel Pearlman part-time. This past summer, I was able to work full time for them from May through the end of July. This was very good experience for me because I will be applying to grad schools in the fall for genetic counseling. Both counselors will be able to provide me letters of recommendation. Additionally, they were both able to share with me the necessary skills for the career as well as offer shadowing experience.

Secondly, I went on a Buck-I-Serv trip in May called “Once Upon a Time in Appalachia.” This turned out to be a great experience for me all around. I did some environmental trail work and helped out in the garden. Additionally, I met some very interesting people on my trip and have even stayed in touch with a couple of them. This trip made me more environmentally aware in general. I also learned about the Cherokee Indians and gained an appreciation for wildlife in the area.

During my internship, I worked with two other interns who were very vital to my overall experience. One of the interns is a current student in the Ohio State Genetic Counseling graduate program, and she was able to provide me resources and tips for applying to graduate school. The other intern was a year older than me and made the job more fun, and was extremely helpful during training and well versed at explaining abstract concepts.

Additionally, I was able to volunteer at a genetic counseling convention, which allowed me to meet others in the field and ask questions about applying to graduate school and about the career in general.

During my Buck-I-Serv trip, I bonded with two of the other students very well and we have remained friends over the summer. These trips are a great way to meet other students not in your specific program who have a similar love of service learning as you. We also had wonderful hosts, Ed and Lorraine, who cooked for us and taught us many valuable life lessons as well as a history of the area and the Cherokee Indians.

Both experiences have been vital to my character as well as my future. My internship will have been wonderful experience for graduate school and provide two recommendations from counselors in the field. My Buck-I-Serv experience provided me with a passion for the program, as I plan on applying to do another trip this winter (possibly as a trip leader).

My Internship Abroad in Ireland

In the summer of 2018, I had the opportunity to travel to Ireland to participate in an internship as a part of the STEP Program at The Ohio State University. This internship was genuinely an experience of a lifetime, that included many trials and high points.

While completing my project, I learned multiple lessons and had a change in worldview. This project marked the first time that I ever flew in an airplane, but also traveled outside the United States. Since I completed this project alone, throughout this I learned to advocate for myself when things went awry, while also being responsible for myself and making my plans come to fruition. This experience also made me realize my own determination and perseverance. In addition, I was very surprised and grateful for kindness and generosity that I was shown by multiple people from various backgrounds.

As a result of the multiple trials and interactions that I experienced, I have developed the most personally. At the beginning of my project, I also experienced the mishaps of flying, including missed flights and lost luggage. I planned to travel from Cincinnati, Ohio to Newark Liberty, New Jersey to Dublin, Ireland. Unfortunately, due to unfamiliarity and miscommunication, I missed my flight from New Jersey to Ireland. To make matters worse, my luggage was already transferred onto my flight to Dublin. These events resulted in an enormous amount of stress, discouragement, and the need to rely on others. Thankfully I have a cousin who lives in New Jersey and was able to let me stay with her the night and drive me to the Stewart International Airport in New York the next day. I was informed that when I arrived in Dublin my luggage would be waiting for me, when I arrived I discovered this wasn’t the case. Through my frustration and worry, my host family and coworkers generously cared for me as I waited five days for my suitcase.

Another major issue that I faced was the severity and unpredictability of my asthma. Due to the several factors, including the environment and emotional stress from the previous days, my asthma started to flare up the day I started my internship. I believed once I became accommodated after a few days, my condition would be under control. Sadly, as the days went by, my asthma got even worse in which I experienced multiple asthma attacks and developing a horrible cough. The day I arrived in Ireland until the day I left, my asthma hindered me from fully enjoying my experience and completing my duties. Despite consistently taking medication and going to a doctor, my asthma continued to be life threatening forcing me to leave Ireland after 4 weeks. It was one of the hardest decisions that I’ve had to make, especially after all of the energy, money, and time, that I put into the project.

Even through these trials, I was able to learn from and interact with people from several places around the world with multiple backgrounds. Most of the people I interacted with, whether it was coworkers or a stranger, I was met with an act of kindness or nice word. I met people from all around Ireland, Germany, Italy, Denmark, France, Iceland, and throughout the United Sates, along with their cultures, languages, and perspectives. When I was coming back to the United States, my flight had a 2-hour layover in Reykjavík, Iceland. Due to a delayed flight from Dublin, Ireland, this became a 22-hour layover and in the most spontaneous series of events, I found myself exploring Iceland with four other strangers and it was amazing. Throughout this project, I realized that during times of stress and trial, one of the things that I was most grateful for was the acts of kindness that I was shown, whether it was sharing a cup of tea or being taken along on a mini road trip across Iceland.

Through the literal blood, sweat, and tears that I endured on this project, I gained a realization of my own perseverance, an appreciation for small gestures of compassion, and a better understanding of what the best career options are for me after college. Despite the discouragement and stress, I felt during and after the project, I know that I’ve become more determined because of it and that in the future I will be more prepared to cope with similar situations. Reflecting on how multiple deeds of kindness affected me, I realize how much of an impact they can make on others and plan on doing them more often. This project has given me a better understanding of what career path would be best for my health and has pushed me into exploring other careers within in my major.

 

            

My internship experience in Sydney, Australia

  1. Brief description of STEP Signature Project:

My STEP Signature Project was the Summer Global Internship Program offered through Fisher College of Business. I was an environmental consultant intern at MRA Consulting, located in Sydney, Australia.

(Left: One of my favorite photos of Sydney I took, Right: Outside of the office I worked at)

  1. Understanding of self, assumptions, view of world:

Throughout this internship, a perspective I had before had changed in each of these sectors due to several factors. Not only was this my first internship which was relative to my career path, but it was also was abroad, in a country I have not previously been to. Around 30 students from Fisher College of Business participated in the Internship Program in Sydney, Australia, but because I am not a business major, I still felt as if I was fully immersed in a new environment and had a self-transforming experience. As my college career progresses, I am becoming more independent and confident in myself. However, working abroad by myself really tested this aspect, and I took an unexpectedly long amount of time to adjust to the new environment. However, because I felt isolated, this was an opportunity to truly reflect on myself and my passion. With limited contact with friends and family, I had time to self-reflect in terms of my future career path, as well as personal values.

 

  1. Events, interactions, relationships, or activities that led to transformation:

I decided to go to Australia out of the many countries offered through the program because it was the most environmentally conscious country out of the options. It was obvious that Australia’s values and morals were different from the United States, some visible through mple differences (for example, everyone here carries a “KeepCup”, a reusable mug for coffees. Most of the countless number of coffee shops offer a discount for using a reusable mug).

During my internship, I had the opportunity to attend the Waste Strategy Summit Conference, and heard many speakers from major companies (L’Oreal, IKEA, Lush, etc.) and local businesses on their waste reducing strategies. This event was a valuable experience as it was the first time I have attended a conference with important figures such as CEOs and other representatives. There were a couple of guest speakers from overseas, which shared how their countries managed waste, which made the conference even more educational and further widened my knowledge on waste strategies globally.

A primary interaction that transformed my thoughts on career paths was my supervisor. Because the work environment at the firm was very casual, I could easily approach my supervisor and coworkers for any questions or discussions. My supervisor was very considerate and helpful in trying to make my experience worthwhile. The activities and tasks I accomplished during my internship experience contributed the most to my perspective on the waste industry and environmental consulting. As an overall summary of what my experience was like: My first and primary task was measuring the firm’s carbon footprint. I also assisted coworkers on tasks such as researching and calling potential clients. I also assisted coworkers in an Illegal Dumping project for the local city government, including report writing and presenting to the board.

My main project during the internship was maneuvering the firm toward carbon neutrality. A document named the National Carbon Offset Standard for Organizations, offered by the Australian government was the only resource provided to me as a foundation. Using this document, in addition with many others which I have found, I calculated the current carbon footprint the firm is responsible for. This project took over the course of the entire internship due to a long wait time for information (especially for electricity, water and wastewater usage). There were many numbers that were estimated and conservative, but I believe I left a good foundation, in case they decide to re-evaluate their carbon footprint. I finished up the project with a short report on the process, results, and possible routes the firm can take toward carbon neutrality and becoming certified as a carbon neutral organization. Most of my time was spent assisting other coworkers in researching and calling clients. Whenever any assistance was needed, I received a quick debrief on their project and tasks that needed to be done. They were very concise with what they needed, so I had no problem carrying out the tasks, and it was a rewarding experience because it gave me an insight on projects my coworkers were working on. I took on a wide range of tasks and experiences, and grateful that my internship experience was interesting and provided different experiences outside of the office. Though my interactions with clients, and experiencing how environmental consulting is like, I was determined to pursue environmental consulting as a career path.

  1. Why the transformation is significant and valuable for my life

I believe this transformation in mindset was valuable and necessary because I developed academically, personally, and professionally. Through the many projects and tasks, I was exposed to many important topics and learned a great deal by researching and through difficulties that appeared during projects. I also greatly developed personally by placing myself in a completely unfamiliar environment. This gave me a chance to reflect on my career interest because I came to Sydney to get real-life experience in environmental consulting in an environment-conscious country. Although there were times where I found myself bored at my internship, but that was when I was doing busy work. Because most of my time in Sydney was devoted to the internship, the fact that I enjoyed my time there made me realize that I had a passion for environmental consulting. Finally, I developed in the professional aspect through my first internship experience, where I worked in a professional setting. In addition to achieving professional mannerisms, I had first-hand experience on the difference in cultures while studying abroad, and gained a larger perspective on how Australia handles waste and resources. I am very glad that my first internship was abroad, because I can apply the experiences and perspectives I had abroad to any future internships or jobs.

STEP Ohio State Stone Laboratory Internship

Name: Lindsay Humbles

Type of Project: Internship

For my STEP Project I did an internship with OSU Stone Laboratory. Stone Lab is located on Gibraltar Island on Lake Erie right across from Put-In-Bay. At Stone Lab I was working at the dinning hall, the Aquatic Visitors Center, and for maintenance as well as studying Ecology.

Stone Lab taught me many things about my future career, Ecology, and myself. I learned valuable lessons about working with others, time management, and self sufficiency. This project opened my eyes to more possibilities in my career and showed me what fields I enjoyed and what ones I did not. I gained real field experience and was able to talk to many professionals across the board who have jobs in the biological sciences. I learned the value of science and how it stems into every part of everyone’s lives. Additionally, I now know how much a appreciate outdoor work and getting to be on and study the water. Before Stone Lab, I had only ever studied the ocean and its inhabitants. Now, I have knowledge of both salt and fresh water ecosystems and their similarities and differences.

I have many experiences from Stone Lab to thank for my new knowledge and self transformation. I feel that everything that I did in Gibraltar added to my experience and has helped mold me into the person I am today. Thus, I will give a brief overview of all of the adventures and daily occurrences that influenced me along the way.

During my 5 weeks on Gibraltar, working three days a week and having class the other three kept me very busy. Working for Stone Lab meant a variety of different things. Some days I would work the kitchen, preparing lunch and dinner for the inhabitants of Gibraltar as well as cleaning and organizing the food. Other days I would work for the Aquatic Visitors Center (AVC) answering peoples questions about fishing, Lake Erie, Put-In-Bay, and Gibraltar. My favorite thing that I got to do at the AVC was help kids 15 and younger fish off of our docks. It was a wonderful experience getting to help kids learn a new skill and seeing the joy that they felt when they finally caught a fish on their line. My last job was considered maintenance and it was basically helping upkeep the island and doing anything I could to make sure Stone Lab always ran smoothly.

The days that I was not working, I was studying Ecology. The class, led by Dr. Doug Kane, was a hands-on and stimulating experience. With Dr. Kane, our class of about 9 would go on many field trips and excursions on the island in order to understand Ecology in the field. Some of our trips included visiting the glacier groves and a fossilized quarry in Kelly’s Island to gain knowledge about diversity with landscapes and organisms and how that changes over time, going to the Greater Cleveland Aquarium to learn about salt and fresh water fish and their behaviors, and boating to Sandusky in order to take samples of the water in order to better understand the stratification of the lake. We also preformed many experiments, often times having to swim and dive in the Lake, on Gibraltar and Put-In-Bay in order to advance our knowledge in Ecology.

Further, Stone Lab held presentations on Thursdays where various scientists and researchers from the island would come and present their findings, educate us on new ideas, and present us with opportunities for internships and future career paths. Speakers on everything from The Wilds to the algal blooms of Lake Erie were brought to Gibraltar in the hopes of furthering our education on the subjects. I enjoyed the speakers very much because they gave me a real world understanding of the things that I was studying and the careers that I was interested in.

Although work and class consumed the majority of my time and was a blast, my favorite part about Stone Lab was the friendships and memories that I made along the way. I was lucky enough to meet some brilliant people who went on adventures (on and off the island) with me and ended up becoming my close friends. Additionally, I got to meet the island dog, Newton, who holds a special place in my heart.

This internship has influenced me in almost every way and I keep the lessons I learned close to my heart. Stone Lab further ingrained my love of marine biology and field work. I learned that although I love all bodies of water, I do prefer studying oceans to other fresh water lakes, rivers, streams, etc. The academic and professional guidance that I received during this project is unparalleled. I now have mentors who will help guide me on my journey of going to graduate school and finding a future career. I also know that my career options have drastically widened thanks to the many scientists and researchers Stone Lab exposed me to. I thoroughly enjoyed my time on Gibraltar and would not trade it for the world. I truly hope that I have an opportunity to go back in the future and highly recommend it to anyone who is thinking of perusing a career in the biological sciences.

 

STEP Project Reflection

Name: Kelly Walsh

Type of Project: Internship

During my step project, I was given the opportunity to directly observe a certified Occupational Therapist. During this time, I assisted in therapy games, daily living outcomes, and patient goals for the residents of St. Mary of the Woods.

During my step project, I learned more about myself, as well as my view on the world than I ever thought was possible. Through assisting and observing the occupational therapists, I realized that this truly is what I want to spend the rest of my life doing. This realization was continuously reinforced by my constant happiness throughout the experience. Watching a patient continue to push their boundaries to get better or work towards a goal they have is so rewarding, and always made me so excited for that patient when they finally reached what they were yearning for.

My view on the world also changed throughout this experience. As I was working in a geriatric facility, I was shown what life can look like as one continues to get older. Although all of the patients are around the same age, they are in very different places in their lives. Some of them are working to be strong enough to go back to their home, while others may never be able to leave the facility. As I got to know the families of some of the patients, I also learned just how different families are when it comes to long term care or end of life decisions. My world view has been shifted, as not everyone is blessed with a caring and loving family who will take care of you in your time of need

One relationship that led to the change discussed above was the relationship I developed with the occupational therapist that I was paired with. Alie, who is a recent graduate of Cleveland State University’s Masters of Occupational Therapy program, was a large part of the transformation I have seen within myself relating to this profession. She was constantly teaching me the different ways in which patients are evaluated and treated. I never felt lost, as she kept me updated on every patient, as well as their treatment plan. The constant feeling of being so knowledgeable, even though I have yet to go to school for OT, really allowed me to jump right in and assist whenever I was needed. I was able to truly enjoy my experience, as I felt like part of the team.

I also felt that many of the activities I participated in and assisted with allowed me to grow in my love for occupational therapy. A very popular therapy game that is played with residents consists of testing their balance while they focus on another task. The resident would stand on a foam pad that is uneven, while being carefully watched by the occupational therapist. I would then stand about eight feet away from the resident with a playground ball, and we would bounce the ball back and forth to each other. I enjoyed this game, as the residents would talk to me and tell me stories, but I also was given the opportunity to partake in a therapy session in a way that I felt I was helping the patient become stronger. I loved being able to just have fun with the residents and be excited with and for them when they would beat their balance goal.

Finally, I also was transformed by just being present in this setting. St. Mary of the Woods has three different departments; Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Skilled Nursing. Although the therapy center is located in skilled nursing, some residents from both assisted and independent living are therapy patients. Noticing the differences in skill level between the patients, based on which section of the facility they are from, showed me how fragile life is, as well as how many different ways of life are possible, even when you are considered elderly.

This change has been valuable for my life, as I am currently applying for graduate school. In that process, it is so important to know what you want to do, as graduate school is expensive and time consuming. I would hate to waste time and money on something that I am not 100% sure about. However, I now know that I am 100% sure about being an occupational therapist. I am excited to go to school next year and really dive in to learn as much as I can about this profession, and about how I will be able to change the lives of others. As I hope to work with children in the future, I also know that I wouldn’t mind working with adults or the geriatric population. I really did enjoy my STEP project, and will always be grateful for this opportunity, as it has affirmed for me that I am going in the right direction.

Below are a few pictures from my experience! Unfortunately, due to patient confidentiality, photos of the therapy gyms and patients were not allowed, so you will see photos of the outside of the building and therapy gyms! Although these photos don’t give a great idea of what the therapy gyms looked like, we actually did a lot of therapy outdoors on the sidewalks and grassy areas you will see below. Practicing walking on uneven ground and stepping up onto curbs is a large challenge for some residents, and these pictures continue to remind me of the hard work and dedication I always saw with those residents we would take outside. You also will see a selfie of myself from after the first day of my internship experience!

Step Sydney, Australia Internship

For my STEP project I did a marketing analysis internship for 3M in Sydney, Australia. The trip lasted 8 weeks and I returned July 9th. For my internship I focused on doing analysis in the Australian market to help make recommendations to the brand manager. I also did promotion and gap analysis in order to show the managers what was happening to sales during promotions.

 

This trip helped me go through a couple changes in my life that were very important. The first was my growth into a professional business worker. Before this internship I had only done simple office jobs for smaller companies but being able to do a marketing analysis for a big company like 3M greatly improved my qualities as a worker in the business realm. I was able to try out doing a marketing analysis role and I loved it something I had not expected.

 

Another change that tied into the first one was the independence from everyone that I had to master. This was different from going to college although you can be independent there, you still have friends and family there or close by for help but being 9000 miles away in Australia you have to be able to do well by yourself. I not only changed and became a stronger independent person but I am prepared for the experience many business professionals that go and work in a big city must go through.

 

The first big experience that helped me change was being blessed with working for such a great company like 3M. The people there were all so helpful and made me reach my full potential while working there. I was able to get more and more difficult projects, which helped my confidence grow for my next internship. I was allowed to present in meetings, which I had never done, and also given the chance to make recommendations for future promotions. Since 3M gave me all those opportunities I felt I had proven that I could go out anywhere in the world and be a successful worker. The employees at 3M gave me knowledge and business skills I can use for the rest of my life.

 

For the independence change many things all lead to that happening. First being able to go on the trip with 27 other students from Ohio State was great even though you didn’t know any of them. Quickly you meet everyone and had people that you could experience the city with. Overtime you had many friends, some you worked with, and the rest in the building you live in all that would be there to help you. Having them made you feel that you weren’t totally alone if anything happened. Those relationships helped make the independence change must easier to do.

 

When you get to Australia you get a new sim card and phone number. You are 14 hours ahead of everyone back home and 9000 miles away. If something happened or you needed help figuring something out it had to be from new friends or strangers (or Google). As time went by you learned how to adjust to getting food, transportation, and any other needs. The relationships made at work were great for this because they recommended things to buy, go do, and different tips about the city. I was able to change and be able to navigate the city with ease, make my own food, and find things to do on my own.

 

Another big part of the independence was being independent from America. You had to adjust to all the difference changes Australia brought. Again the relationship with co-workers was a big help for this. They were so nice and helped with any questions about the country you had. Being told about the difference phrases used and different norms they had really helped me adjust to the country.

 

This change I went through is incredibly valuable to me. Being shaped into such a professional business worker before my last year at OSU is huge and I can’t thank 3M enough for helping me with that. Going all the way to Australia for an internship for 8 weeks and being on my own was huge for my confidence in the future. I feel like I can go anywhere in the world now and be able to adjust, get a job, and be content with my choice. This experience is unforgettable and will have forever helped me prepare for leaving college and getting a job in the real world.

 

STEP Internship Sydney, Australia

For my STEP Signature Project, I participated in a global internship. For 8 weeks I stayed in Sydney, Australia and interned for a company called BIS Oxford Economics. The primary objective of my project was to assist me in narrowing my career focus while allowing me to gain workplace skills, expand my professional network, step outside of my comfort zone, and expand my knowledge about a corporate business environment.

Although I have traveled internationally before this experience, I had never had the opportunity to travel without friends or family. During this project, although I was traveling with 24 other Ohio State Students I did not personally know any one. I think that traveling without anyone that I had knew made me have a much greater understanding of myself and what I want in my future both personally and professionally. Primarily, I found out that I really enjoy working in an office and a corporate setting. I enjoyed the comradery, the routine and having a structured schedule, the opportunities for various skills training, and I especially liked when I was able to apply something that I had learned to what I was working on.

Through this project I was also able to expand my view of the world. I think in addition to an education, traveling is the most important thing you can do to grow yourself as a person. One of my biggest transformations from this project was expanding my thinking to try to align myself with some Australian values. Although Australia is generally thought of as a country that has a very good work/life balance, in a big city like Sydney there is a lot more competition and drive to succeed therefore people are more focused on work. To truly get my experience as a corporate employee and what it is like to work in a big city I made sure that I was early for work every day and additionally often stayed late to make sure I was doing my job to the best of my ability and getting as much out of my internship as possible. And I really enjoyed it! I also made sure to get to know my co-workers and ask them about some cool weekend activities that they recommended. The activities that I was able to squeeze in were all amazing and made my trip to Australia so much fun and so well rounded.

In addition to not knowing anyone else on the trip, I was also the only intern working at BISOE from the Ohio State group and the only intern at my company for a while. This meant I traveled 40 minutes to and from work each day on my own. At first it was very lonely, and I was upset that I didn’t have another OSU student to work with but after the first couple weeks I came to really enjoy my 80 minutes a day to myself. In the mornings on my way back from work I would think about what I did the previous day at work and what I would be working on when I got back, I would have time to work through complicated problems that I struggled with before, and I had time to really think about what I enjoyed and didn’t enjoy about each day.

This important self-reflection gave me a certain clarity that I have not had before. It made me understand both personally and professionally what I wanted or didn’t want and more importantly, what was the most important to me. Being alone also forced me to get to know my superiors on a closer level and get to know many of my coworkers. This led to many great social opportunities such as playing soccer at lunch with my coworkers every couple of weeks or hanging out after work and getting to know them better. My self-reflection and new friendships were two great things that came out of me being put into an uncomfortable position and I am really glad with how everything worked out.

I had a very good relationship with my boss at work which allowed me to really lean into the role that I was in and embrace the BISOE  environment. The first day I arrived at work, we sat down and discussed my expectations, his expectations and how the 8 weeks were going to be laid out as well as what I would be working on. The clear communication as well as my boss considering what I wanted to work on and get out of the internship created a very beneficial and productive environment.

I also made sure to put myself out there as much as possible with my coworkers to try to get closer to them. I took every opportunity that was offered to me and therefore had a very good social and professional relationships with my coworkers. The fact that I enjoyed my boss, my coworkers, and the work I was doing really made my trip so much better and gave me a good first taste at a corporate job as well as a very positive view on Australia. I now have a benchmark for future employment about how I expect to be treated as a part of a team as well as some common expectations and good habits to get into.

My two main goals of this trip were to grow myself as a professional while learn about working in a corporate office and getting to see Australia and go on as many different adventures as possible. As I stated I now know that I liked working in a corporate environment and the technical and soft skills that I have learned from my 8 weeks at BISOE have made me into a better critical thinker, harder worker, and more eager to learn about the business world.

As for experiencing Australia, I was able to see many different and magnificent parts of Australia. Some weekends I would go with a group of people and there were a couple times that I would go and explore around by myself. Some of my favorite things I did on my time off was surf camp, the Blue Mountains, hike to the figure eight pools, and the Spit to Manly hike. Each experience was unlike anything I had ever done before, and all gave me new experiences that I am fortunate to now have. I loved the city energy of Sydney, but I also loved the national parks and gorgeous views that were close by too. I am now comfortable with experiencing different things and after doing some things that I was not too sure about (surfing) I am now more open to taking chances and broadening my horizons.

Academically, I am now certain that I would like to go to graduate school to get my MBA. I really like learning new things and challenging my mind and I think after getting more work experience, that would be a great next step for me. This trip has been truly a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am glad that I now have a clear idea of what I want my future to look like academically, professionally, and personally.