2017 Madrid Summer Internship

Name: Bailey Hoppes

Type of Project: Internship

My STEP Signature project was an eight-week internship abroad in Madrid, Spain where I lived and worked. Madrid became a place that I felt I could call home. I fell in love with the culture and the people of Spain. I was able to emerge myself in a new, exciting culture to understand how life can differ from what I am used to. During my internship, I was also able to travel all around Europe. Without STEP I would not have been able to have the best summer of my life.

My view of the world changed dramatically during my time spent in Spain for my summer internship. Not only did I get to see how business works differently in different parts of the world, but I got to experience the culture of Spain and other countries in Europe. Before my experience abroad I had very little interaction with people from Spain or Europe in general other than just for travel, but during my internship I actually had to learn how to communicate with them and really learn about their experiences. It helped me have a better understanding of why diversity is so important in every aspect of our life. Diversity helps us grow in our careers and develop a better understanding of the world around us. I also learned a great amount about the finance and real estate industry which was very helpful in helping me decide what type of future career I wanted. I was never quite sure what I wanted to do after graduation and this opportunity pushed me in a direction of wanting to work in real estate.

During my time abroad, I was able to develop on a personal level as well. Not only was I working with people from another country, but I had to interact with them in every activity of my day to day life, whether that was grabbing a coffee or buying groceries. I had to be confident in myself to know that I was able to interact with other people who were vastly different from me. I gained confidence and realized that I can do anything that I put my mind to. I got to explore my love for traveling by visiting over fifteen countries. I truly was able to explore the world and grow my passion for travel.

During my summer internship, I worked at Resource Capital Partners, a commercial real estate business. In the office, I focused on improving the cash flow model, researching and analyzing the real estate investment market for potential clients, and analyzing current projects to make sure they were on track and up to date. As a finance major, I was excited to be able to focus on the cash flow model and improve its functionality. I worked on a various number of projects and learned a lot about the real estate industry.

One of my coworkers and I were able to work together on many presentations and make sure they were ready for our clients. Sometimes our ideas would collide on what information was beneficial for our clients, and I would begin to get frustrated but these were the times where I came to realize that is important to understand that people may be different from you and have other ideas. I learned that listening to a diverse amount of opinions really helps to develop the best possible presentation and exceed your end goals. Communication is really important in the workplace to create the greatest outcome. This internship brought things I have learned in my classes to life and will improve my future understanding in the classroom. Overall, I learned a various amount of useful skills and grew professionally as I was pushed to my fullest potential.

Being able to travel the world really allowed me to grow into a more confident and independent person. During one of my weekend trips to Munich, my friends and I had thought we were lost and could not get back to the place we were staying. I took it upon myself to lead our group back to our hostel by using my sense of direction and landmarks I had noticed when we had left earlier in the day. I was confident in my abilities and led us back to our hostel safely. This is just one instance where I became more confident and took initiative during a group setting in order to get us where we needed to go. Now, I feel that I could more confidently lead a team to reach an end goal.

Overall, this experience showed me that I am able to do anything I put my mind to and that the sky really is the limit. I am more confident and willing to try new things. Working and living internationally provided me with the desire to keep traveling and exploring the world, and because of this opportunity I hope to eventually work in an international business setting. I am so grateful for the friends and mentors I gained through this experience. This summer will forever remain the best summer of my life. I am so thankful I was able to explore the world, learn, and work all in one amazing, unforgettable trip.

Ethicon Internship

Name: Thomas Erb

Type of Project: Internship

1.My STEP signature project entailed supporting a design team of engineers for a summer Co Op. I worked on testing a surgical device to make sure it met specifications and requirements. Along with this, I was part of the service committee within the Co op group, which entailed scheduling and attending service events.

2.  My worldview changed most from my multicultural experience over the term. My team was based in Shanghai, China and I had to learn to communicate effectively with them. Additionally, the Co Op sitting next to me was from Puerto Rico, and I often helped him with wording Emails in English, as Spanish was his first language. Prior to this experience, I had very little interactions with people from different cultures. I learned the value of a diverse workforce, while learning valuable conversational skills. The Chinese team often approached tasks in a different manner than I would, therefore my greatest learning from this diversity was finding out how to best communicate our methods to still be productive.

I also grew to understand myself better on a professional level. Previously, I had assumed that most professional communication happened over Email while people worked on their tasks at their desk. I learned from my assignment manager the value of getting up from your desk to go talk to people face to face. By doing so, it draws more attention to what you’re working on, while forcing the person to give you attention for a moment. This also ensures that they have heard you, and that whatever you may need assistance with is on their mind. This experience taught me that I need to push myself to engage with people face to face. I also learned that this made the workday significantly more enjoyable, rather than being stuck at a desk all day.

3. My interactions with the Puerto Rican Co Op and my Chinese coworkers helped lead to my change discussed in #2. When I first arrived, I was new to the professional world and had no prior experience with working with an international group. I was the outsider, and had to learn how to communicate effectively to create a positive work experience.

Through my term, four of the Chinese team members were there for 4 of my 12 weeks, and an additional 2 arrived for my final week. The 12 hour time difference taught me the value of working ahead and making sure that I was staying on top of my work to be able to send Emails with questions by the end of my work day, in order to receive a response by the next morning.  For example, in one moment I had to do a test and needed a part stored in a cabinet. Some of the parts were supposed to be used for testing, and other parts were to be kept in good condition for more official testing to come. Because of this, I had to push my testing back an entire day, solely because I was unsure of which cartridges I could use. I ended up having to send a picture of the cabinet for them to respond effectively as to which parts to use.

To teach me to be up front and talk to people, my assignment manager would often introduce me to people in my first few weeks. He’d make a point to introduce me to people I may need to speak to later. The emphasis he placed on this practice taught me that it was something he very much valued. He often spoke to the benefits of doing this, and would almost force me to talk to people directly if possible. By the end of my term, I was much more comfortable talking to new people whom I’d never met before in order to get things done.

Going into this project, I was hoping to grow professionally. I was able to achieve this by gaining experience in a multicultural environment and team. This allowed me to refine my communication. I learned to communicate in a clear concise manner, which fit my audience of engineers from outside the country. Additionally, I got experience working within an Engineering design team which redefined my view of the importance of knowledge that I’ve been gaining through classes.

4. By expanding my work experience to include diverse coworkers, it has taught me the value of having a diverse team to work with. We had many ways of going about tasks, which led to new and innovative ideas. This matters moving forward in my academic life. As I look forward to capstone and undergraduate research, it is likely that I’ll have a diverse team. Having experience working with people of different backgrounds will help ease this situation and give me a head start on forming a productive group environment.

Additionally, I would like to go into management later in my career, and having a sense of how companies collaborate internationally will definitely help me achieve that goal. With this, learning the value of face to face interactions helped to cement in my mind that I like working with people directly. While I knew I didn’t want to do general Engineering work my whole life, this experience showed how I can still be around the world of innovation, while working with people towards an end goal. I also learned a lot from my assignment manager, and would like to be able to help other Engineers later on in life in a similar manner.

Finally, the experience as a whole has given me real world context of why the knowledge that I’m gaining in coursework is important. This can help motivate me to work harder in classes in order to retain information, as I see a practical use for it now.

Internship at The Dannon Company

Name: Jacob Pleiman

Type of Project: Internship


1)    My STEP Signature project was a project engineering internship working on mechanical and fluid dynamics for The Dannon Company which is a food process manufacturing company.  My main responsibility was to oversee the implementation of waste reduction systems where the waste water could be safely reused in other manufacturing steps.  My responsibilities also included collecting water usage data and analytics of the data, turning the information into useful metrics.

2)     This STEP experience allowed me to learn a lot about the world, my approach to work activities, and more importantly how to interact with the people around me in the work place.   Dannon has a great program because they bring all of the interns from across the country to their corporate office in New York at the start of the program.  They introduce the interns to the history of the company and its objectives which revolve around alimentation or bringing healthy food to all people while doing this in a very environmentally friendly way.  The waste reduction and water usage project that I was assigned to was validation of that objective.  In addition, all of the interns worked together on a community service project during this event.

My internship allowed me to learn how to manage others, specifically vendors with whom I coordinated work objectives.  I was assigned several tasks and given some basic guidance around what they involved.  It was my responsibility to go out and make it happen in a real world setting with people of different ages, background, experience levels, and skills.  My approach could not always be the same and I found myself adapting to each situation differently to accomplish a task.  Some could provide specific details and others may have significant experience and expertise.  Some were willing to work with me from the beginning and others required me to build trust with them.  I learned a lot about human nature and how almost everyone cared about their work and valued accomplishing their daily activities.  A big thing is that I learned how to be adaptable and flexible in my approach.  All of these factors also taught me the importance of planning and staying on top of the next steps needed to complete a project.

3)      My project with water reuse and waste reduction was a great experience because I learned about fluid dynamics and how to resolve the challenges we faced as a team.   As is mentioned in number two, there were so many different personalities and skill levels I interacted with to accomplish the project task.  I remember calling into on a weekend to check on some testing that was being done and the hourly team member responsible for this testing was very knowledgeable and not only provided the information I needed but also shared the activities of his entire day.  I could tell work was very important to him and he wanted to ensure I got what I needed.  I was asked to monitor many of the activities associated with this project and soon I found myself leading many activities when the internal project leader was on vacation for two weeks.  By the end even the leading contractors turned to me for decisions on the project.

My responsibilities also included water usage analysis.  I was expected to update all of the drawings called PNID’s for anywhere water was used, even the bathrooms.  Analyzing and updating drawings can be very tedious.  I used the technology in the plant to monitor and analyze flows and check on volume usage in various areas.  From this I made recommendations around where the plant could save water.  The information I collected was going to be used moving forward to justify future projects and the updated drawings stored for future reference.

Working in a food manufacturing plant gave me great exposure to process manufacturing and to all of requirements of producing a consumable product safely.  One of the steps for a new intern is to be indoctrinated into the yogurt making process.  I was afforded the time to spend time in every department in the plant to see and learn what they do.  Some of the critical learnings were around the quality tests to ensure the product will be safe to consume at its expiration date.  The challenge to plan production and transportation of the product to ensure there isn’t too much that cannot be sold and/or too little to meet customer demand.  Unlike a make to order process, it is very different.  Each area of the plant was a great opportunity to learn and seeing how they all interact to deliver a quality product was very interesting.  I will be able to draw upon this experience my entire career.


4)    Working and collaborating with others is critical to accomplish the goals of a project.  I realized that there are not many who like the role of project engineering and leading the tasks of a project.  Once they realized I was willing and capable, I found myself in the middle of a very challenging project.  I was following up with vendors, coordinating schedules, and making sure the task to ensure the successful startup of this systems were secured.  I even called in while on vacation to make sure things were still moving in a positive direction.  I really enjoyed it and believe this leadership experience will be extremely valuable in the future for my academic and future goals.  As I enter into the workplace, I will know what to expect in these situations and how to interact with the people around me.

STEP Reflection – Lacrosse Internship

STEP Reflection

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1. I spent the summer of 2017 working with various lacrosse industries; the Ohio State Men’s Lacrosse team and the Millon Lacrosse Camp. As a student manager of the Buckeye Men’s Lacrosse team, I worked with the team personnel during the practices setting up and tearing down and during the games working on films and other necessary tasks. As a social media director of Millon Lacrosse Camp Ohio, I took professional photos during the camp and made a short promotional video for the camp.

2. Prior to working with such a professional-leveled lacrosse team, I was unsure of what I really wanted in the lacrosse field. I just had a vague passion about lacrosse, wanting to work in lacrosse field without any specific plans or knowledge about the industry. Working with the team as a student manager and working with other lacrosse industry as a social media director, I was able to broaden my knowledge and deepen my understanding about how various lacrosse industries work.

3. All the events with the lacrosse team, practices, home games, away games, and camps also, and all the interactions with the squad and the coaching staffs and other personnel in this industry helped me a lot to discover what I truly want to become in this lacrosse field. The summer with the lacrosse team allowed me to narrow down the options I could focus on in this broad industry.
Working as a student manager of a college lacrosse team, I was able to learn about how the program runs, what responsibilities each role in the team has, what abilities are required in order to be a successful team, and what it is like to work with a college athletic team. The men’s lacrosse team had 16 wins total in the 2017 season, reaching the Final Four for the first time in the program’s history and competing in the National Championship game at the Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Closely experiencing college lacrosse by the side, I eliminated all the other options and decided to work in college lacrosse industry in the days to come. Filming the practices, filming the games, working with technology during games, studying lacrosse during team film sessions, working on the sideline during the games and all the moments with the team are so irreplaceable which is why I want to work with college lacrosse teams afterwards.
After the seasons over, the lacrosse team hosted various camps for the youngsters to learn and to enjoy the sport of lacrosse. As a student manager, I also participated as a staff for all the camps, working closely with the staffs and the players of the team. Working closely with youth lacrosse players, teaching them how to throw properly, how to catch properly, how to defense properly, and how to play lacrosse well, I found out the passion of coaching lacrosse in myself. At a Buckeye Top 200 camp, I coached the white team for the All-Star game and won a first W as a coach at the Shoe. Even though it was just a game at a camp, it was my first experience coaching a team and leading them to win. Interacting with the coaches and young players, I felt the fierce passion of coaching in myself.

4. All the experiences and the transitions throughout the STEP project are really valuable for my life since I was able to eliminate some options and find what I really want and should be focusing on. These changes will affect on how I choose what classes to take since I am majoring in Sport Industry and I can create my own minor. Moreover, the changes will affect on how much time I spend on lacrosse, whether it is studying the sports of lacrosse or actually playing lacrosse or studying coaching.

STEP Reflection

  1. I learned about novel TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) signaling in fibrosis diseases and cancer for the development of novel TRAIL-based therapies and imaging under Dr. Seulki Lee, my mentor. He is an expert in drug and protein drug delivery, nanotechnology and molecular imaging leading to more than 120 articles in peer-reviewed journals and 20 patents for drug/protein deliver and diagnostic imaging methods.
  2. Before I went to Baltimore for my internship, it was always my thought that since we are so technically advanced, every disease/health related problems were curable. I was wrong. My internship at Johns Hopkins University medical center was about liver fibrosis, a liver disease without definite cure. This motivated me to push further to become a doctor or a researcher in order to treat patients since my goal is make every disease curable so everyone can be saved regardless of their condition.
  3. While in Baltimore, I participated in one of their exciting translational research projects, the development of bioengineered recombinant human TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) proteins for fibrosis and cancer therapy. Through this project, I gained deeper knowledge about liver fibrosis, such as the cause of the disease, effect of the disease, chemicals that act activated once liver fibrosis is in process and many more. Drinking too much alcohol is one of the main cause!

On top of learning about liver fibrosis, I got an opportunity to acquire hands on skills regarding administration of drugs and experimental compounds in mice and rats (Intraperitoneal Injections). I injected 50 mouse everyday with olive oil, a placebo, and CCl4, a chemical used to trigger liver fibrosis in mouse.  It was great to actually participate in one of the research that was ongoing and be a part of something that could potentially become an actually medicine in the future.

With the support of STEP fund, I learned how to strategize a research direction towards a successful translation of newly developed bioengineered protein drugs and drug delivery systems. I also interacted with both clinicians and research scientists throughout the Johns Hopkins Medical Institute with expertise in their own field that I never would imagined of working with.

  1. As I stated from question 2, this projected confirmed what I wanted to do in the future is indeed what I want to become, a doctor or a researcher. I love helping people in general since I grew up my parents who are both doctor go to several mission trips to Philippines and other countries. I want to do what my mom and dad is doing and I truly believe I can become like them!





STEP Reflection

Name: Jordan Whealdon

Type of Project: Internship

My STEP Signature Project was the completion of an internship at the Juvenile Justice Coalition. Working with youth who have become involved with the criminal justice system, as an intern with the JJC my activities included creating curriculum for community outreach programs, working on the organizations case management system, and providing support along the way for public policies such as HB 410 which focused on truancy in schools, and ways to improve institutional responses.

My understanding of myself deepened greatly through the completion of this internship. One discovery and transition I made was that I learned that I have a passion for community organization. For the first time in my college career I was presented with the opportunity to do some of the behind the scenes work that goes into implementing community programs and actions. Being able to break out of my typical role as volunteer, I was able to conduct my own research on what our local communities and schools need, and create curriculum that reflects the long-term goals we are working to achieve. I realized that I want to be an advocate for those whose voices are silenced, and that I am able to do that not only through participation in activities like protests, site-ins and community meetings, but by being the person that compiles the resources that make these events possible.

One of my biggest projects that I completed during my internship was creating curriculum for a weekly program for high school students. Called Voices Of the Unheard (VOU), this program works to create a student-led space that is dedicated to eliciting positive change for youth participants and their surrounding communities. I was given the responsibility of creating a 12-week model that included activities centered around leadership. With a goal to help the youth participants become leaders within their school, my curriculum worked to help the participants learn more about themselves and who they are as a leader. This foundation ultimately led into a semester long project where they would identify a need within their communities and plan an action that impacted that effort. This activity was by far one of the most impactful, as it allowed me to learn more about community organizing while also providing me insight into areas where resources are lacking in the Columbus community.

Another project that allowed me to delve into the realm of professionalism was my work on improving the case management system at the JJC. A three-woman organization, the JJC has 3 full-time employees, two of which also run PJP (Peoples Justice Project) which is a community organization centered around activism and empowering people of color. With no full time social worker, I was asked to use what knowledge I had collected thus far in my studies, and create a document of best practices. This opportunity allowed me to learn more about my major and ways in which social workers go beyond the micro-level of service. I was able to conduct research and compile various documents that would be able to streamline the JJC intake process, while also collected the necessary information to connect the youth to additional resources.

My supervisor, Erin Davies, is a superwoman to say the very least. Her passion and dedication to the work she does is immeasurable, as she not only runs the JJC, but pushes through public policy, while simultaneously partaking in community actions throughout Columbus. Her advocacy inspired me, and showed me that there are no limits on the impact you can have if you truly care. This relationship helped me to set goals for my future, as I strive to dedicate my life to meaningful work where I am able to use the privileges I have been afforded for the betterment of our communities and institutions.

I touched on this before, but my time at the JJC has been valuable to my life as it has allowed me to develop not only as a professional but as an individual. Being an active part of this organization has provided me the opportunity to work with communities I may have never otherwise gotten to interact with. I was able to gain experience as a social worker, as I explored the dual roles of social workers as teachers, advocates, and allies. My STEP experience has solidified my dedication to social justice, and has shown me that community organizing is something I could see myself doing long-term. I am thankful to STEP for allowing me to fully submerge myself at the Juvenile Justice Coalition, and learn more about what it means to be the change.

Investment Banking Networking/Internship Experience

STEP Reflection Post


Andy Burpee.5




My STEP signature project was a pretty unique experience. I went on multiple networking trips around the country in order to prepare for a career in Investment Banking. I met and established connections with alumni, professionals, and banks in New York City, Chicago, and Minneapolis.


I underwent a pretty rapid transformation in my first visit to New York City. Being from the Midwest and specifically Columbus, Ohio, I have been pretty sheltered from big cities. When I first took a step in New York City, I knew this was a city for me. The hustle of the city was radiant. I flew and traveled by myself and this was an eye-opening experience. Although Ohio State is massive, I have never felt smaller than I did in NYC for the first time.

I quickly understood that this was an environment I loved and thrived in. Right after the trip in NYC, I told myself I would work there. Especially being interested in Investment Banking and high finance, there is no better place to start a career and it was apparent to me after this experience that I would settle down in NYC.


The first moment I really knew NYC was the city for me was when I met with a family friend and neighbor who was currently an Investment Banking Associate. His demeanor and attitude was something I felt I embodied and one that I wanted to emulate. We had not met in quite some years and it was an interaction that has meant a lot to me to this day. When he told me of the hours he was working and the work he was doing, I became very excited and did not shy away.

A second encounter that helped bring about my change of heart and love for a big city came in meeting with a former baseball coach of mine. He too is in a career in Investment Banking and I really view myself similar to him just a few years younger. This affected me because here I see someone very like-minded and from a similar background as myself, flourishing in this city and environment. Both bankers and friends I individually met with suggested I was a great fit for investment banking and particularly New York City.


The Fisher Futures program I went on two of these trips with went on multiple bank visits throughout our stay. One particular experience/bank visit stands out most to me and that was with KeyBanc Capital Markets. Our visit to the KeyBanc office was extremely interesting and educational. The bankers there were genuine curious in us and our development as finance students and hopeful investment bankers. The deals and transaction that KeyBanc is involved in are firmly in the middle market. In hearing these experiences with clients and deals, I quickly knew the middle market was what I wanted to target with regards to ideal investment banks.


A final relationship and interactions that transformed me as a person was my meeting of all the other students in Fisher Futures. I would have never guessed these classmates to become some of my good friends, but they truly have. The like-mindedness and similar career goals certainly played a huge factor in the facilitation of our relationships. These classmates and friends pushed me to my full potential and I think the environment Fisher Futures embodies strives everyone in the program to their maximum potential.


This project and transformation was huge for me. I want to preface this paragraph that I have accepted an Investment Banking Summer Analyst position in New York City with Piper Jaffray. I am extremely humbled and excited for the opportunity. Being the first person from Ohio State to work for this firm straight from undergrad means so much to me. The opportunities I was provided through the Fisher Futures program and thus through STEP have led me to this amazing position today.

Because of the project, I have become far more professional and well equipped for the world of business. I hope to work for Piper Jaffray after graduation in NYC and this project has led me to this goal. I grew massively professionally and personally from this project and experience. As a result, I am much more confident and I think that will carry me a long way. Once again, I am very appreciative of the project and experience for helping me reach the position I am in today.