STEP Internship Reflection

My STEP Signature Project included working at an asset management firm in downtown Cincinnati during the summer of 2017. I worked as an intern full-time as a part of the investment team. My contributions included three main projects: 1) research project on historic U.S. recession trends , 2) research Socially Responsible Investing and how our group can utilize this new asset class going forward, and 3) review client asset allocations and determine if they are within the Investment Policy Statement and Risk Tolerance Profile ranges.

My internship was an eye-opener into the investment management industry. I reaffirmed my interest in investments when working for this firm. I knew I enjoyed reading and learning about the financial markets daily, but I thought maybe I’d lose interest. I didn’t, and my interest expanded. I didn’t know what to expect in terms of how much of my day I would get to spend learning versus working on busy work. It turns out I was able to grow so much because I was able to ask an endless amount of questions to my bosses. There were times where I would stay after and talk to my co-workers asking them for their opinions on certain companies, trends, or sectors.

One of my bosses allowed me to come by his desk at four in the afternoon each day. I would usually come to him with a few things I wanted to ask him and this would typically turn into a full hour conversation. Speaking with him allowed me to develop a contrarian, value-oriented investment approach. He wouldn’t get caught up in the growth firms with extreme valuations and I appreciated his view because it was a breath of fresh air in the industry.

One key learning point of my experience was when I was asked to make fundamental, valuation, and technical calls on the 30 or so holdings in one of our strategies. This wasn’t brand new to me, but doing the research and coming up with the thesis for the companies on my own was a new challenge. I found that I often agreed with the group on many of the opinions, but my views differed a few times and that was when I really learned the most. For example, I said that I found the valuation of a certain company to be reasonable due to it’s growth rate, 1 of my bosses did agree, but the others in the room did not agree. This was tough for me to try to explain myself, but I did my best and made the most of the opportunity to speak up in front of the group. This was a nerve-wracking experience at first, but I’m glad I did it and it will be well worth it in the long run!

This change was important because I was able to open myself up in a professional environment and got comfortable with asking questions to adults who are my older than I am. My professionalism was greatly enhanced because of this summer opportunity. I was able to meet many new people and present in front of the managing directors. The skills I gained this summer will allow me to be very employable by the time I start looking for a full-time job. Some of the key takeaways from this summer skills-wise would be: interview capability, decision-making ability, presentation skills, networking skills, technical financial skills, computer skills, office skills, and professional dress. Without these skills, it would be tough to find employment, but that was the reason I sought out an internship for this summer and made sure it was with the right group of professionals.

My Internship at Blue Sky Therapy

Name: Kayla Zuber

Type of Project: Internship Project

For my internship project, I worked as a rehabilitation technician and therapy intern for Blue Sky Therapy in Scioto Community skilled nursing facility. This internship allowed me to gain practical knowledge on healing and strengthening the body, and to have a more multi-faceted view on the rehabilitation provided by Physical Therapists. Through this internship, I explored the roles of a physical therapist in the skilled nursing facility setting.

Prior to this internship, I knew that I wanted to devote my academic career to becoming a physical therapist. I knew that it would be a challenging career, and one that directly aligns with my goals and aspirations to provide care to others. However, I did not have a clear idea on what providing care for individuals looked like. This experience taught me what the physical therapy profession entails. It also helped shaped my views on the physical therapy profession and the skills necessary to provide quality care to patients.

During my time at Blue Sky Therapy, I learned how to conduct myself among the geriatric population. Further, I gained an appreciation for the struggles that the geriatric population experiences on a day to day basis. This internship has also taught me about large scale social issues; most specifically aging, decline and the forms it can take in people’s ordinary lives. These lessons directly shaped my goals for myself with the field of physical therapy. I now want to learn more about providing optimal patient care in order to best serve my future patients. I saw the large impact quality patient care had on the recovery of the residents. I want to be one of the therapists that takes the time to really provide support and compassion to those in need.

While working with Blue Sky Therapy, my duty was to maintain an optimal therapy environment for the residents at the nursing home. This required me to clean, prepare, and organize the therapy spaces in between therapy appointments. When the gym spaces were adequately prepared, I prepared the paperwork necessary for the residents to receive their therapy. Additionally, I transported patients to and from their therapy appointments, as many of them are immobile. Though these tasks seem simple, they were the avenue through which I learned valuable lessons on the importance of quality patient care.

Because I was always transporting patients, I developed a strong bond with many of the residents. I received feedback from them on how much happier they felt in their exercises when they were working in a clean facility. This helped me realize the importance of maintaining a cleanly space for their therapy. They also gave me lots of feedback on how appreciative they were to have someone supporting them and showing them compassion during their rehabilitation. I valued my patient interactions because I knew that as a future physical therapist, I would one day work with individuals who struggle similar issues. Further, these patient interactions showed me how much better the patients performed when they had a connection with their therapist or myself. When they knew that I was there rooting them on, they felt more motivated to give more effort in their therapy appointments.

Lastly, these patient interactions granted me the opportunity to witness firsthand the struggles that the residents in a skilled nursing facility go through. I gained a lot of empathy for the geriatric population after witnessing the effects of physical atrophy and decline. Observing this physical decline amongst the residents has allowed to learn the importance and impact of treating patients with compassion and support.

This lesson was made very clear to me during my time with a stroke patient. One of the women I transported had a stroke in her old age that changed her world completely. She is no longer able to move the right side of her body. She needs hours of therapy a day to work towards returning function to her body. Through witnessing her therapy and rehabilitation I learned to have patience and compassion for people struggling with age related disorders. This experience showed me the distress and impairment it creates in people’s lives. All of these interactions helped shape me into a more compassionate care giver. I learned the hardships associated with aging, and the importance of providing these individuals with compassion and quality patient care.

The lessons I gained from working with Blue Sky Therapy improved my skills as a care provider, and helped me learn the importance of excellence patient care. The field of Physical Therapy is constantly evolving to continually provide the most optimal rehabilitation care for patients. Thus, it was important for me to observe and understand the therapy profession prior to entering graduate school to stay updated and educated on the field.

Finally, this internship allowed me to gain a better understanding of the profession and the importance of patience and compassion for your patients. Through working with patients one on one, I gained vital interpersonal skills. I am so thankful for this experience, as this internship perfectly fused together my desire to become a caring physical therapist with my aspirations of working with people who want to improve themselves, and my dedication to provide support to individuals trying to live healthier lifestyles.

Worthington Industries Internship

This past summer I interned at Worthington Industries. I was part of a continuous improvement team focused on the Steel division of their business. I worked closely with multiple departments both at corporate headquarters and at a few steel plants to help improve their processes. This involved multiple Kaizen events and projects, as well as managing for daily improvements.

My internship was an amazing learning experience for me. The work that I did not only closely aligned with my personal values, but also expanded my knowledge more than I could have imagined, and set me up to be even more successful in my final two years of college. To gain a feel for the business world while still in college is almost invaluable. I left my internship with a better understanding of how I can find a niche in a company, and how what you do can impact your career.

I think the most important aspect of my internship being a success was the company I was with and my managers. The two managers I had over the summer were high achieving individuals and their main goal for my internship was for it to be a great learning experience. My personality meshed well with this, because by being able to digest information quickly allowed me to continue to seek more learning opportunities and get involved in additional side assignments and projects. Worthington is also a great company that puts people first, so it was a great environment to work in.

Over the course of my internship I got exposure to a number of different facets of the business, including sales, marketing, quality, production, and S&OP. This was important because I got to see many parts of the business, and being adaptable was key to my role. Understanding some of these processes gave me a good base of knowledge to build on in my future classes, and make learning certain concepts easier because I already have experience with them. I even got to play a significant role in an operations kaizen at one of their plants. I attached a picture of the result of some of our efforts during that kaizen rearranging a work station and performing 6S.

Another key aspect was building relationships with many individuals over the course of my summer. I was very pleased with the availability and exposure to leadership within the organization. I want to get into business management, and there is almost no better opportunity than being able to pick the brain of someone who runs a multi-billion dollar company. I think the quality of relationships I was able to build with both co-workers and leadership speaks to the type of people that work there as well as the company’s business model. They definitely impacted me and my experience, and I gained a lot that will be useful to me in my career.

The personal and professional development I got out of my internship was very beneficial and will help me achieve my goals. As a result of my project I got functional knowledge, professional relationships, and a better understanding of myself and what I can/want to do. It already has had a positive impact on my academic success. I decided not to continue with the company part-time, but I have the option to go back and most likely have a job upon graduation. I consider my project a success, and am grateful for the opportunity to have had a significant internship.

Arts Administration Internships

My STEP project included two internships. I worked 20 hours a week at the Wexner Center for the Arts, where I was the development department assistant. I worked 10 hours a week at Wild Goose Creative, where I was a marketing and fundraising intern. My funding was used to support my housing costs and food costs for the summer.

STEP funding was transformational for me because I learned a lot about myself. I learned how to live and work independently, especially when many of my roommates were out of town during the month of May. I learned how to manage a budget and plan effectively for meals. I was empowered to live and work on my own in a city other than the city I grew up in by this funding opportunity.

I recognized how independent STEP funding allowed me to become when I contracted mono midway through the summer. At first, I thought I was still just burned out from the semester. I had been miserable for a week, and I went to the doctor to check for strep. When I came home, realized I would be exhausted and isolated for the next month and a half, I nearly broke down crying. But I couldn’t. I completed work for my two jobs, did my laundry, prepared some meals that I could actually swallow, and went to bed.

STEP, in a much more meta way, also made me recognize how much I regretted using this funding for housing and food for the summer. I should have used the money for a school trip, which would be much simpler to report back on. I was blinded and myopic because I thought my obligations to opportunities I had over the summer would shut me out from ever attending such programming. When I recognized my position wasn’t a good fit, I was liberated. If I could do it again, I would have waitressed and taken on more jobs to pay for my housing. The STEP process, while a generous and cool idea, was such a frustrating nightmare that I would much prefer doing a simple school trip.

Living in Columbus over the summer was constructive because I was able to attend festivals and performances I’d always longed to go to, including Arts Fest, Com Fest, and Angels in America at the Short North Stage. While I struggled this summer, I also matured. I started to recognize my own pride and inadequacy in my internships that I often took for granted during the school year.

My goal is to work as a fundraiser for an arts organization. Working through the STEP bureaucracy, which generously gave me a second chance to submit a second chance proposal when my first was inadequate because I wrote shortly after a concussion, was actually incredibly frustrating. I learned that grantors can force unnecessary and counterproductive busy work, but that I can’t resent that system. All grantmaking processes are fundamentally flawed, and I will have to jump through plenty of loopholes to succeed in my future life. I learned to be more patient– I should not have jumped the gun and used my STEP opportunity early because I thought I might not get another chance to do it. I should have swallowed my pride and asked my parents to help support me during a physically and emotionally draining summer.

 

STEP Reflection Forsyth County Health Department Internship

For my STEP signature project, I was accepted to do a summer internship at the Forsyth County Health Department in Georgia so I could further explore the field of public health. During this internship I would be able to shadow and assist on daily appointments and see the inner workings of how a public health department is run and the day to day procedures that occur from patient interaction to paperwork. I thought this would be a good opportunity for me because of my interest in the field of public health and my desire to eventually receive my Master’s degree in Public Health so I can one day have a career in the field.

One of the big questions I had going into this project was whether or not I could handle the day to day activities that a public health professional had to deal with – did I only like public health in theory or could I really do this as my career?  Up until this point I had learned about the details of public health – I had learned about epidemiology and different healthcare plans but this last summer I got to learn about the people. People were a huge part of public health, and their behaviors have the ability to make a huge impact on different public health issues. Whether or not I had the capability to work with a variety of people and to be able to get them to open up to me would be key in my success in the field of public health.

Ultimately, I am a people person and one of the reasons I chose to pursue a career in the field of public health is because I wanted to deal with people rather than simply sit at a desk all day working with numbers that did not have much of a meaning to people. I wanted to be able to put those numbers and information to people and be able to see why things were the way they were and I was given that opportunity every day when I went to my internship, from seeing different TB test results, to getting to shadow the head epidemiologist I got to see the people aspect of public health this past summer. It further proved to myself that the field of public health is where I could see myself working for my career after school. I was also able to see the way that politics was heavily tied into the healthcare industry, even at a local level when it was not concerning the overall healthcare plan. Learning about these connections gives me a better understanding of the field and gave me the opportunity to adapt to different situations I may not have seen myself in otherwise.

Every day at my internship I got to work with amazing public health nurses who dealt with things from checkups for kids who moved in for the new school year to STD cases to severe Tuberculosis cases. We had to deal with social issues that often had a crossover into one’s medical issues such as distrust of the government, religion, and parental concerns. Often times in order to overcome these, facts were not the answer that patients needed but in fact they needed a sympathetic person to calmly explain that we were all on the same side. In fact, here my ability to relate to minority groups since I am part of one and my ability to speak another language came as an unexpected handy tool. There were a couple of instances in particular where I would be in the examination room and the patient and after the nurse would give a particular diagnosis/suggestion sometimes the patient would turn to me and ask what I thought of this despite me being severely underqualified to give her an answer myself. Here what was needed was someone the patient could relate to, despite the qualifications, so even though I would just echo what the nurse had said it seemed more legitimate to them since I also agreed and we were a part of the same group of people.

Overall, this experience was an amazing opportunity for me to further my commitment, connections, and understanding of the field of public health. I was able to meet some really amazing people who do what I want to do with my life and I was able to apply what I learned in the classroom into real life. I was also able to pick up new skills and develop a new understanding of people – in order to treat their physical needs they needed their mental needs attended to first, whether that be someone they can relate to or simply someone they can talk to in order to quell their doubts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Columbus Internship Reflection

This past summer I worked as an International Business Advisory Intern for Nachurs Alpine Solutions. This position was in Marion, OH but I lived just off campus here in Columbus. In this position I conducted research and analysis on potential new markets for NAS using a variety of internal and external resources. I also pushed rail quotes and worked with closely third party logistics organizations to develop logistics solutions which concluded in making recommendations directly to senior management. Completing this internship over the summer was indeed a transformational experience for myself.

Over this summer in my internship I learned many things about myself and the world I lived in. These different learning experiences made me a better person and better prepared me for the remainder of my college career and life after graduation. I learned that it is more important to have good data and proper facts to make sound decisions and not just make decisions based on what you or a boss may think is the best call. This summer was the first time I had to grocery shop on my own, feed myself and clean my home, certainly a different situation than living in the dorms and being on a meal plan. While completing my STEP signature project over the summer I was exposed to many new situations and experiences, in and out of the office, that contributed to who I am right now.

As I went through my internship one of the more impactful things that I learned is that it is important to make decisions that are grounded in complete data and facts and consider many different variables and not just what you or a superior may think is the best choice. The basis of my job at Nachurs was to identify potential new international markets for them to to begin exporting to. When I began the position, management was very interested in exporting to one particular market but once I began collecting relevant information and data that particular market was not the best option. Presenting what management didn’t want to hear was difficult to do but was the best decision and management appreciated me making recommendations off what I actually interpreted to be the best option. From this experience I also learned how important it is to not make big and impactful decisions off of a whim.

The funds available to me via the STEP program made it possible for me to live outside of my family home and outside of the dorms giving me a new experience. Having to budget for groceries and other essentials put a new level of responsibility on me and gave me the chance to grow up a bit and take on new responsibilities for myself. My signature project was very much a real life (grown up) experience that better prepared me for after graduation and better prepared me to handle life during school and excel with a heavy workload. This summer internship and the experience of the summer was invaluable in developing myself and my character into being more responsible, mature and ready for the rest of my college career and life.

By having the opportunity to have a full time internship I had the chance to work in a position and office that could be similar to a position I could be applying for after graduation. In a broad view, the position that I held was mainly a desk job and involved much paperwork and research in a stationary location. As the summer progressed I found sitting at a desk and trapped inside to not be something I want to do for the rest of my life even though many jobs are going to involve lots of paperwork at a desk. Because I was spending my entire week inside, I ended up taking full advantage of my weekends and traveling to new places and experiences across the country or spending lots of time exploring Columbus. By having a full time desk job for the first time I quickly learned how valuable time is and how important it is to take advantage of my free time doing things that I enjoy or experiences that will benefit me.

The transformation that I went this summer during my STEP signature project was incredibly significant to my life. The experience that I gained on the job in my internship was invaluable and helped prepare me for a more challenging semester of classes and future employment opportunities. The experience of living away from home and out of the dorms developed me as a person and allowed me to learn more about myself. Completing the STEP signature project was a significant piece in helping me achieve my personal and professional goals and it also set me up to be better prepared to take on my future plans. The STEP experience has been an incredibly important part of my journey here at Ohio State and I am very thankful to be a part of it.

Congressional Internship Program at the District Office of Congresswoman Joyce Beatty

This past summer, I had the opportunity to participate in the Congressional Internship Program at the District Office of Congresswoman Joyce Beatty through the Second-Year Transformational Experience Program. I was able to discover the interrelatedness of law, media, education, and politics and learn more about the inter-workings of public service in the Columbus community.

Each day, I retrieved the mail and entered it into an electronic system called FireSide. Here, we would log constituent mail and categorize it in order to send it to the appropriate staff member in Washington D.C. so they could provide each citizen with a personalized and detailed response. In addition, I would answer the telephone and either have a conversation with a community member about the issue which they were calling, or forward their call to the appropriate staff member. Occasionally I would look into the specific issue they were calling about in order to provide them with a response. For example, constituents frequently called about current events (i.e. a House Bill that recently passed), and request more information, as they wished to know how they or their community would be impacted. Toward the end of my internship, I was given the opportunity to write Proclamations for upcoming events, attend staff meetings, and assist other staff members with casework.

Prior to the project, my interests included civil and human rights, the courts, crime and criminality, and education. All such factors impact our diverse global society. I anticipated the Congressional Internship Program would foster my learning and development, enhance my educational experience and academic curricula, prepare me for my chosen profession, and fashion me into a contributing member of society.

Throughout the project, my interests waivered little. Approximately halfway through the program, my interest in education grew. However, I think part of this had to do with a recent child-centered experience. Therefore, I began looking into a duel degree in Early Childhood Education. But, the program soon made me realize that I did not want to sit at a desk in a cubicle for eight hours a day. The tasks I was assigned seemed to become monotonous, and I felt as if I was reliving the same day over again. This allowed me to realize that pursuing a career in teaching – aside from the fact that at this point in my academic career it was seemingly unrealistic – may also lead to a monotonous career.

I am still interested in civil and human rights, the courts, and crime and criminality. When I had the opportunity to assist with casework, I worked closely with a Veterans liaison. (To note: he was pursuing a Masters in Criminology and was a former member of the military.) In Veterans cases, for example, a member of the armed services was interested in utilizing their G.I. Bill in order to complete their education but was unsure how; we provided aid. Due to this work experience and the relationship I developed, I decided to pursue an additional minor in Military Intelligence, thus enhancing my educational experience and academic curricula.

This program also allowed me to expand my professional network, deepen my understanding of policy issues and interact with constituents in the region. I gained my own perspective on the role of the federal government in the criminal justice system, media, and education.

This program presented me with the opportunity for career advice and professional development while allowing me to solidify both my academic and professional goals. In addition, this experience allowed me to expand upon and gain workplace skills including but not limited to professional courtesy, self-motivation, enthusiasm, flexibility, and computer literacy.

I began correspondence with members of the district office in January 2017. These individuals, as well as other internship supervisors, have and will continue to serve as impactful personal and professional mentors who will assist in connecting me with opportunities in my professional field of interest. Ultimately, these individuals have allowed me to expand my professional network, facilitating in job placement after graduation.

Through this internship, I was provided with a hands-on educational work experience. This internship was unpaid – nor were other benefits provided – but the fortuity to learn more about myself and my strengths and talents more than compensated for this.

Alex Arman STEP Internship

This past Summer, I worked as an intern at Material Handling Services LLC. in Perrysburg, Ohio. At this internship, I worked primarily in gaining cash flow visibility across all business units under MHS. I used Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications in order to automate the transfer of transaction reports downloaded from Material Handling Services’ bank’s website to a master workbook in Excel. From there, the scripts I wrote would transfer the data into cash flow reports for the different business units to assist with corporate cash allocation decisions.

I learned that I try to make things operate as simply as possible, and that this might not always be the best way to handle a problem. In my time at MHS, I was working on automating data extraction from a (sometimes) very complex system of zero-balance bank accounts. I often ran into issues with the scripts I was writing because of the way certain bank accounts had to operate in exception to others. This gave me some perspective on how certain problems may be too complex for automation or set-in-stone rules for operations.

As my work came to an end in the last couple weeks of the internship, I began to see that my job had become almost obsolete as I was working on automating data entry. The tools I provided MHS with were very valuable, however I did run into some problems with getting things automated. There were some technical issues with how bank accounts were set up that made some reports inaccurate as my scripts relied on ZBA activity. In finding these issues out, I had the opportunity to learn about the complexities of a multi-business unit organization and how their bank infrastructure required a lot of malleability.

I also found that my outside perspective allowed some of my superiors to review their data visibility situation with a more critical eye. This gave them room to improve their efficiency in consolidating data in order to make decisions. The scripts I wrote then became a valuable asset as they were able to gather the information necessary for a weekly cash disbursements meeting that would normally take up to an hour with just the click of a button. So I did find automation to be very useful but not without its drawbacks.

In my time working on automation, I also designed reports that compared cash flow forecasts to actual cash flow results. This allowed me to see how upper management made its cash disbursement decisions based on the accuracy  of these reports. I was surprised to see exactly inaccurate these reports could sometimes be, and wanted to create a statistical model to assist upper management with its decision making. However, in a meeting with a superior, an explanation of the actual operations underlying one of the business unit’s cash flow forecasts I was evaluating revealed some variables that were not quantifiable. This shed more light on how not all aspects of running a business can be easily taken care of with a computer.

In learning about the faults of automation I gained the experience necessary to see where it can become very useful for a business and where it may be better to think critically. I learned that the fundamentals behind the numbers on spreadsheets must not be overlooked and that a critical evaluation of any given situation allows for the creativity necessary to make decisions that will help any business operate in the long run. Academically, this was a straight-forward lesson. As far as my professional career is concerned, my insights here have given me some great perspective on what it takes to become a critical thinker and efficient decision maker, only fueling my desire to pursue a career in finance.

Columbus Clippers Internship

Kady Gies

Internship

For my STEP Signature Project, I completed an internship with the Columbus Clippers, starting in January and ending in September. During that time frame, I worked all 71 home games the team played as well as attending all special events held at the ballpark.  I assisted with ticket operations, marketing and promotions, ballpark operations and so much more.

Many may think, how could baseball change or transform your view on the world? In all honesty, I thought the same thing.  But surprising myself and many others, baseball can change your views.  It brings the entertainment industry as well as your own life into perspective.  Working within the Minor-League Baseball system really shows you the importance of family.  Family is important within the people you work with, just because they are your coworkers does not mean you can’t connect with them.   A family atmosphere between the employees of an organization is what makes that organization thrive outside of the office.  It also reemphasizes the importance of family in an entertainment sense.  Families are one of the Columbus Clippers biggest supporters and we consider how important it is to get their feedback as well as cater to their needs and wants.  The family atmosphere contributed to the solidification of what I want to do with my degree once I graduate as well, reassuring myself that I want to work within Live Experience and/or Community Impact.

Like I had previously mentioned in the paragraph above, the family atmosphere was a huge aspect of my internship with the Columbus Clippers. The relationships that built that connection was with various staff members within the organization, including the full-time staff members, other interns, or even the GM and President of the organization.  As an intern, you weren’t unimportant, your goals and aspirations were important and they wanted to learn about your story.

One of the activities that I took part in while at the Columbus Clippers was Family Fun Day, every Sunday home game.  Those were the days where families flooded the stadium, hoping to have an enjoyable day out, for the children and adults.  Like I had mentioned earlier, families are our biggest supports especially on Sundays.  To stay true to the organizations values we continue to make our atmosphere and experience family friendly, from the moment you purchase tickets to the moment you exit the ballpark.  This reiterates the importance of the family in baseball, especially in the Minor-League baseball system.

Lastly one opportunity the interns had was the opportunity to speak with our direct supervisors toward the end of the season.  We discussed our own future and what we hope to do after graduation, for those of us graduating within the next year.  We also spoke about our achievements from the time we spent with the organization, receiving genuine feedback about our work.  This goes back to the aspect of family, our supervisors, want us to succeed, voicing that they would do whatever was needed to help us in our future endeavors.

The transformation was valuable in a couple different ways. One of the most important pieces is that it solidified what I want to do after I graduate this December.  I 100% want to work within the baseball industry and work with the community development or live experience of an organization.  The last part was the willingness of my supervisors to go above and beyond, helping us succeed in our future endeavors, writing recommendation letters or using them as a reference, wanting us to succeed more than anyone else.

 

Li

STEP Internship Reflection

Name: Sneha Rajagopal

Type of Project: Internship

This summer, I worked as an intern in the Installation team of Intelligrated, a Honeywell company that produces material handling automation solutions. Throughout my internship, I time studied the installation of conveyor systems, organized large data spreadsheets, and analyzed data to report the performance of the company.

This internship provided me with an in-depth experience into the field of industrial engineering. Not only did I work in a corporate setting where I gained numerous skills, namely data analysis, which will be applicable to my future careers, but I was also given the opportunity to work in the field to witness first-hand where the data was coming from. If I had worked in an internship which consisted of purely office work, I would not have had the same experience as I did while working at Intelligrated. Through this company, I was sent to an Amazon warehouse construction site to study and collect data on the installation of conveyor systems. At these sites, the engineers and interns must be very polite to the installers while watching the processes, as it is easy to come off as intruding upon their work. I learned that I was to be fully aware of my presence in their space to ensure that they felt most comfortable with people overseeing their work.

In the office, I developed advanced Microsoft Excel skills and analyzed the results of the data to develop solutions to better the systems of work occurring on the job sites. Since this was my first job, working with adults and others my age in an office setting was something I had to adapt to quickly. I soon learned how to be professional amongst my colleagues and supervisors. Working in this atmosphere helped me to gain confidence in other business settings, including interviews and presentations.

As an intern, I was under the guidance of two industrial engineers. These supervisors were great mentors to the other interns and myself, and treated us as actual employees of Intelligrated. In order to create the most fulfilling work experience for all of the interns, they aimed to show us every aspect of the company in detail. One of the events they planned for us was a tour of one of the company’s manufacturing plants, where all the parts that make up the conveyor systems are made.

Although the visit to the plant was extremely insightful and helped me to comprehend the vastness of the company, I concluded that I would not enjoy working in that part of the business. Personally, the manufacturing process appeared to be somewhat monotonous, and I had a greater interest in the output of products and how to improve the systems.

Another significant part of my internship that had an impact on my transformation was the work environment. The setting in which we work and the people who we work with make up a large part of people’s job experience. Throughout the course of the internship, I sat in meetings with high-up employees of the company, worked alongside my supervisor on spreadsheets, and completed work on my own. After analyzing these three distinct settings, I realized that I most enjoy working with others. Out of all engineering majors and careers, industrial engineering most focuses on teamwork and working with others to brainstorm and problem solve. I am thankful that this internship gave me confidence that I will appreciate working in this field, as I will always be a part of a team, working together to come up with solutions.

This transformation is extremely significant to my life as I begin my final two years of college. My internship at Intelligrated taught me how to interact professionally with all types of people, and more importantly, this valuable experience made me realize what I would and would not be happy with in a life-long career. The engineering workforce is a very competitive one and most jobs in the field of industrial engineering would provide me with an incredible opportunity to apply my skills and live comfortably. However, I would not want to settle on an option that I am not satisfied with. This internship, through which I grew as an employee, a teammate, and a person, helped me to focus my interests in an attempt to eventually select the most suitable choice for me.