1. My STEP project was an un-paid internship for the Non-profit organization called PolymerOhio. PolymerOhio is a manufacturing extension partner program funded by state and federal government. It is one of seven centers in Ohio designed to support small and medium size engineering and manufacturing companies, with the goal of job growth in Ohio. PolymerOhio is dedicated to connecting these small to mid-sized companies with the latest trends in technology, expertise and resources needed for business growth.
2. The opportunity to work in the internship with PolymerOhio gave me a glimpse into the working world. It allowed me to learn from Bruce Fawcett (Executive Director), Greg McMahon (Program director), and Virginie Donoghue Program Manager). In the intern role, I learned that I am a valuable source of information. I believe this has given me more confidence, knowing I communicate well, and I can contribute to a company. The internship has given me a chance to see my current education as a concrete stepping stone to my next level. From this particular internship, I have also learned of the importance of my field of study in the growth of the jobs in Ohio and the extent of the Ohio industry in regard to the US and world. Personally, this experience has shown me how important my education at Ohio State University can be in my goal to be a part of technological advancement that improves lives and preserves resources and environment locally, nationally, and worldwide.
3. My close interactions with Greg McMahon and Virginie Donoghue was invaluable. The relationships I developed with these knowledgeable and experienced engineers helped me to see my place in the field as a working individual capable of someday contributing to a company in a significant way. I also gained further insight into my ability to communicate well with others and get along well. This is natural to me, and the experience allowed me to really see its worth.
Having the opportunity to interact with LEAN SIX SIGMA, and training for a week with MEP network professionals, as well as meet Master Black Belt professionals, and learn directly from them was interesting and invaluable. It was an up-close experience with professionals and I could see myself as one of them someday soon. This experience also allowed me to see that I am comfortable communicating and sharing my ideas, even as an undergraduate intern.
On an in-depth tour of the Velvet Ice Cream Company, along with industry professionals from Licking County, I got to see how a local company has grown and developed along with the industry, and how it contributes to local jobs and beyond with its factory and state of the art distribution center.
My research projects not only furthered my knowledge, but also sparked my interest. I spent time researching the following: Bioplastics and analysis on the state of the industry, Cobots (Collaborative robots) and their roles in small to mid-sized companies, Cybersecurity and Cryptology.
I learned through my research and my time as an intern with PolymerOhio how important my choice to study at Ohio State University has been. Ohio is one of the largest polymer industry cluster in America and is the number one producer of both plastic and rubber products contributing greater that 50 billion into Ohio’s Gross Domestic Product and greater than 81,000 skilled employees in Ohio polymer work force (8% of all US jobs). Ohio is a leader in the worldwide industry, as well, with seven Fortune Global 500 companies. Ohio’s industry is forecasted to see increased investments leading to increased dollars and jobs.
4. My internship with PolymerOhio was significant and transformational for both my personal goals and for my future professional goals. I got to meet mentors at PolymerOhio who supported my learning of the work environment and my chosen field of study. Having a few mentors in my chosen field is something I haven’t been lucky to have until now. I value them and hope to continue to learn from them. Interactions
with several other local and regional professionals throughout this internship gave me confidence and allowed me to see myself as a future contributing engineer. I’ve learned Ohio has many opportunities to grow and develop my professional goals and also serve as a springboard to where I’d like to be ultimately. This internship has been a significant experience because it has helped me articulate what I’d like to strive to become and I’m excited about that. As a Humanitarian Engineering Scholar, our advisor was my first mentor and I had a chance to be around others with similar approach to life and work. I hope to continue that outlook and combined with my Material Science Engineering degree find a job that also aligns with my personal values.