1. Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project.
My team and I spent 5 weeks in Ingolstadt, Germany, immersed in the culture, while working alongside a team of Audi employees at their headquarters. We were given a project surrounded by the future of autonomous driving.
2. What about your understanding of yourself, your assumptions, or your view of the world changed/transformed while completing your STEP Signature Project?
I always hoped that one day, my college experience would take me across the world. The idea of traveling abroad was a dream, and this summer that dream came true and exceeded my expectations. I exceeded my expectations. Prior to leaving the US I knew I was taking a risk. My dream was always to travel, therefore, I never imagined myself abroad for “work” purposes. When I applied to the Global Projects Program I did so knowing I was going out on a limb. I knew I was capable of being successful in a global work environment, but I wasn’t sure if this was exactly what I wanted from my abroad adventures. The change that took place was simple. My desire to travel grew during my STEP Signature Project and my 46 days abroad.
3. What events, interactions, relationships, or activities during your STEP Signature Project led to the change/transformation that you discussed in #2, and how did those affect you?
We traveled independently on the weekends during our 5 weeks in Germany, and afterwards, I traveled with friends through Amsterdam and London. In total we visited locations around Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Amsterdam, and London that had such an impact on my experience, and during my travel in London I did so all by myself- something I never thought I’d have the courage to do.
Experiencing the history of the places we visited was something I never imagined to have fallen in love with. I am no history buff, and I never have been. In fact, I always hated history class growing up. I found it old and boring. Thankfully, as I get older I have found a deeper appreciation for our world and what society in the past went through to get us where we are today. Not only was the world around me so intriguing, but listening to the German students and their friends tell stories about their travels and the ease of travel in Europe made me want more. I want to see more and experience more.
Most people we came in contact with have visited 5-10+ countries throughout their lives and will continue to do so. I quickly learned their desire to see the rest of the world around them. That desire is contagious. I always knew I was one who wanted to live a life of travel, but I’m more eager to do so after being abroad. This trip taught me how much life there is to live, so I hope to start my journey by seeing my own country. Which, unfortunately, is something I have yet to fully take advantage of.
4. Why is this change/transformation significant or valuable for your life?
Success can be defined in many different terms. To me, success is a measure of my happiness in life. If I have the opportunity to live a happy, healthy, empowered life full of friends and family, I will experience success. This trip has opened my eyes to the life I truly want to live, and since coming home I have added to my list of ways to experience success. Along with health, career, friends, and family, I have added travel. I desire to see the world and experience it with those I love and care about. In combination these things will allow me to further my successful career as a Buckeye and seek more success in life. With this, I have the STEP Signature project and Global Projects Program through Ohio State University and the Fisher College of Business to thank for my unforgettable experience abroad.