STEP Fisher Global Internship

My STEP Signature Project consisted of traveling to London, England to intern at  Ayming Performance Consulting through the Fisher Global Internship Program over the course of the 2018 summer. This internship will provided me with key insight into my future professional career while advancing my professional skills and growing my network globally. My duties as an innovation intern consisted of assisting with the R&D Tax and Grants Process, drafting reports and filing for tax credits to HMRC for R&D research on behalf of clients. Also, I attended client meetings, drafted minutes for teams for a better understanding of the consulting process and I worked with sales/business development team; identified prospective clients, developed sales pitches, attended pitch meetings and supported follow-upa kick-off meeting.

Working and living in London, England for eight weeks gave me a deeper understanding of the consulting process, a possible future career path, and gained experience living in a busy international city. Each day traveling to work for forty hours a week was an enriching experience. At work, I was welcomed by such intelligent and open employees that cared about my experience and me as an individual. I learned to navigate the city everyday while living in a large metropolitan community. Taking part of this experience requires maturity and independence. Everyday at work, I was challenged to learn and assist in the R&D Tax/grants process. I was able to help with various parts of the process and see visual results when I have accomplished certain tasks.  Also, on the certain weekend I would navigate through out other European cities exploring the world while embracing new culture.

My experience that impacted me were the various projects I would partake in while working at Ayming. In the beginning of the internship, I was trained on the R&D Tax process. After my training certain employees would help and guide us through their projects. One project that stuck out was working with Vivobarefoot. I attended the kick off meetings, and wrote up technical write-ups for the R&D Tax incentives. We, at Ayming, explored various new projects with research in development. We would help companies with the application and we would earn 15% of their R&D tax benefit. I went to the office of the company with other associate consultants and took part of the interview process. We gathered information about the research and development projects. I remember being so engaged in the process and looked forward to gathering more information for the report. I learned to love this profession and working with the other employees at Ayming.

Another experience on this trip that transformed my opinion on life was all the unique and intelligent people I met on the same program from me. Ohio State is such a large university and is sometimes hard to find a niche. This program did that for me. Not only was I able to work at a prestiius firm, but I got to live with other Ohio State students who I did not know before. We hung out after work, explored all that London offered and got to even work with other students. I will always remember the people on the program forever.

As I said before, on the weekends other Ohio State Students and I would travel to other European cities and countries. This traveling helped me grow my independence and time management skills. One trip in particular that helped me grow and embrace other cultures was my weekend trip to Paris. Here I was able to absorb the French culture and even celebrate the France winning the world cup. I enjoyed the city and even experienced living in a hostel for the first time. I will remember this weekend for the rest of my life.

This experience changed my life completely. I learned to love the city of London, the consulting industry, and most importantly learned to love traveling the world and making lasting memories with new and old friends. I learned to be a harder worker this summer which is continuing this semester at school and learned to love a possible career path. I made lasting connections from people all over the world and continue to grow professionally and culturally. Below I have attached a few photos from my trip. I hope you all enjoy!


Summer 2018 Internship at GBU Financial Life


This summer I served as the lead underwriting intern for a company called GBU Financial Life in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. From day to day, I delegated daily tasks and schedules of all other interns to maintain efficiency. I also maintained contact between all registered insurance agents and third party companies to verify statuses of transfers of funds. Additionally, I was responsible for filtering through and entering all new business in LifePro each day, including applications and policy delivery notes daily

Throughout my time as an intern, I got a clearer idea of how I see myself as a leader and where I see myself in the business world. I am a leadership studies minor and a Mount Leadership society scholar here at Ohio State, so discovering my personal style of leadership is something extremely important to me.

I interned for this company over winter break, and so when I returned as an intern this summer, I was promoted to lead intern which resulted in a lot of extra responsibility in the company. I oversaw the other interns and gained extremely valuable people management skills. I learned a bit more about my personal style of leadership- I tend to be a more coaching and affiliative leader rather than a commanding or pacesetting one. The six styles of leadership were something I have covered in two of my minor classes, so it was extremely valuable to see that come to life in my internship experience.

I also learned a lot from my supervisor and gained a valuable mentor. She has always worked in the information technology department, but recently moved to oversee and supervise the underwriting, customer service, and information technology departments and has a lot of good ideas in terms of how the company should run and what direction she sees it headed in. We had lunch together a few times and we discussed where she sees me in my future endeavors. She explained that she sees me in a role that works closely with people as she said I have good people management and communication skills.

My project focused on gaining experience in the nonprofit sector of business. I had always had an interest in nonprofit because I enjoy service and wanted to use my business acumen to help others. However, a lot of my conversations with my supervisor and interactions with the interns I was supervising led me to realize that people management and one-on-one interactions with people is what is important to me to be able to help others. I am studying finance and am a peer financial coach for Scarlet and Gray Financial, and some of the feedback my supervisor gave me was that she can really see me in financial planning or a role involving people management.

I think this change and transformation was especially significant for my professional development. It can be somewhat overwhelming sometimes to decide and plan what career path I intend to follow in the future, but this was a significant step in helping me see where I best fit in the business world. This helped give me a clearer sense of what I want to do and how I can best use my personal skills and strengths.

Ryan Williamson Summer Internship Reflection

This past summer I worked as a software development intern for Bank of America. I was responsible for building four full stack web applications. Furthermore, I created machine learning models to automate and simplify business processes.

Bank of America has 207,000 employees and last year brought in a technology intern class of over 400. This comes with a lot of benefits and drawbacks. Namely, the bank has a sizable budget that it uses to invest in talent and resources that help the bottom line. Unfortunately, this also comes with the fact that you as as developer are just 1 in 207,000. You may get to know half of the floor you work on but the chance you know 1% of the company is tiny. The experience of being a small fish in a big pond led to my personal discovery that I want to work in a smaller company where I have the freedom to innovate quickly.
In addition to discovering that I enjoy the freedom afforded by a smaller company I also realized how much I enjoy leading a team. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to lead a 3 fellow development interns this summer as we worked on web apps in languages and frameworks we had never worked with before. I realized that while delivering on your own is nice because you only have to rely on your own knowledge, it is far more rewarding to create solutions as a team because the impact that they can have is much greater.
No specific event stands out in my mind when it comes to how my viewpoint changed. It was more the culmination of my experiences this summer. For example, frequently when I needed resources or access it would take days and sometime a week before the requests were granted. This had a significant effect on productivity as it became difficult to move forward with my projects without anyone to answer the questions. Furthermore, when I would ask a question I would be bounced around between different people before I got the answer I was looking for. In a smaller company, I would be more likely to already know the person who has the answer to my question.
In terms of learning how much I enjoyed leading a team that was also a viewpoint that I developed throughout the summer. It began in the first meeting that I had with my bosses. The three of us (interns) all sat around, nervous, and unsure of what to say. I elected to speak up and from there my role was solidified. I took the lead whenever we talked about our production progress and where to focus our development efforts and from there grew into my role as a leader. Towards the middle of the summer, we began presenting our projects to senior leadership. We had to speak in front of roughly 75 people and my other teammates struggled when they had to present especially in front of such a large group. As a result, I was forced to take over the presentations for my team and grew further into my role.
Fortunately, my leadership and coworkers were very supportive in helping us interns grow as both people and employees. My presentation and problem skills evolved this summer by being placed into uncomfortable situations with high expectations and short deadlines. When your internship is ending in 3 days and you keep find bugs in your production code it really sets the tone for how you need to perform. It establishes a work ethic that I can take back with me to my coursework and to any future endeavors.
In my major, Computer Science, experience is valued significantly more than coursework. Programming is a skill that is refined over time through a lot of practice and can be difficult to teach in a course alone. Furthermore, the internship provided me with valuable experience both as a developer and as business associate. I can carry this experience forward to help me accomplish my personal career goal of running my own company. I now understand how to take a technical challenge and turn it into a revenue producing business and that knowledge will be invaluable as I move forward.

Internship at GE Aviaiton

This summer I did an internship at GE aviation in Cincinnati, Ohio. I was working in the digital league, where I worked with big data. Most of the summer I worked on projects that involved trying to save the company money. I worked in cross functional group, where I was able to work with full time employees of many different majors.
The main thing this project helped me to understand about myself is what I want to do after I graduate college. I realized that even though I am an engineer, I enjoy working on projects that are more focused on business aspects. I enjoyed the social aspect and it felt good to know that the work I was doing was having a direct impact on the company. I also realized that even though I am an electrical and computer engineer I enjoy coding more than a lot of the hardware. I want to continue to explore what jobs I can be successful in and enjoy with my major.
I got to meet a lot of people this summer and develop both my network and my business acumen. There were 280 engineering interns in the Cincinnati office, so I was able to meet and form relationships with many of them. The interns where from all over the country and from many different backgrounds which made it a diverse experience. I played in a sand volleyball league and also hung out with interns living around me almost every day I was there. This was my first time living on my own and after living with 4 siblings my entire life, it was a very freeing experience.
As for professional development, GE had networking events called “lunch and learns” throughout the year. At these events, Executives at GE would talk a little bit about who they are and how they got to be in there position right now. I worked with an executive who went to Ohio State and I get to network with her and other Ohio State Alum. I was able to meet many young professionals who were in the Edison engineering program, and now I want to apply for that program after I graduate. Overall, I was very happy with my experience at GE and cannot wait to go back in the Spring.
As for personal relationships, I was able to live 4 minutes away from my high school friend Ian. We decided we were going to work out every morning at 5:15am and we stuck to it the entire summer. We also explored many different parts of Cincinnati. I would recommend Gomez, a small Mexican restaurant, to anyone visiting the city of Cincinnati. On of the most fun things I was able to do was go to Bunbury Music Festival with my roommate from Ohio State. I got to see some of my favorite bands and might even go next year if I am in Cincinnati again.
This was transformational because it taught me a lot about myself, and who I want to be when I grow up. The work that I did was impactful and the people I met while working I am very comfortable reaching out to in the future if I ever needed a favor in my professional career. This allowed me to know what technical electives I want to take for my major and what jobs I want to apply for when I graduate. These two things are very important to my future career.

STEP Internship at the Wexner Medical Center

My STEP Signature Project consisted of an internship with the Wexner Medical Center here in Columbus, Ohio. My title was Patient Scheduling Student Intern and I spent the vast majority of my time working with the transcription team within the Central Scheduling department. As a transcriptionist, my main duty was to receive outpatient referrals and send the information from the referrals to specific schedulers within the Wexner Medical Center using Epic software.

When I first began this internship I lacked a lot of confidence and because I wasn’t confident, I asked a lot of questions looking for validation from my coworkers. I also wasn’t expecting the training for this internship to be quite so exhaustive, but there was a lot to learn. I shadowed a full-time employee and was trained by the other student employees, but when I was finally sent out on my own I was completely lost. The first thing I learned in this experience was how to ask for help and the second, more transformational experience, was finding my own voice in the team.

As the weeks went on, I became much better at my work. I didn’t rely on my coworkers to guide me through everything I did and I became very good at handling calls with disgruntled patients and care coordinators (something that overwhelmed me during the first few weeks). I started to understand how important it is to separate my personal difficulties from my professional responsibilities. I knew that if I treated others with the same respect and empathy that I expected from them, I would approach other things in my life with the same patience and optimism. I didn’t initially see this internship as part of the service industry, but I was in a way providing a service to patients and I can now confidently say that I understand customer service and the importance of a healthy work environment from working at this internship.

The relationships I built with my coworkers significantly bettered my experience at this internship. Over the course of my summer, two student interns played a significant role in shaping the experience for me. Both were interns for about a year before I began working and they offered a lot of guidance. From them, I learned that it is more than okay for students to speak up in meetings and bring their ideas of ways to improve the work process to the discussion. They were bolder than I was but they took their jobs very seriously. Learning from them helped me in my daily responsibilities as well as gave me a foundation of the type of employee I wanted to emulate.

I also had significant interactions with patients and doctor’s offices via over the course of my internship. As my fear of misdirecting a caller or giving them the wrong information subsided, I really enjoyed the conversations I had and the delivery of health care. I began to see how working directly with people would be an ideal job for me, especially when I can better their experience with the medical system. I interacted with distressed patients and nurses and was able to help calm their fears and get appointments scheduled. This showed me that calm and empathetic communication is vital to even an intern’s job and that it was something I could do fairly well. Under an observational period about a month after starting this internship, I was encouraged by my evaluator to keep working in interpersonal fields and I’ve since thought a lot about that for my future career.

Although working wasn’t always fun and at times I wished I had opted for something like a study abroad experience over the summer, I still greatly benefitted from this internship. Coming out of my first two years of college feeling as though I had fallen behind in academics and career planning, I regained confidence from this experience. I am now excited rather than terrified for future interviews and to learn new skills in future jobs. I understand that the training in a field that’s rapidly changing can be exhausting but the ability to adapt is so important in the workplace. I feel that I can take on these pressures and with a job that has meaningful interactions, like the delivery of health care, I will be passionate about the work that I do.

This internship was significant in that it opened the door to further careers in health care and gave me a tangible experience working in the career field that I have been preparing for. This opportunity gave me a frame of reference on which to base my future career in health care administration. I’ve learned that there are aspects I enjoy as well as frustrations which I hope to address within health care. Over the course of the internship, I’ve questioned if this is the path I want to pursue after receiving my undergraduate degree in public health. While working for the Wexner Medical Center has opened the door to more positions in the hospital system, I’ve become more interested in the possibility of working in a smaller health care system. This internship has given me greater clarity in post-graduate plans as well as laid those foundational skills necessary for working in a health care setting.


For my STEP Signature Project, I interned over the summer at the Dayton Foodbank. I worked alongside the Garden Manager in the Foodbank’s urban garden, assisting with the upkeep of the garden and special garden projects. In addition, I collected garden education resources used for school aged children tour groups and co-led pre-school group weekly visits during July and August.

While planning out what I was going to do for my STEP project, I was a bit unsure as to what category I’d want to do. At the same time, I was pursuing an internship at the Dayton Foodbank to gain experience with a non-profit organization. This ended up being a great learning experience. Prior to the internship, I had numerous experiences with non-profit organizations but this summer experience allowed me to get a “behind the scenes” experience with a non-profit.

The whole STEP project was a learning experience for me. One thing I learned is that I am one that really likes to stay busy in terms of work. Additionally, I gained some professional skills as I partook in most of the Foodbank’s brief daily morning office meetings. I learned that when working at a Foodbank, you need to be prepared to wear many hats and always be prepared for something new each day. One thing I learned specific to the Foodbank is that there is more than just providing canned food for those in need. There are many different components to the work those that work there do.

One of the biggest takeaways I had from this experience was the professional experience. I have had a few jobs before this but nothing more than a summer job. The key aspect of my experience that contributed to this was the fact that I pursued this internship on my own and with the help of my supervisor, we created the position. I was able to stay on top of communication during the spring semester prior to the Summer as well as meeting with her to establish when I would start, when I would work, and what my responsibilities would be. Another contribution to this being a valuable professional experience was being able to partake in the office daily morning meetings. The meetings allowed me to hear what each employee was doing for the day and hear of any news.

While working at the Foodbank I solidified my work ethic. I already knew prior to working in the garden that I am a hard worker and feel the need to stay busy. This was relevant in my work because each day was different – meaning there was more to do in the garden one day than another. By experiencing this, I was able to do my best to find other tasks that needed to be done in order to make use of my time and stay busy.

Coming into this STEP project experience, I had various experiences working with different non-profits. Until this summer internship, I was not able to do much more than regularly volunteer or volunteer a few times with a non-profit so this experience opened my eyes to the vast number of events and programs a Foodbank is responsible for. As my supervisor said best, you need to be prepared to wear many hats when working at a Foodbank because each day can bring something new and opportunities to step up show themselves.

This STEP experience is valuable for my life because I am currently deciding what direction I would like to take as I am majoring in Public Health. I am a fairly new student in the major and have an interest in various paths, non-profit organizations, being one of them. The experience allowed me to dip my toes in the water of working at a Foodbank while seeing some of the behind the scenes action taking place. The experience will also be a good one to carry forward as I take my experiences to seek another potential summer internship or further down the road in my career.

Image result for dayton foodbank garden

Internship with the City of Columbus

This summer for my STEP Signature Project, I interned with the City of Columbus Department of Public Service. I worked in land surveying where I helped the city complete various capital improvement projects including street resurfacing, the installation of sidewalks, and the construction of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant curb ramps.

Working for the City of Columbus gave me a deeper understanding of the complexity of civil engineering projects. Each individual project has its own challenges and difficulties; cost overruns, schedule delays, and plan changes are issues that need to be dealt with quickly and effectively. Projects also interfere with the daily lives of citizens. Repaving a street and adding curb ramps takes time, so the plan must reflect how vehicle and pedestrian traffic will be affected. This internship changed my assumptions about the amount of forward-thinking a civil engineer needs to do. Sometimes quick changes need to be implemented, and civil engineers must be prepared for that.

The project that impacted me the most was a capital improvement project that repaved a street and added sidewalks to a community that did not have them before. Pedestrians no longer had to walk on the gravel shoulder of a very busy street, which greatly increased the safety of the pedestrians and the drivers. The consultants, the city, and the contractors worked hard on the project to get it done well and on time. While some homeowners were glad that their street was getting a sidewalk, it presented issues for other homeowners as the new sidewalks caused water to pond in their front yards and driveways.

The project could not be left in this state for long as it inconvenienced homeowners and could cause damage to property in the future. This problem only arose after installation had begun. Changes had to be made to the installation so that the homeowners that lived along the project did not have water in their yards, but these changes could not go over budget or delay the project’s completion date. The consultants, the city, the contractors, and the homeowners had to work together to fix the issue. The homeowners had to document where the water was sitting so that the proper parties were notified. Once they were notified, the problem could be addressed, and a fix created.

Through this internship, I also got to learn a lot more about surveying, civil engineering, and construction from my superiors. They told me about how Ohio was a “test” state for surveying the American West. I got to experience first-hand how projects work in a public setting, and the processes that need to happen for a construction project to be successful. All of these experiences, as well as many more like them throughout my summer, gave me a much clearer understanding of what any career in my field would be like. The knowledge that I gained in this internship will not only help me to choose my career path in the future, but also make me a better civil engineer as a whole.

This experience changed my life significantly because this is the field I want to go into, and this was my first real-world experience with it. Through this project, I have realized that I want to work on large projects that impact peoples’ lives. To do this, I need to continue to develop the skills that I picked up from this internship. I need to have the proper foresight and planning to take on these large projects while still being prepared for problems. These are skills that are hard to teach in the classroom, and I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to develop them this summer.

Columbus Arts Internships

  1. For my STEP Signature Project, I spent the summer in Columbus interning at the Columbus Museum of Art and ROY G BIV Gallery. I also did volunteer work at 934 Gallery in preparation for their annual fundraiser “934 Fest”. The Columbus Museum of Art took me on as an intern within their Special Events Department, but I had the opportunity to explore many different departments including Collections & Exhibitions, Curatorial, Marketing, and Learning. ROY G BIV Gallery is in the process of transitioning from the Short North to Franklinton, so I mostly worked remotely for them in collaboration with their Director, Haley. I culled entries for a pop-up summer show, as well as their upcoming exhibition season. Haley taught myself and another intern how to hang artworks and wall texts and we installed the entire pop-up show at Wild Goose Creative.


  1. Many of my views have changed as a direct result of my STEP Signature Project. I thought that I wanted to work in a museum or gallery setting, and I’ve now learned that I don’t enjoy working in larger institutions. I also found myself struggling within non-profit and volunteer sectors where there’s a huge focus on the financial side of things and who will fund/sponsor activities and daily operations. I think I’ve found that the most important thing to me in whatever environment I find myself in is the people. I’ve learned that just because an institution may appear to uphold certain values and principles, in practice that isn’t always actually the case. These experiences served as a much-needed reminder that even though it may seem like I’ve finally “figured it out”, in fact, I’m always learning and evolving, and what I want and need won’t remain static either.


  1. Unfortunately, I had a series of negative interactions that led to these (important) realizations. I came into the Columbus Museum of Art with a lot of respect for the institution and museums as a whole, despite a somewhat rocky beginning where there was a lapse in contact. Overall I didn’t feel valued or like the majority of individuals I was working with had any desire to know anything about me. I struggled with the way that employees spoke about each other and clients outside of their presence. I dealt more with these experiences within Special Events and Marketing, where I spent most of my time. I did have some positive experiences in other departments, namely Collections & Exhibitions and Education. Overall I felt that the interior life of the museum was chaotic and disjointed, and in my time there art wasn’t viewed, analyzed, or spoken about in the ways that I enjoy doing in class. While I enjoyed discussing art preservation with Collections & Exhibitions, the rest of my experience in conversation with works of art was how to attract more visitors and ticket events or encourage contributions. I encountered similar episodes of cognitive dissonance volunteering with 934 Gallery. While there was certainly a push to secure artists of both the visual and musical variety, overall I still felt like I was just helping to create a kind of facade. The majority of the conversations were regarding marketing, merchandise, snacks, and alcohol. While I felt that–naturally as operating entirely on a volunteer-basis–the individuals connected to this Gallery had more of a vested interest in the art than those at the CMA, I still felt like myself and other volunteers were essentially warm bodies, despite my being entrusted with large tasks. I did truly enjoy my experience with ROY G BIV Gallery. This felt like the most personal experience I had, and I feel I’ve been able to build a meaningful relationship with the Director. Works of art and their presentation were carefully considered and enjoyed. I think that with ROY G BIV I was working most closely with the art and how the public would interact with it, and I found this is what I enjoyed the most. Overall, the best experiences I had were the ones where I got to work closely with someone else and with the art; such as the remote work I did with Haley that I would meet up every couple weeks to discuss, or the archival work I did with a registrar at the Museum.


  1. These experiences are very valuable as they’re going to inform my future decisions with the things I choose to be a part of and the people I choose to surround myself with. I think I have a much better sense of self and what I do and don’t like academically and professionally after this summer. I am able to make more informed decisions overall about the ways I spend my time outside of school as well as how I focus my studies. I’ve continued to get involved with arts-related organizations, but again I have found that intentionality plays a huge role in what I am drawn to. I think that smaller organizations as a whole are better equipped to provide more intimate and personally meaningful impacts. I’ve learned the valuable lesson that a university campus can be something of a bubble. I tend to be surrounded by like-minded people or at least people that I feel respect my experiences. I’ve learned that outside of this campus, just because something carries an “art” label, that doesn’t mean that these projects or people will share my intentions or even be particularly open-minded. It doesn’t even mean that we will share the same definition or appreciation of art, whereas this had been a pretty safe bet on campus. I’ve learned that it might be harder than I anticipated to find the people and spaces that help me grow, but that it is so worth it to keep searching.A work from one of the youth visitors at the CMA from one of my first days there that got me really excited to work with kids in shadowing a docent and helping with Teen Open Studio!

    From the CMA’s “Measure of Humanity” summer exhibition; during a walk-through with the contemporary curator Tyler and the docents.

My College Internship at the EPA

Alyssa Bowles


For my STEP Signature Project, I completed an internship during the Summer of 2018 with the Ohio EPA. Over the duration of this project, I worked in the Division of Air Pollution Control within the District Office in Columbus, Ohio. I predominately worked with the Right to Know (RTK) Program, working with the hazardous or EHS chemical database.

Honestly, before this project, I knew that I wanted to work for the EPA in my future. I was just uncertain how I felt about working in an office setting. Working in an office for 8 hours a day seemed like an unbearable boredom that I didn’t want to put myself through. After completing this program, my perspective of office life changed, I realized that it’s all about the people you work with, the stuff that you’re doing, and your attitude going in everyday. I was able to decorate my cubicle so I felt at home, and I made some great friends with the people I worked with. Going to work every day wasn’t a drag, it was something to look forward to.

I wasn’t stuck in the office all of the time either, fellow interns and I were allowed to attend numerous inspections being performed by supervisors or other coworkers within the office. I was able to go along to a Pet Crematorium, a Natural Gas Power Plant, a Coal Power Plant, and an E-check station in Cleveland. I was also allowed to attend various meetings with my coworkers, within the division, company wide, and outside of the company. My favorite meetings to go to were the MORPC (Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission) meetings. During these meetings, members from various company’s/cities within central Ohio attended to discuss changes, problems, etc.

I am way more knowledgeable about environmental and energy related topics after my internship. Every couple of weeks we had a powerpoint presentation that was put together by one of the supervisors within the division. I learned how the power grid works and the process within and outside of the plant operates. Then I was able to learn how monitors pick up on the particles within the air to give the estimated air quality readings which are then determined to be in compliance or out of compliance and actions are taken accordingly. I learned about the process companys and individuals have to go through if they need to get permits. I did some work with the asbestos team that recently transitioned to the EPA from the department of health.

This internship allows me to make connections within the agency, I have several supervisors that guaranteed me a letter of recommendation if I ever need it. This summer internship gave me more confidence about going into the workforce after graduation. It also gave me an end goal to envision to help me get through the rest of my college experience. Basically, I spent this summer learning how I want to spend my future, and I wouldn’t trade that for the world. I also made amazing friends along the way that I can see having for the rest of my life. This wasn’t what I expected to come from my summer working at a government agency, but this is what I got and I couldn’t be happier.

Internship at NASA

Over the summer, I had the opportunity to spend ten weeks interning at the NASA John Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. I worked under Code B at NASA, which oversees the financial analysis division. As an intern, I had the chance to assist both the CFO and other full-time civil servants in their day-to-day tasks, as well as a few long-term projects.


The biggest thing this internship taught me was about the value of liking where you work and maintaining a positive work-life balance. Most of the people that worked at NASA had been there for many years, something that’s not as common in the business world today. Code B has various gatherings for all the workers and their families throughout the year to build a sense of community. During my ten weeks there, the Code B summer picnic took place, and I got to invite my family to see the NASA campus. I could see very quickly how much everyone there enjoyed their jobs. Obviously, there are times when people need to work extra hours if something important is going on, but it’s a lot easier to stay those extra hours if you like what you’re doing and who you’re doing it with.


I enjoyed my time at NASA, and now I see myself wanting to work at a place that’s similar to that. I’d love to have a job where I’m able to stay with the same company for the long term and get to know all my co-workers in the process. Obviously, there may come the time where I need to switch jobs, but I want to make sure I put in the time in my initial job hunt to find a company that’s a great fit culturally, professionally, and personally.


During my internship, I had the opportunity to be exposed to a wide variety of NASA’s employees. I was given the unique assignment of working closely with the center’s CFO in what he was doing. My second week there, representatives of all other NASA centers visited Cleveland to discuss the transition to a new cost accounting system. I was responsible with taking notes and creating PowerPoint slides explaining what was discussed in the meetings. During the summer, I continued working on this project as the CFO needed to inform a variety of people across NASA about these changes. Getting to see his leadership style was a valuable experience for me, as I got to see how an executive organizes and runs meetings.


I also had the opportunity to work with an analyst that had just started at NASA a few months prior to my internship. The manager of Code B tasked him with interviewing various civil servants to document their roles in generating the daily standard reports that Code B creates. Each day, new reports are generated to update the budgets of the various projects that are being funded. The current process required someone to come in every day and manually update the reports at 6:30am. The analyst was tasked with interviewing all the civil servants involved in those reports to find opportunities for automation. The analyst asked for my help, so I was tasked with interviewing and documents the processes. It was an interesting experience to be the person setting up meetings, and I was able to gain valuable experience in professional communication.


Through these two experiences, I gained exposure to a wide variety of employees at NASA, both people that had worked there for a long time and people that were just starting out their careers. Seeing this really showed me the value of liking where you work. The CFO was respected by everyone, but no one was afraid to have normal conversations with him. The analyst was just starting his job, but everyone was willing to assist him in getting settled in. As an intern, I saw this through the way that people were willing to meet with me and respected my input in meetings. These experiences really showed me that the culture of an office and the people you work with will make your job much better. In my future job/internship search, I will place higher value on the culture of the office I’m working in.


Going forward, I plan to look more closely at my long-term goals when assessing any job/internship options. Many people in college may care too much about the short-term in their job hunt. Too many people take jobs knowing that they may leave in a few years. Obviously, I’d like to do whatever will benefit my career the most, but I will be focusing on the long-term success of my career more than the short-term. My time at NASA showed me that being happy with where you work holds value in and of itself. Even if you may be making a little bit less money, if you enjoy where you work, that difference is worth it.