My Internship with the Columbus Foundation

This summer, I did an internship with the Columbus Foundation for my STEP Signature Project. For this internship, I was placed in a cohort with 14 other college students and we each were paired with a nonprofit that aligned with our interests and potential career goals. As a Creative Writing major, I was paired with The King Arts Complex, a creative arts nonprofit created to provide artistic programming for the people in the community.

There were many first time experiences this summer. Prior to this internship, I had never lived completely on my own. Relying on my mother or the university, I always had my basic needs met without ever having to think twice about it. This internship was a great precursor to seeing what it is like living completely on my own. Every day, I had to wake up at 5:45 AM in order to make breakfast and get prepared for the day. Since I did not have a car, I had to learn how to take the bus to a new area of Columbus. Through this experience, I learned more about how Columbus operates and the interesting things that were always happening in the Columbus community. Along with Columbus, I learned about profession culture and what it means to transition into adulthood. This experience gave me the necessary support to be successful throughout this transition and challenged me to push myself into opportunities that I have never experienced before.

Before having the opportunity to intern at the Columbus Foundation, I never had the opportunity to have a significant role within a nonprofit organization. From the classes I took on nonprofits, I knew that every nonprofit organization was different and had different ways of functioning. However, even with this knowledge, I was still under the impression that nonprofit organizations were underfunded and thereby not in the best conditions. I quickly learned that this assumption was wrong. The first day I walked into The King Arts Complex, I saw a beautiful facility with artwork that was both old and contemporary. Along with this assumption, I thought there was a narrow focus for what nonprofit organizations did. Through professional development opportunities with the Columbus Foundation, I learned that there is versatility in the nonprofit sector and how much you can do with any number of skills and passion. Along with the versatility of the nonprofit sector as a whole, I learned that Columbus is great at having nonprofit organizations work together and build community amongst each other. In terms of artistically, I did not think there were too many art hubs in Columbus but to my surprise, Columbus is a city that thrives on art and artists that work together collectively.

There were many things throughout my experience that led to the transformation that I had. The first of many interactions are the ones that I had within the Columbus Foundation. As a program that brought together a cohort of peers, this opportunity was focused on ensuring that we learned together as a community through professional development. These professional development opportunities included meeting leaders in the Columbus nonprofit sector. This opportunity broadened my perspective on the types of people who enter these spaces and the array of different backgrounds that they come from. A prime example was my supervisor who started his career as a musician and eventually started working in the nonprofit sector full time. Meeting business leaders in the city and learning how they make their organizations run impacted me because it showed how much breadth and depth the Columbus community has in terms of philanthropy.

Within the specific nonprofit that I worked with, I got to learn how difficult and rewarding is it is to work with artistic nonprofits. Working closely with my supervisor at The King Arts Complex, I learned the ins and out of her role and saw what steps make things stay afloat. This was really beneficial to my experience because it allowed me to see the administrative aspect of working in a nonprofit. I also got to see how I operate within leadership settings. Part of my role was to teach kids 10-13 years old how to write poetry and perform. This teaching opportunity showed me that I do have the skill and ability to mentor young people. It also taught me that no matter how young I was compared to everyone else, I was able to be as effective if I absorbed the information presented and applied it well to other situations.

I also learned how impactful community is in making nonprofit organizations run through my interactions and involvement within the Columbus community. Going to events downtown like the concerts at the Columbus Commons allowed me to see different artists in Columbus perform and show their talents. This emphasized the strong artistic relationship among people and how nonprofit organizations help fund the art community and vice versa. The community that was built amongst my cohort was also pivotal in my transformational experience. I got to work and learn with other people who are passionate about what I am doing, some of which who also went to OSU. This taught me the importance of collaborative experiences and community building. Since we all came from different backgrounds and different areas of study, we also learned the importance of diversity within spaces to cultivate the most impactful learning environment.

This experience was extremely instrumental in my understanding in terms of career development. I got to interact with and understand the nonprofit sector to see how I could possibly fit into this space. Although I really loved the nonprofit portion of this opportunity, I actually fell more in love with the artistic side of things. I learned that I want to explore alternative options outside of the nonprofit sector that align more with my love of art as an artist. I was exposed to an array of different art forms that I enjoyed and may possibly want to pursue in the future. After this experience, I changed my minor from Nonprofit Studies to Film Studies because of the passion I have for film and directing which I would not have explored more if it was not for this internship. This internship also led to me being offered a job as a stagehand as a result of my skills that I used at the Final Production at the complex. This job offer proved that I made valuable connections with the art community in Columbus and also outside of it. Overall, I learned what I like and do not like in a work environment but most importantly, I learned how to run fearlessly into my passions. And that was truly transformative.


STEP Reflection

Chloee Gamble


During the summer of 2019 I worked for the Van Wert County Extension Office under Dr. Curtis Young, completing entomology research. I set up traps alongside crop fields to collect Black Cutworm moths, Common Armyworm moths, and Western Bean Cutworm moths and I had traps inside a corn field to collect ground beetles. The purpose of setting these traps was to have an idea of the amount of insects in the area that were potentially harmful to the cops in the area.


One of the biggest things I noticed that changed about myself during this project, was my love for agriculture. Before my internship, I did not know much about agronomy or the entire process of farming from planting season to harvest. I have always been very interested in agriculture as a future job related area, but never knew what. This internship allowed me to have hands on experience in multiple different areas, allowing me to figure out things that I like and things that I don’t like. During my internship, I was able to attend multiple different field days and on site educational classes that explained and emphasized the importance that the agriculture community has on the entire world.


Another big change this internship allowed me to see was the major progress that the agriculture community is making in technology, sustainable practices, and environmental protection/conservation. As an environmental friendly focused major, crop and animal farms have always been a heavy topic when thinking about conservation and sustainability for the environment. Farmers tend to get a lot of questions and negative thoughts on aspects such as, but not limited to fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, till versus no-till fields, and cover crops. These are all examples that have a lasting effect on the environment and can effect things in surrounding areas, not just the field. It was very reassuring to hear about all of the new practices farmers have adopted to insure the health and safety of all the people and communities around them. Farmers main priorities are conserving and safe use of the land with only good intentions while still being able to provide for everyone. This change and the steps being taken to move forward was very enlightening to hear and allows one to think positively for the future instead of concern for future generations.


One of the biggest events that led to the change during my internship were the field days that I attended. These field days allowed me to interact with well educated professors, researchers, and grad students to learn more about how agriculture is progressing in the world today. These field days included informative workshops, hands on sessions, and one on one interactions so any and all questions could be asked. Being able to walk through a field while being educated on it verses sitting in a lecture hall while a professor is educating, makes the information much easier to process and obtain.


My boss, Dr. Cutis Young, was one of the biggest reasons for this transformation/ change on the way that I saw the agriculture community. Our interactions everyday opened my eyes to a whole new world and specifically the community I group in. Dr. Young is a very knowledgeable person who was able to answer all my questions above and beyond. He provided me insight on not only entomology, which was the most specific aspect of the internship, but also on the renewable energy taking place in our town, all the farmers and the way they farm, and the practices that farmers all across Ohio use. He taught me all about herbicides, insecticides, and every type of weed and insect out three. Having this opportunity to spend all day learning new things in a fun, hands on way, allows one to really learn and helps to figure out future career paths.


Another person that helped lead to this transformation I had, was a co-worker of mine. We would spend a lot of time together planting, weeding, educating kids, and any other type of outside work that needed completed. Having this opportunity to spend time together allowed for many conversations related to the environment and environmental/ agriculture education. This showed me how important it is for kids to learn at a young age the importance of protecting, conserving, and taking care of the land, plants, and animals that they are surrounded by. Having the opportunity to work with such well educated coworkers opens many ideas, opportunities, and connections to new things.


This huge transformation I had on the agricultural community is very important because it led to the new focus I now have for my education. During the summer I was taught a lot about agronomy and the processes of farming, along with all of the important parts that play in. Soil, was key element I was most interested in. This allowed me to now focus more on soil and water conservation and begin to look for career options in this area. The soil and water conservation track I want to take is in the direction of agriculture sustainability, which is something I never would have imagined myself to have an interest in.


Summer Internship in Madrid Spain

  1. For my STEP signature project, I participated in an 8-week internship in Madrid, Spain where I worked for a company called LVMH. Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey (LVMH) is a global company that owns 70 prestigious brands and had 42.6 billion euros revenue in 2017. I worked in LVMH’s Finance department while in Spain where I grew both professionally as well as personally.
  2. Spending 8 weeks in Madrid really changed me as a person, I learned more about myself and my aspirations while abroad than I have in any of my schooling. Living and working in Spain changed my view of the world and my understanding of myself. Having to work in an environment where people barely speak English and my spanish wasn’t very strong, pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me become more confident in my abilities and allowed me to challenge myself in ways I never had before. From my STEP project I was able to advance my language skills, enhance my business skills, and become more independent.Living, working, and traveling to different countries and learning about its diverse cultures really opened my eyes to differences in people, their environments, and their subsequent lifestyles.
  3. Working in a foreign environment, with foreign people, who didn’t speak my native language was definitely a large factor in my transformation. Going in with a very intermediate level of Spanish and my coworkers speaking a minimal amount of English made my job an uphill battle from the start. I quickly had to learn key words and phrases and often think harder about what I was going to say before I said it. Over the course of these 8 weeks, I both learned more Spanish and became more confident in my abilities to communicate with my coworkers. I also had to overcome the barrier of learning Excel in Spanish which meant new words, new functions, and new formulas, but I am proud to confidently say I am now both fluent in Excel in English and Excel in Spanish.

Being in Spain gave me an amazing opportunity to be able to travel on the weekends. I was able to see different parts of Spain, Portugal, and even Africa. Having the ability to travel to so many amazing places allowed me to gain confidence in my ability to be independent while also allowing me to open my eyes to different cultures and everything the world has to offer. Having traveled to many countries in Europe before, living in Spain came as more of a culture shock than any other country I had previously visited which I can attribute mostly to my expectations. Upon my arrival I assumed everyone would speak English and I would just need a little Spanish to get around and I thought the culture and practices would be very similar to the United States, but they were not. Hardly anyone spoke English and their culture was way more relaxed and different from the United States. Living in Spain allowed me to fully immerse myself in its culture which gave me an advantage to quickly adapt to my new home allowing me to learn even more about it and its people.

The biggest culture shock and eye-opener for me was my weekend trip to Morocco. Their male-dominated lifestyle was very different from anything I had ever experienced before. We traveled in a tour group with many other Americans from our program, but our tour guide stated that you would never want to explore on your own especially if you were a girl. We didn’t see many girls on the streets and if we did they were completely covered head to toe. Even though we had pants on and our shoulders covered almost every man we passed made a comment to someone in our group. I had never felt so exposed in my life. This culture shock really opened my eyes to the differences between cultures and lifestyles. After the first few hours I was able to adapt better to the differences in this country more than I would have had I not just spent 6 weeks on my own in Spain. My new-found level of independence made me never want to stop exploring and see everything the world has to offer.

  1. This experience helped shape me professionally, personally, and academically. Professionally, I learned tons of new excel skills, finance terms, and how to understand and create a multitude of budget, profit and loss, and expense reports. I also gained valuable communication and relational skills which will help me both when working with others in my personal life and in my professional life as I pursue a career in consulting where I will often have to work in group settings. Without this amazing opportunity I never would have been able to learn so much about myself and others. With this internship I also was able to form lasting friendships and significant connections with people I never would have met otherwise. All of these factors have greatly shaped me into the person I have become 8 weeks later.

Internship for grad school

My Step project started in May and followed my training and certification to become an STNA. I stayed in Columbus and took classes here. Now I have an internship that is essential for my grad program.


I think being an STNA and starting at the bottom of healthcare has taught me why I am doing what I am doing. Caring for people who cannot care for themselves has humbled me in ways my schooling has not. I also had to roll with the punches so to speak because my ideal job at OSU I was not able to get. I am currently employed but I needed to learn patience when it comes to achieving the best possible outcome for me. I am going to use the lessons I have acquired here for further employment and skills down the road. I am excited to say that this was a transformative experience.


The events varied for me, but I will say that a patient got to my heartstrings. Here, she said to me that I had true kindness, which is apparently hard to come by in healthcare. It touched me because that is the main reason that I want to go into healthcare. That is also the main reason that I wanted to go into PA school rather than med school. I wanted to make sure that I was not going for money or the title. I sincerely want to be the best healthcare professional I can be.


Another experience that I thought was very transformative was the fact that I work with people that this is their full-time job. The job is stressful, demanding, and does not pay well. All of that being said it is so interesting to see workers come in every day with a smile and ready to help these patients. It is inspiring to see these patients being cared for by people who love what they are doing.


Lastly, my teacher for the SNTA class was an influence on me. She left her full-time job to teach this class about the importance of being an STNA. What I liked about what she had to offer was an experience she had in the field. Also, she taught us how everything should be done. It was nice to see the importance in doing something right. She was knowledgeable in infection control and patient’s rights.


Relating to my academics, I am very grateful for the skills I have learned and the people I have met along the way. As I said before, being at the bottom of the totem pole in healthcare humbles you. Seeing first how important patient care is I am so much more ready for PA school. I learned that it is not entirely about the medicine; it’s about the people too.

STEP Internship with Ohio-At-Home Health Care Agency

For my STEP project, I worked as a home health aide for Ohio-At-Home Health Care Agency. I lived in Columbus in order to complete this project. During the duration of my project I worked very closely with a girl high on the autism spectrum and her family.
I have had experience interacting with different mental and physical disabilities before, but not as closely as working as a home health aide. With this internship, I learned many details of Ohio, as well as national, disability laws and programs. It also opened my eyes to how many people live their life with a disability. I was a little hesitant at first when I was told I would be working with a non-verbal client. I was not sure what to expect or how I would tend to her needs since she could not directly tell me. I was also unaware of her cognitive functions at the time. However, when I started working with Shannin, I was very surprised. Even though she could only answer me with “yes” or “no”, or choose between two options, she was very bright. Shannin understood everything I would say to her and she knew how to do many tasks around the home. She often used an iPad to communicate when she wanted something which made things a lot easier when I couldn’t understand what she was trying to tell me. Our biggest goal with Shannin was community integration and being able to take care of herself. We often took her on shopping trips to Walmart and The Dollar Store. There I would help her to use her credit card. We also helped Shannin do her laundry, bathe, and clean up her room. After working with Shannin, I really thought about how members of the community see other members with a disability and just assume they don’t understand, which is quite the opposite.
Working as a home health aide helped me learn about the health care needs of members of the community, as well as administrative roles in health services. Although my internship was not exactly within my career goal, I was still able to find ways in which it applied. While I was working with Shannin, I also frequently interacted with our case coordinator. During my time at the company, my case coordinator changed from the person who recruited me to another employee. This employee was already in charge of eleven cases before taking on Shannin’s. It was very clear that she was overwhelmed and had too much on her plate. Because of this, she often made crucial scheduling errors and other problems arose. I always stepped up and worked as many days as I could because of the issues we were having. This taught me the importance of communication in the workplace, as well as the importance of delegation. Both of these are valuable skills which I will need for a career in health administration.


*No images can be provided due to HIPAA Laws.

STEP Project Reflection

Reflecting on my time as an intern at The Ohio Department of Health

Kiran Phuloria

Being a Health Sciences major and Biology minor, I was interested in combining my scientific and healthcare knowledge to immerse myself more into the workings of the medical and healthcare fields. I wanted to experience, first-hand, how doctors, nurses, administration, epidemiologists, and many more professionals work together to provide the absolute best patient care and treatment. Pursuing an internship at Ohio Department of Health helped me learn just that, along with many more life and professional lessons. I was an intern in the Bureau of Infectious Diseases, program that investigates and analyzes information on the incidence and prevalence of general infectious diseases, health events, vaccines, and more. I worked mainly with infectious diseases such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria. My role was the call patients diagnosed with these specific diseases and ask them questions about clinical information, food history, animal exposures, and travel and activities, in an effort to gain more information about where outbreaks may happen or if there are links between cases. Talking to the patients allowed for more investigation from an epidemiological standpoint and also allowed me the chance to work with epidemiologists closely to find causes of diseases.

Throughout the summer, my understanding of myself, my assumptions, and my view of the world all changed into a more comprehensive, appreciative view. Before the internship, I had never worked in a professional setting, moreover a healthcare setting; my previous experiences included retail jobs and volunteering at hospitals. My outlook on myself changed through recognizing more specific goals for my future. I learned how important it was for me to interact directly with patients and to receive and give timely responses to emails/other tasks. As for my assumptions, I used to be oblivious about the inner workings of how different healthcare professionals work together, assuming there was medium to little interaction. However, I learned, through various events over the three months, how incredibly close hospitals, private practices, retirement homes, health departments, infection prevention, and many more work together. Finally, my view of the world became more positive and realistic. I don’t think individuals realize adulthood and career until they truly immerse themselves in the environment and I saw how individuals truly carry their passions from college into the workplace, aiming to provide better health outcomes, all while balancing their own personal and financial situations. I aim to carry my passions from college along with realistic life lessons, all the challenges and joy that comes along with adulthood.

Finding my appreciation for direct patient interaction and timely responses came from every interactions I had at work. Talking to the patients and asking them questions on symptoms/health history opened my eyes to how much compassion and understanding is required in the healthcare field, which I never truly understood until actual patient interaction. Listening to their comments and concerns, and answering to them, was more rewarding to me than any basic question that was part of protocol.

Next, I learned about how close hospitals, health departments, and other health institutions work with each other through a specific event in our department, Bureau of Infectious Diseases. Our epidemiologists were working on an investigation regarding a romaine lettuce outbreak and asked the interns to talk to specific patients, with strains of interest, to see if they had any romaine lettuce, or where they are from, and matters of that sort. While calling these patients, I also cross referenced test results and information with nurses. Often times, nurses would redirect me to a laboratory or an infection prevention department. Other times, I would be referred to primary physicians or long term care facilities. This process made me realize how many institutions are tied together on the health concerns of a single patient, and how communication between these places is important is best helping the patient. Gaining information or confirming information from all these sources gave me, and ultimately, our epidemiologists more answers for the investigation.

Lastly, I was able to develop a more positive and realistic view of the world through the relationship I developed with my immediate supervisor. During my job training, she clearly provided me with objectives and normal job expectations, like uploading data, talking to patients, faxing, filing, etc. However, she also provided me with great advice on how to succeed at the internship, which was not necessarily written in any official objectives. She shared stories of her background and how she came into public health. She also talked about her love for her pets, how she enjoys camping with her family, and her day to day life outside of work. Through these conversations, I learned how it is possible to have amazing passion in your career and have a joyful life outside too! In college, sometimes, there is a pessimistic attitude that people do not enjoy their jobs in the future or actually have a life outside of work. However, through my actual hands on experience, I realized how this is not true and with personal effort and growth, anything is possible.

I am grateful for the opportunity to have interned at the Ohio Department of Health. This transformation, as a student and aspiring healthcare professional, was valuable for my life for many reasons. Being a Health Sciences, on the pre-medical track, I was always intrigued to get more information and insight to how day to day interactions and tasks would be; this is not something students get to experience in the classroom. It was also significant to see how knowledge from the classroom, specifically from general biology to healthcare management classes, were able to apply at work. The experience relates to my future personal and professional goals as it reaffirmed and grew my passion for the healthcare field and showed me how I am on a promising path to do what I love as a career, as long as I work hard to follow objectives, build interpersonal relationships, and bring my strengths to anything in life.

Presenting at a statewide meeting

John Deere Summer Internship

Name: Karen Santos
Type of Project: Summer Internship

This past summer I had the opportunity to work for John Deere Electronic Solutions (JDES) as a Manufacturing Engineer in Fargo, North Dakota! This John Deere facility was very unique as it was strictly Deere’s only electronic manufacturing facility in the USA. I worked pretty heavily on the manufacturing lines of Deere’s electrical equipment such as sensors, displays, and GPS systems.

Intern Buddies

This internship was a great experience for me to learn about a multitude of different things from technical work I can use to advance in my career to achieve a broad understanding of the different sectors John Deere caters to. It’s clear that Deere cares about their employees starting with their interns. I had the opportunity to attend their Internship Conference in Moline, Illinois where I was able to learn more about the companies’ values and how they are more than just a company that makes farming equipment as most people think. Their core values really struck me as they are a company that focuses on integrity, quality, commitment, and innovation. As a Humanitarian Engineering minor, I also wanted to work for a company that does something for the people. With a population constantly growing by the millions what better opportunity than to work for a company that clothes, shelters and feeds people through their products. John Deere also does a good amount of outreach through education and community development by partnering with non-profits such as Mercy Corps and United Ways to find solutions for world hunger. Working for a company that cares so much about people motivated me to want to take part in more volunteering initiatives.

2018 Intern Conference in Moline, IL.

Not only was I able to gain a greater sense of professional development, but I was also able to learn a lot about myself. This was the first time in my whole life that I was on my own, therefore this experience allowed me to gain comfort in the idea that its okay to be on your own sometimes. I found a strong piece of mind in my ability to manage things such as my time and money. I was also able to learn more about things that I tend to like and dislike. I found myself taking more of an initiative to volunteer and even pick up on a few hobbies that I hadn’t taken part in for a long time such as biking and dancing.

Fargo view from the water tower

A little quick geography lesson, Fargo, ND is neighboring towns with Moorehead, MN separated by a river, so I found myself spending a lot of time between the two. (I learned to go grocery shopping in Moorehead as they did not charge taxes on food.)                                                         Map of Fargo/ Moorehead area

As I had mentioned before, working with Deere motivated me to want to get out into the community and volunteer more. I grew up in a Catholic household and church was always something very important to me. I went to about 6 different Catholic Churches in the Fargo/Moorehead but one stood out to me the most. St Francis de Sales Catholic Church was the only Hispanic church in a 100-mile radius. I found a community of strong, like-minded people that I came to love as a family of my own. During my time I got very close to a Sister named Lucy who was originally from Mexico. One day she approached me with an idea to put on a retreat for the children of the parish. At first, I was very hesitant in doing so, although I had attended many retreats in the past, I had never hosted one myself. I took the time to reflect on the idea and ended up saying yes. This experience allowed me to get to know more of the kids in the parish and really strengthen my own love for my faith. 

First Ever, Catholic Youth Retreat @ St Francis de Sales 

During my internship, I was assigned a John Deere Mentor, Guillermo. Guillermo really exposed me more to John Deere as a whole as I was able to learn and take away from a lot of the conversations we had on both the professional and personal level. He was one of the only Hispanics I had met in Fargo and although the Hispanic community there wasn’t large it sure was strong. I really appreciate the conversations that were had in and out of work as we were able to connect as both colleagues and friends.

Red River Valley Fair

I believe development is important as it allows one to understand more about themselves and their goals. Before this project, I knew that I wanted to do something with my life but I wasn’t sure what it was exactly. After my internship, I was able to reignite my passion for learning. With that being said, post graduation I would like to get my Masters in Computer Engineering. This is a long-term goal that I hope to work towards either upon graduation or while working full time. I hope to end up with John Deere as I get closer to searching for full-time opportunities as their company culture has really stood out to me.

Outside of the New Product Introduction Building where I hope to work one day again!

In my personal transformation, I was also able to become more curious about the world around me and look at things from a different perspective. Part of my project was based around driving 36 hours from my hometown of San Diego, California to Fargo, North Dakota, then driving another 12 after my internship from Fargo, North Dakota to Columbus, Ohio. This experience was pretty interesting for me as it was my first long road trip. I also remember the feelings of nerves I had when I was driving up for the summer and then feeling sad to leave when it was time to depart. I was able to drive through many states and appreciate the technology that has developed over the last 100 years to allow me to do such a long road trip.

 Passing through Arizona!

Being on my own gave me the opportunity to be alone with my thoughts and do things because I wanted to, not because others were telling me to. That was something I learned to appreciate as it was one of the first times in my life I was able self-sufficient and independent. Going forward, I would like to take the time to do more things for myself whether that’s pick up a yoga class during my free time, or even sit down and read a book on own. Although when school is in session it gets a little difficult to do so, I would like to try to make an initiative to do one thing for myself a week all bymyself.

My Summer Internship 2018

My STEP project was my summer internship at Greif, Inc. I was lucky enough to be a finance intern there for twelve weeks. Mainly, I learned about financial analysis, data validation, professionalism, and much more.

At the beginning of this experience I was extremely nervous. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to understand and I was not sure of my ability. Luckily, I was surrounded by some incredible individuals that were willing to help me learn and answer any question I had. I wasn’t sure what to expect as for the culture of the office going in. I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was a very welcoming environment. Through many projects as an intern I learned about excel, data validation, formatting, and the importance of internal reporting in a business. There are endless ways to present financial data and through this experience I found that I best understand when it is presented visually in graphics such as pie charts, line graphs, and stacked graphs. I now have a better understanding of how I personally learn and I can apply this to my studies at Ohio State.

The internship program at Grief is quite robust in that we are given many opportunities to connect with other interns, employees, and the community. A fear I had going into this experience was not being able to connect with those around me. Luckily, I was part of a fantastic and social group of interns. We had the chance to meet every week and learn more about the business and each other at our roundtables. Another beneficial part of my internship was the plant tour. We traveled to Florence, KY and Cincinnati, OH to see how exactly the products are made. The meat of my internship was spent working on projects with the Financial Planning and Analysis team. I was given the opportunity to work on many types of projects including budgeting, capital expenditures, and internal reporting. I strengthened my skills in excel and financial knowledge. We rounded off our summer by presenting to the Executive Leadership Team and managers.

This experience has been an incredibly valuable one. I became more confident in my abilities and gained skills I will use in my professional life. I learned about the importance of continuous growth and development and how I should implement that in my future. This internship helped me realized that just because I am an accounting major, I am not confined to accounting jobs. My major will not define my work ethic, willingness to learn, or my abilities.


My Step project was to perform Undergraduate Research at the University of Dayton in Dr. Amit Singh’s Lab. Through my research, I investigated the role of a high-fat diet on the tissue-specific Alzheimer’s Aß42 gene in Drosophila melanogaster.

Working in the lab for the summer every day, I gained a lot of respect for researchers learning that research takes a lot of patience, time, and problem-solving skills. I worked with the graduate students and my undergraduate mentor on my own project of investigating the role of a high-fat diet on the Alzheimer’s Aß42 gene. The project is still continuing and I received the opportunity to present my research at conferences and symposiums. Although I enjoyed my research, I realized pursuing a route to become a Ph.D. was not for me. Through this, I strengthened my problem-solving skills and learned how to critically think. Most importantly, I learned how to work with others in the lab and gain leadership skills by performing my own project and training other undergraduates in the lab on how to dissect, mount, or take adult eye pictures. I worked on my public speaking skills by learning how to present my research at a level where the audience can comprehend what I was saying. On a worldly level, I learned a lot about Alzheimer’s and how many people it affects. Along with that, I felt like I got to fully comprehend how complex diseases are what is going on at a genetic level to cause these types of diseases. I realized some things are just so complex that there is not a simple answer to a cure. This made me gain a lot of respect for researchers and pharmaceutical companies who work so hard to push medicine to its frontiers.

The interactions between my PI and the undergraduate students really allowed me to make this transformation and fully grasp life as a researcher. Working in the lab every day, I got close to the other undergraduate and graduate students in the lab. I would work with the graduate students to make sure my project was running smoothly and get their help on certain procedures or stainings. The undergraduate students became my closest friends over the summer who I could pitch my problem-solving ideas too and get help on my project. For example, the coconut oil was separating out in the incubators and I would brainstorm with the undergraduate students their thoughts on how to get it to stay intact. With their help, I ended up coming up with a food making protocol that allowed for my project to further advance. My research PI then helped push me to critically think and fully comprehend on a genetic level what was going on in my project. He would force me to interpret my results and then explain why I was getting those results. This really allowed me to test my creativity and push me to develop a viewpoint of wondering why everything in medicine happens, instead of just accepting that it does.

Along with these interactions, I learned multiple different laboratory protocols that allowed me to learn how to pay attention to meticulous details and follow precise directions. Having my own project, I was required to perform all the experiments and protocols by myself. This required a lot of practice and determination before I could actually perform them on my own personal project. Using the GAL4/UAS system, the tissue-specific Aß42 gene was expressed in the fly’s eye. To research the effects of a high-fat diet, I first had to make fly food that was 20% coconut oil and amplify fly stocks in this food. From there, I collected data on the larval fatalities and adult survival rates. I also took adult eye pictures of the offspring to determine if the neurodegeneration worsened or improved. The next step was to then dissect in the 3rd instar larval stages, stain the eye disk with antibodies, mount the disks, and take confocal pictures of the eye disks to see the neurodegeneration at a neuronal level. From learning how to perform these protocols, I then received the opportunity to teach these skills to other members that joined the lab that may have not learned those protocols yet. This allowed me to expand my leadership skills while also learning how to teach someone in a way they would not feel overwhelmed and can grasp what I was saying.

While working in the lab, we had weekly meetings with the PI in which we would all present what we have done so far in our project, the data we have received, and the future steps we were going to take. This allowed me to keep track of everything I was doing throughout the weeks but also practice presenting in front of everyone in the lab. Originally, I was so scared to get up and talk in front of everyone because the genetic part to Alzheimer’s was hard for me to understand, let alone talk about it. However, over time I learned to get used to speaking and knew that if I messed up it was a learning experience. This prepared me to present at real symposium and conferences. I presented at a neuroscience conference at Wright State University where students and professors from around the MidWest came to talk. I got to answer challenging questions about my project that allowed me to think about everything on a deeper, neuronal level. Later in the summer, I presented at the University of Dayton’s summer symposium where I again presented to students and professors. I practiced my public speaking skill and learned how to present my project in a thorough yet concise manner.

Overall, this has been an extremely beneficial experience to me because not only did I learn how to problem-solve, work with others, critically think, and present my research, but I also get to add this experience to my medical school resume. Performing research validated me in my choice of wanting to pursue a path to becoming a physician and this research can help improve my chances of attaining this goal. I’ll be able to talk about this research on my medical school applications and in medical school interviews. Also, by forming a valuable relationship with my PI he can write me a recommendation letter for medical school. I can also carry all the traits, knowledge, and experiences I’ve gained from this experience not only into medical school but even throughout life.

Arconic Internship

This summer I was interning at Arconic in Cleveland, OH. My role at Arconic was a process engineering intern, and my project was to get one of the Cleveland manufacturing plants up to speed with Smart Manufacturing.


During this internship some transformations occurred to myself, my assumptions, and how I view certain things. One example on a transformation of myself was how I am able to interact with other people on a professional level now after I have completed my internship. Going onto my assumptions, they changed in a away where I have learned to not assume things right away and to evaluate the whole picture before I conclude to an assumption. And finally my view on the world has changed in a way where I can view myself in a way where I can fit in the world professionally in a work environment and be a beneficial help for myself and society.


I had certain events, interactions, and activities that have occurred during my STEP project that have led to the changes and transformations that have occurred to me earlier. With my internship this summer I was put into many different situations, and being in different situations means I am dealing with many different people. When I am dealing with a wide variety of people in a work environment, it has thought me to be able to communicate and works with them in a professional way where I can still be myself and display personality but in a professional manner. I really enjoyed this transformation because I believe my personality is a big trait of mine and in a work environment I would like to display it, and with my STEP signature project I was able to learn how to do that.


My transformation in my assumptions occurred in a few situations this summer. One of them occurring from when I was working on my Smart Manufacturing Project. While working on my project I had to learn the hard way to learn what happens when I assume certain things. While working, I assumed certain actions that I did would only affect my end of my project but it ended up affecting multiple other engineers because I assumed it was only going to affect me. So it taught me to step back and evaluate the full picture and proceed with my actions.


After I completed my Smart Manufacturing Project at Arconic and presenting it to the company I learned a lot with how I will able to fit in the professional world down the road. I was able to see my strengths and weaknesses come out and see how I took advantage of them. I saw certain traits of mine that I did not know I possessed. And also I saw how I handle situations under pressure and proceed with my actions.


Overall this transformation is going to be very valuable to me. It will not only affect my personal goals in a positive manner it will also impact my professional goals. It’s going to add a lot of value to my life since it has given me the opportunity to go out in the real world and make an impact.A

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