Phlebotomy Internship

My project was focused on learning the skills and responsibilities of a phlebotomist. I spent time taking courses that taught proper order of draw and the wonders of the cardiovascular system and our blood components. At my internship, I was responsible for taking blood, labeling tubes, and understanding their proper storage. 


This project taught me just how fears can be overcome and how important it is to truly understand the aspects of what you are doing, even if it requires you to do outside research. I have always been a little squeamish when it comes to blood – just what you want to hear from your phlebotomist, right? On my first blood draw it wasn’t the patient who became light-headed, but myself! I became more confident in blood drawing and was able to successfully complete all my blood draws. What makes it so scary is all the aspects that could go wrong. There are many factors to consider when taking someone’s blood – What vein is best to draw from? Is the needle inserted at the right angle? Does the patient have any history of a mastectomy, do they have a hematoma, collapsed vein? Is the vacuum in the tube good? The list continues on, which is what makes this so daunting. Doing this definitely taught me not to underestimate anyone and also to give people the opportunity to learn from their mistakes. In order to be successful, I had to practices poking a lot of people and I obviously wasn’t always accurate. So, I am definitely grateful to those people who helped me through this. I hope to return the favor to others in the future. 

In order to understand all aspects of my internship, I had to do some outside research. The class couldn’t be all-encompassing of every situation. I had to learn the specific ways and procedure the office I was in did blood draws. I had to figure out which tubes would be necessary for specific types of testing and the proper way the tubes needed to handled post draw.  It definitely required patience and more self-motivation. 


Interacting with the people who allowed me to practice on them definitely helped in my transformation experience. My first blood draw definitely did not go well. I left a pretty large bruise on the sweet lady I drew on. However, she was super encouraging and handled the situation with grace. She even let me draw on her during my last day and it was a success! This helped me to understand that giving a person a chance to learn from their mistakes is important. This made me feel a lot more confident in my abilities. 

I was also able to learn a great deal of patience and self-motivation. The classes I had to take in order to do my internship were not exactly the best. They were all online so I had to create a lot of my own structure and schedule. The class was also poorly organized and often there would be missing videos. This required me to do some research beyond the class as well. This allowed me to learn even more and understand phlebotomy from different viewpoints. 

In addition to all this, interacting with a variety of patients and understanding patient confidentiality was a really important learning experience. This will help me in the future as a medical professional. For example, if I knew a test I was doing was for STDs or drugs, I had to be careful not to judge and of course not share this information with anyone else. I was able to learn the importance of patient interaction and how to act professionally in these situations. This was a great learning experience for me and will help me in my future jobs. 


These learning points and transformation are so valuable to me because they will help me in other medical professions and also in my future courses. I can use the characteristic of confidence to assist me when I’m feeling overwhelmed. Being confident and exerting confidence is an important way to hold yourself in front of others, especially medical settings. It feels better to be a more confident person! Self-motivation will also be an incredibly valuable skill in future courses and jobs. It allows me to complete tasks more efficiently and put people at ease. 

Overall, the most important aspect I have taken away is how to interact with people, patients in particular. Patient interaction is really important. Knowing how to be empathetic, not cross lines, and maintain confidentiality is necessary for the person’s comfort. It was also crucial to double-check who the person is and that you’re drawing from the correct individual. This will be important in future jobs to make sure I’m carrying our correct diagnoses and treating people in the best way possible. This experience was incredibly valuable and I am able to take a lot away from it. I will be able to do better in my coursework and it has put me on the right track to being a medical professional. I have definitely grown as a person as a result of this internship.

Exploring Animal Science Research through ASURE

As a part of the 10-week Animal Science Undergraduate Research Experience (ASURE) sponsored through the Department of Animal Sciences at Ohio State, I participated in a research internship focusing on nutritional immunology in neonatal piglets.  My main responsibilities revolved around various sample collections, sample processing, and data analysis.

Regarding the impact that of my STEP Signature Project, the most significant transformation that occured as a result of my project was a stronger understanding of what goes into animal science research, which prepares me for my post-graduation plans and future career.  Being able to participate in ASURE introduced an exceptional opportunity to become integrated in animal science research through aspects of practical and applicable science.  I aspire to pursue a career in animal agriculture where I can operate at the forefront of public health and sustainability, specifically in the pork and poultry industries where the demand for their growth and products continues to be on the rise.  This transformation involved adaptability and resilience as success in this type of position relies heavily on one’s capability to adjust when circumstances do not go as planned and to remain flexible with those adjustments.

A transformation that occurred more personally to myself is a growth in my ability to communicate, both orally and written.  Clear communication is an aspect of myself that I struggle with at times, so this project truly pushed me to be more efficient and effective in this way.  Because the expression of scientific findings requires concise and understandable language, I grew in this regard.  The changes I experienced were all encompassing, transforming my personal development and broadening my understanding of animal sciences.

The transformations I have experienced are all owed to the interactive, hands-on nature of my project.  Having had the chance to be a part of the research process from start to finish really put into perspective all that is involved in investigating various scientific ideas relating to animal agriculture.  The experiential structure of my internship has prepared for the types of obligations and issues that I will endure in my future career.

Furthermore, having had individual and independent tasks during my project allowed me to experience personal change.  Taking on multiple responsibilities pushed me to be more confident in my work and abilities.  Similarly, I was encouraged to develop my communication skills while giving a presentation on the data analysis processes I was tasked with.  Although it was daunting at first, it came to be an enjoyable experience and I was able to learn more about scientific methods in the process.

While I was initially skeptical of how impactful my STEP project could be, I am both surprised and very grateful for the experiences I had. Overall, these transformations will enable me to be a valuable asset to the agricultural industry as I work on problems impacting different production systems and effectively communicate how they can be solved through research.

It is commonly mentioned how the global population is going to drastically increase over the next thirty years, and that the agricultural field, specifically food animal agriculture, must do something to combat this inevitable issue of feeding a growing world.  Of course, this issue at hand is not to be taken lightly.  It must be seriously considered and is a driver for why many are passionate about this field of work; they can have an essential and meaningful impact on the lives of others in terms of providing nourishment and subsistence.  I have the same desire and mentality as others to continue working towards the goal of providing for society, and my STEP Signature Project and resulting transformations will allow me to advance in my life after graduation in this manner.  By gaining a deeper understanding of the area of study that I am interested in and developing myself personally by becoming a more effective communicator, I will be able to contribute meaningfully while collaborating with others and solving issues revolving around human and animal health.  What makes this experience so valuable and life-changing not only to my life after graduation, but also my future career is being able to see firsthand how my education in the classroom is transferable to the industry and societal issues.  It pushes and encourages me to be successful in the classroom now, as it will only put me forward in the future.  My STEP Signature Project and transformations are valuable because they allow me to continue in a progressive direction.

STEP Studio Artist Internship Reflection

During the first two weeks of June, I worked as an intern and assistant under studio artist Mrs. Sarah Fairchild predominantly in Long Island City, New York.  During the week, I would arrive at her studio and assist her in her commissions with duties including screen printing, heat-pressing, and various other detailing for her to install into her paintings and collages.  During my off-time and free time in the studio, I was instructed to visit museums/art scenes and also pursue my own project. Working under Fairchild’s wing was transformational in my being fully immersed into the studio artist life at one of the most prevalent centers of the art world.

While I went into the project with certain assumptions regarding the difficulties included in the package of being a full-time studio artist, I will admit that I learned that the lifestyle can be more daunting than I had anticipated.  Many of the studio artists within the shared studio space of Fairchild’s floor have full-time jobs to support their lifestyles, only being able to come into the studio on weekends. Fairchild was one of the only artists that I met that were self-sufficient.  However, upon meeting several studio artists during my stay in New York, I discovered their underlying passion shine through –driving them to pursue art in whatever ways that they can. I learned how to screen print, burn my own screens, and combine different mediums into my screen print pieces.  I also discovered that while the work could be tedious as I expected, I genuinely loved every moment of my time working alongside my mentor. I developed a new sense of confidence and motivation regarding my own abilities and passions. Ultimately, the trip in its entirety was inspiring and I believe having been a mentee under Fairchild will give me an upper hand for any artistic journey I pursue in the future.

My interactions and relationship with Fairchild were by far the most valuable asset in my transformational experience.  Not only did she guide me artistically with teaching me about screen printing techniques and taking me around the city as I helped her gather materials, but she also was kind enough to provide me with life advice.  Throughout my third year at Ohio State, I constantly had an on and off “existential crisis” where I would episodically be concerned about my future life for after I graduated. The conversations we had helped boost my confidence and allow me to be braver with my life decisions.  She was generous in her telling me that I have room to grow and time to be daring.

There was also an air to Fairchild that was incredibly calming.  She was gentle with her instructions and never cared for when I made mistakes.  The uniqueness of my mistakes, she stated, would make her work look more interesting.  Her openness to allowing the artist’s mark-making shine through her pieces really emphasized to me that she cared more for the beauty in the details and process than the appearance of perfection. 

Regarding some of the daunting aspects of her career, working inside Fairchild’s studio with her also made me reflect on the kind of work environment I would be placing myself into should I pursue a life in studio artistry.  For the most part, she works alone during the day –a drastic change from when she worked as an art teacher in a high school with several hundred students shuffling through her classroom each day. While she is comfortable and content with sitting alone throughout most of the week, it was an aspect I had never really considered before.  Additionally, the work that Fairchild makes inside her studio requires a lot of physical labor in moving parts and utilizing heavy machinery. It was never mentally taxing, but the work was definitely physically strenuous. While not a deterrent in my pursuit for an art career, these were definitely elements I had not yet considered before my internship.

Finally, I was also moved by my interactions with the other studio artists I met on my trip.  I was always fearful of the idea of becoming a “starving artist” as they say, but I am pleased that I was proven wrong.  It was inspiring to see how many of their day jobs interweaved with their practice. The phrase’s connotation is so twisted –all the artists that I encountered had the means to provide for themselves to allow for art in their lives.  I discovered that it was not so much that these artists would starve because they were an artist, but rather, that they would be willing to starve in order to create their artworks.  

As I have mentioned before, I know that I will be pursuing art in my future, post-undergrad, whether it is like the studio artist lifestyle I experienced this summer or other art-related endeavors.  Being able to go to New York and work under Fairchild felt as if I was able to bring everything I had learned thus far in my painting and drawing curriculum into the field first hand, for the first time.  While I was slightly worried the experience would deter me from the lifestyle, the internship only solidified my desire to pursue an artistic career path and follow my passions whether it be teaching art, having my own studio practice, or creating comics/illustrations.  Though I still have at least another full two semesters at Ohio State, it was rewarding to be able to taste the real world implications of what it means to be an active artist –and a self-sufficient one at that. I am looking forward to seeing how I grow these upcoming semesters knowing that I am even more energized and passionate about creating and bringing my work to life.


Top picture is a picture of myself with my mentor, studio artist Sarah Fairchild.

Below is a picture of one of my personal prints that I gifted to her at the end of the internship.