- Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project. Write two or three sentences describing the main activities your STEP Signature Project entailed.
My STEP project was an internship during the academic year, starting August 8th and wrapping up the first of May. I interned with Ohio Corn & Wheat and was responsible for leading the Collegiate Policy Academy, as well as assisting the communications department with a variety of projects.
- What about your understanding of yourself, your assumptions, or your view of the world changed/transformed while completing your STEP Signature Project? Write one or two paragraphs to describe the change or transformation that took place.
When I applied for this internship, it was in the thick of “2 weeks to flatten the curve.” I was hopeful that I would be able to participate in all the regular activities listed on the job objectives and have an internship experience COVID-free, but, that was not the case. All the projects I worked on were canceled, turned virtual, or in a hybrid model, nothing like I had anticipated. I went from anticipating to dreading, my work. But I realized that this time, although uncertain, came with an opportunity to grow, even if they were not in the ways I expected.
Although I didn’t get to plan and book in-person logistics for a DC fly-in, I was able to pilot a virtual Fly-In with legislators instead. Although I never left the state to travel to different conventions, I realized how great some of our in-state organizations and communities are. I also realized, that as the Gen-Zer in the office, I now hold valuable skills when it comes to technology and its blunders in the COVID/virtual era.
- What events, interactions, relationships, or activities during your STEP Signature Project led to the change/transformation that you discussed in #2, and how did those affect you? Write three or four paragraphs describing the key aspects of your experiences completing your STEP Signature Project that led to this change/transformation.
I was able to have a very valuable mentorship with one of the staff at my internship. He not only cared about me and how I was doing my job, but my academics and wellbeing outside of that. He challenged me to think for myself and in ways, I didn’t expect.
I was also able to connect with our board members on many more occasions than the typical intern in years past would have. Although most were over zoom, I was able to hold one-on-one interactions and conversations with individuals and small groups outside of formal meetings.
Lastly, I was able to list things on my resume that I wouldn’t have been able to if not for COVID, like my adaptability on a variety of projects, as well as getting to lead projects I wouldn’t have originally gotten to.
- Why is this change/transformation significant or valuable for your life? Write one or two paragraphs discussing why this change or development matters and/or relates to your academic, personal, and/or professional goals and future plans.
Walking into this internship, I was very confident in myself and want I wanted to do in life. And while this experience was valuable and enjoyable, I learned a lot about what I don’t want to do in my future career as well. Prior to this experience, I was excited and motivated to climb a corporate ladder, network, and succeed within my profession. But what I learned was, with that, comes making your career more than just the 9-5 hours Monday through Friday. I learned the value of work-life balance, although it is not popular or common in today’s work world, how essential it was to my mental health.
I also learned that situations are what you make of them, and although I could be frustrated with the circumstances, I could choose optimism and in turn make the most of my internship. Having an internship during COVID isn’t ideal, but it did give me valuable learning opportunities.
Video I developed as one of my projects:
Internship Award Post & Photo:
Statehouse visit Post & Photo: