- I was an implementation intern at Strategic Insurance Software in Columbus, Ohio. I developed an application that scraped data from one database and then populated another one.
- The largest transformation that took place in the completion of my STEP project was my understanding of what it means to be a professional leader. I have always pursued leadership in my involvements, formal or otherwise, finding roles in which I better the team I’m a part of. However, I have never found myself as a part of a team dedicated to software development, the field I intend to pursue. It is there that I found the different components of leadership, from hard skills to soft skills, and the various styles of leadership come into play. Because of my STEP Signature Project, I have a more detailed and complex understanding of what it means to lead in a professional environment which I will carry for the rest of my life.
- Through relationships with my three supervisors, Luke, Adam, and Richard, I was mentored on what it means to be a leader in software development, something I truly hope to become.
Luke was my department supervisor. Our relationship led to my current understanding of what professional leaders look like. The first time I met him, he told me that he only has two priorities: get employees paid and get them promoted. That was quite jarring. Up until that point, I had understood organizations from a goal-oriented structure. In that view, one’s priority should ensure that employees “deliver the best product/service.” Luke, however, delegates those tasks to those below him. From his perspective, near the top of the organization, his priority is those he leads. It is under this philosophy that he believes team members will aspire to be paid and promoted under his leadership, with the most expedient path being “delivering the best product/service.”
Adam was my area supervisor. His leadership taught me the importance of relationships in the workplace. Despite our age and experience difference, he always valued what I had to say. Much of my technical conversations were with Richard. With Adam, our discussions covered broader ground, from the personal to the professional and everything in between. By having a personal relationship with senior developers, I felt more integrated within the professional environment than I ever imagined. By promoting conversation and kindness, Adam enabled the area to become a community, not just a workplace.
Richard was my project supervisor. With him, I learned the most “hard” skills. The nitty-gritty technical know how that is necessary to be useful in the tech field. Although his knowledge base was as deep as it was wide, it was not that which stuck out to me. The most valuable component of Richard’s mentorship was his patience. He knew that he came into each of our conversations with the burdens of knowledge and experience. Although I work hard to learn as much as I can, it does not always immediately “click.” This is something he knew and expected. As such, he never hesitated to work with me through the problems I faced, despite the fact that to him, solutions were often quite apparent. His calm demeanor enabled me to learn in a relaxed environment that was likely most conducive for educational success.
- I have the full intention to pursue software development as my field of study upon graduating from OSU. I also have the full intention to lead in software development. Whether that is industry wide or closely among peers, I wish to do so successfully. By working under exceptional supervisors, I have been given both new tools and a road map to find success as a leader in software. Although my employment does not command my whole focus in my life beyond Ohio State, it certainly will take up much of it. I am tremendously grateful that my STEP Signature Project enabled me with the opportunity to enhance my professional prospects as a leader.