Consulting Intern for Crowe – Step Reflection



My STEP Signature Project was me moving to a different city to complete an internship at a company called Crowe. My internship was a Strategy, Management, and Advisory Consulting Internship, and I had the pleasure of working with my manager and a team of 7 people in the New York Office. I worked 50 hours a week aiding my team and assisting on projects. 




The biggest thing that changed my understanding of myself was being in a different city and living with a random person. Being in a large city and not knowing many people definitely was me pushing myself out of my comfort zone and something that I had not done before. And being in an incredibly professional work setting 5 days of the week was new to me as well. I had to be very disciplined with how I spent my time, and making sure I was being a reliable employee while also trying to get used to the city and the people there. I learned a lot about myself in the sense that I learned that I love a fast paced city and workplace, and need to have people around me that are supportive and there for me. I also learned that I like being independent and do not always give myself enough credit for my hard work and focus on things. I feel that after this summer, my priorities with my time have changed and also I feel that I know myself better as the type of friend and employee I am and want to be. 


A huge relationship I had this summer was with my manager Gen. She truly made my internship experience so incredibly welcoming and I always knew I could lean on her for help or for anything at all. There were 3 other people on my team who were also college interns and I was lucky to be with them and now friends with them. The people in the company really did impact my entire summer and made me want to go back the same city and company post graduating at Ohio State. We all would work together, eat together and go to the various company events together. I never felt like work was too grueling because the people with me were never too serious and just genuine. It was great when my manager was the one who told me that I got a return offer instead of senior staff like other interns had. I enjoyed getting to know her and work with her and really appreciated that last meeting. 


All summer, my roommate and I explored New York City. We would plan each weekend and always be doing something. Whether that be going to Central Park, Chelsea Market, Chinatown, Brooklyn, training to a New York Beach, going to museums, etc.. We always were busy and doing things together. I was so grateful to be in the city I was in, and had never stayed there before. Living in the city and then also exploring made us feel like locals, and we got to know the subway system super well. I feel that being in a new place and doing these things with my roommate was super special since it allowed for us to become friends and also trust each other more. By the end of my summer I felt like I knew the places around me so well that I didn’t even need to use Apple Maps or my phone to get anywhere. It was awesome being able to feel that way since I felt so scared in the beginning. 


Lastly, while I was in New York for my internship– I got to connect with many OSU alums who graduated a year or 2 years prior. I feel like I got to know the “lay of the land” when it comes to fully living in NYC after going to school in Ohio and also being from there. Hanging out and becoming friends with people from OSU felt so familiar and great in the big city, and I feel super supported if I decide to go back since I know I have friends there I can ask questions to or just have around me! Being able to connect and reconnect with people from OSU was a gift this summer and definitely not something I took for granted. It was great to receive guidance with them and also just having them there with me. 




Yes, this transformation for me was incredibly valuable for my life. This will be the summer I tell my kids about! I feel so thankful to have received the opportunity, but also to receive help from STEP to be able to attend fully in the city also. I stayed in NYU Dorm housing for the summer, and I would not have been able to go if it was not for STEP. I learned so much about myself and the type of friends I want to have and look for. I also learned a lot about the type of friend that I want to be to others. I lived with a random roommate and this was something new for me, but it turned out to be a positive experience! 


I also learned that the work that I did at my internship is exactly what I want to be pursuing post grad. Having this realization was so freeing since I had done internships in the past but still wanted to see what else was out there, but after this summer I feel like I have found something special that I could be happy doing. I feel lucky to know that I like that kind of work environment and the tasks that I had to complete. My future plans involve this same type of consulting work, and maybe pursuing school again in a few years. I learned so much from the people at my company through various coffee chats and diverse projects I worked on– and feel that I understand the company and the resources it provides its employees. I will be accepting their return offer and will be back there next year! Being able to go to NYC this summer as an intern was something that perfectly aligned with my professional goals and future plans of wanting to be on the east coast. I cannot wait to get started back at Crowe in 2024.

Internship with Levy at The Ohio State University

For the entirety of summer 2023 I had an internship with Levy at The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH. Levy is a nationwide hospitality and food catering company. Throughout the summer I rotated through their many departments including suites and clubs, catering, concessions, warehouse, culinary, finance, and human resources. I experienced four of their properties including OSU, Huntington Park, Field, and Churchill Downs. I had the chance to witness different aspects of the industry, shadow professionals, and learn how Levy best serves this University.

            While at Levy I learned a lot about the hospitality industry, sports and entertainment, and the importance of leadership and dedication. My expectation going into the summer was to get a deeper dive into the sports and entertainment industry. Sometimes in my classes topics can be very broad so it was interesting to know more about one segment. I also wanted to learn more about what makes Levy, Levy. Levy is a company that values authentic and memorable experiences for their guests. Levy strives to make the experiences personalized like creating signature Eras Tour cocktails for the Taylor Swift concert. Going above and beyond not just once, but every single time. While rotating through departments I saw how this industry is truly about teamwork and helping one another. If the warehouse team does not order the hotdogs than the concessions team cannot sell them at the football games in Ohio Stadium.

            The sports and entertainment industry is not for the weak and takes a certain kind of passion to do this type of job. Events days are long and tiring. Constantly walking around, answering questions, and “setting out mini fires” as the professionals like to say. I learned that most of the work leading up to a game day or a concert happens beforehand, so there shouldn’t be much ‘to do’ on event days. On a smooth event day, the manager on duty should be walking around and helping where is needed. It takes months to prepare and many hours of planning leading up to the event. I learned that it’s important to keep calm and collected when something goes wrong. Staying positive helps address the problem quickly.

            During the first week of August the Ohio Stadium hosted four concerts in seven days. Those concerts included Billy Joel/Stevie Nicks, Motely Crue/Def Leppard, and two back-to-back shows of Morgan Wallen. It was hot outside, and the days were exhausting. Many managers were stressed because it was so busy. These were the days that I learned that positivity, chatting with people, and just being nice can make all the difference. I learned that people won’t always remember what you do, but they will remember how you made them feel. That is what hospitality is all about and these last few days were a perfect testament to that.

            Because I rotated departments, I got to know the managers and make connections with everyone on the leadership team. This allowed me to learn how they best learn and operate. I also learned more about them as people. No matter where I go, I like to get to know people that I’m working with. Some days people spend more time at work than they do with their own families, so I believe it’s important to get to know them as well. I hope to have created positive interactions with them and let them know that I care about who they are and how they’re doing.

            I had a few of my own personal experiences this summer such as taking a trip to Louisville, KY in May for the Kentucky Derby. I assisted a Levy manager create a memorable experience for a select group of people in the Twin Spires Terrace. I toured the facility, recognized many celebrities, and made once in a lifetime experiences. I learned the hard work that it takes to put on such a big event and the amount of support and people needed to make it successful. I’m happy to be a part of the 149th edition of the Derby and serving more than 150,000 people in attendance.

            This past summer was a transformation to me because I was able to conclude that I am in the right major and this is what I want to do for my career. I love serving people and being part of a special moment in time. It’s exciting and memorable. I have a greater appreciation of what it takes to be in hospitality. The long weekends, hard hours, and blood, sweat, and tears that Levy puts into their work each day is incredible to witness. I’m so grateful for my shadowing experiences and being a part of the Levy family for the summer. I am thankful that this experience has opened doors to new opportunities for me to continue my time with Levy and continue to grow this relationship with the company.

Matthew Tuttle STEP Reflection

My STEP Project was working as an SAP R2R Support Analyst Intern at Archer Daniels Midland in Erlanger, KY.  I primarily worked on projects involving SAP, COBOL, Excel, and Power Bi related to month end close incidents related to the business process Record to Report and other accounting processes.

While completing my STEP project, the biggest change I saw in myself is that now I have faith I can succeed in the tech-world.  Before I had anxiety that everyone I would be working with and competing against for jobs would be smarter than me.  Now however, I have seen that I am smart enough to pick up the learning curve, and that in a corporate environment you are not expected to know everything, and that the company plans on teaching new hires a very large portion of what they will expect you to do.

Also, I thought that I would be at a disadvantage because as a Management Information Systems major my college curriculum would not be as heavy in technology classes as people in majors like Computer Science and Data Science.  Now, I have the confidence that even if I am not explicitly taught a language or concept, I will be able to pick it up in a quick enough manner to not stick out in a business setting.

Several events and activities helped me identify and achieve this change.  The first event that helped me see this change in myself was when all of the interns at my location were giving our final presentations.  Our final presentations were the culminations of our summers’ work, where we made a twenty-to-thirty-minute presentation on everything we worked on and learned.  The people we presented to were our direct managers, their managers, the teams we worked on, human resources and hiring managers, the other interns, and an assortment of vice presidents and other executives.  Throughout the summer I would hear about what other interns were doing and I would get a little discouraged thinking what I was doing less impressive, and I did not have the ability or potential to do what they did.  When I actually sat down and saw the entire scope of their work and their process, I saw that even if I couldn’t sit down not and do what they did immediately, I am certainly capable of learning to do what they did if I was given ten weeks like they were.

Another event that helped me identify this change was not something that I did, but something that I was awarded.  On my second to last day, I was given an offer to return full-time next summer in a completely different and more complex role.  The role I was offered is a security analyst doing threat detection in cyber-security.  While I was already ecstatic to get an offer, the fact that they gave me one completely disjoint from what I worked on told me that I really impressed the company with my processes and work ethic.  Going even further, my company does not normally hire cybersecurity professionals out of college, so the fact that they are willing to commit to training me fully gives me so much more confidence that I have the potential to be an asset and a high-riser in IT.

One other aspect of my project that helped me see a change in myself was the way my internship was set up.  My manager had me spread my time across several different and unrelated tasks so I could learn a greater variety of skills and figure out what I want to be when I grow up.  This allowed me to see that I could operate in a real role where my time would be divided among different tasks and roles, because in the real world no one dedicates one hundred percent of their time to one project like most of my fellow interns did.  Additionally, I saw that I can learn many different IT-related skills, and that I do not need to worry about finding my specialization just yet.

Finally, the relationships I made with people I reported to and higher, and colleagues I worked with were transformational for me.  I was able to learn from and emulate different people in many different stages of their careers and lives.  Additionally, ever week we had meetings with all of the interns across all of the locations, where a leader in the company would tell us about their journey to and through ADM, what their job is like, and generally give us advice.  These meetings were called Lunch with Leadership.  Although I did not form personal relationships with any of these leaders, I saw what it takes to be a leader in a Fortune 50 organization.  The most important relationship I forged however, was with my manager.  If I accept the full-time offer I was given I will not be on his team anymore, but I know that he will still be an ally for me and someone who I can always turn to for advice.  After hearing so many horror stories about bad bosses, the fact that I had one who completely believed in me and did everything in his power to make me succeed was especially touching, and showed me how to lead if I ever end up in a managerial role.

The change that I saw in myself was significant because I now know I can succeed in IT.  Before, I somewhat regretted the trajectory I put myself on when I changed my major from finance to management information systems.  At the time I was interested in computer science, but due to not doing well in a CSE class I took as an elective as a freshman I worried that I would not be able to compete in a computer science major and professionally.  Still, I made the switch to MIS, which I saw as the middle ground between changing schools at OSU to pursue a more technical and expansive major, staying in the School of Business and MIS which was a major I did not know a lot about, or choosing a completely different trajectory.  Until my internship I labored over whether I made the correct decision, but now I finally have peace of mind that I can still do whatever I want and that I have a multitude of options, which matters to me because all this time the thing I was most concerned about was that I would close too many doors before I had my life figured out.  Now that I empowered and know I can do basically anything I put my mind to, I feel much better entering my senior year and after that the professional world.

Property Tax Internship Summer 23 at Ryan LLC

Since my STEP project was a property tax internship, the main activities were collecting valuation evidence of commercial properties, presenting evidence to the county, forecasting client budgets, and tax research. Tax is a cyclical industry, so my June was very busy with valuations, while my July was focused on budgets and tax research.

While completing my STEP project, my understanding of a career in tax completely changed. I was not heavily calculating taxes, but rather looking for if a property was overvalued. If I could prove a said property was overvalued, I could save a client in taxes. This process was much more creative and opinion-based than I expected. Therefore, I found that I liked working with tax more than I thought I would and a career in tax could lead to different paths such as becoming a tax lawyer.

The biggest event that led to my transformation of appreciating the world of tax was my team’s trust in me to work on big projects. I was able to complete property valuation reviews by myself and learn from hands on experience. I was also able to attend an informal hearing where a few of my coworkers and I presented our valuations to the county. This hands on experience was critical to my understanding of tax.

Additionally, the relationships with my coworkers allowed for a space of learning. Each one of my coworkers was an amazing teacher and would always encourage me to ask questions. I think these relationships also allowed me to ask questions beyond my internship, but also career questions. I appreciated their willingness to share their career experiences, which helped me to further see the different sides of a career in tax.

Lastly, the tax research that I conducted helped me to develop a want and goal of going to law school. I loved researching different tax laws within different states. Specifically, I was tasked with researching whether or not a certain interpretation of a statute in Michigan was applicable in Ohio. I found this to be challenging, yet interesting.

Ultimately, this change of my views on tax has been significant to my goals. I am now more confident on where I want to be post graduation with law school being a professional goal that I would love to achieve 5 or 6 years after being in public accounting. I am still unsure of exactly what path in public accounting I want to go down, but I am excited to have a long term career goal to work towards.

Here is a photo of the whole intern class at Ryan LLC and a team photo of us volunteering together:

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Maya Hollander STEP Signature Project Reflection

For my STEP Signature Project, I completed an internship with Epicenter ABA Therapy in Warrensville Heights, Ohio. In this internship, I provided applied behavior analysis therapy to children with autism. I worked as a Behavior Technician to give individualized therapy to these children.

I learned a great amount from this experience. This project was not what I expected it to be like, however I really enjoyed it. First off, I learned so much about this field of work and how it can be used as a resource for children who need it. I realized that I am actually very interested in this field. I also learned a lot about Autism in general. Before completing this project, I had little knowledge about Autism and those affected by it, but as the summer went along my assumptions were disproven. Being exposed to this population gave me a new outlook and I am very thankful for that.

There were a lot of meaningful moments throughout my Signature Project experience this summer. The first of these occurred very early into my internship experience. When I first started this job, I began by shadowing other therapists and learning from them. From this, I got to experience many different types of therapy delivery, on many different types of children. One of the first children I shadowed I developed a good connection with. Two weeks into my experience at Epicenter ABA Therapy, I got to watch this child “graduate” from ABA therapy, with the intent of going to a mainstream school in the fall. This was the first time I realized how much of a positive impact I was going to have on these children and how meaningful this work was. I think that this experience made me realize how serious I needed to be in this internship, which set a precedent for how hard I worked the rest of the summer.

Another experience I had this summer that helped me to grow was learning how to communicate with supervisors. I found this internship through an internship placement program called Summer Internship Program run by Cleveland Hillel, so I had to navigate the programs required by SIP and my work schedule. In learning this balance, I had to figure out how to advocate for myself and my schedule to my scheduler. One specific example of this is when I had to get my schedule changed last minute. As a part of the internship program, we had lunch time zoom calls once a week which required my work schedule to change. There were multiple times where I had to advocate for myself and my schedule to attend these zoom calls. From doing this, I learned how to communicate in an appropriate way with my supervisors.

Finally, the main experience that shaped my summer was working with one specific child for the last month of my experience. This particular child was nonverbal and aggressive, so I was a bit nervous to start working with him one on one. I worked closely with my supervisor and other therapists so I could successfully work with this child. At the end of the summer, he had made so much progress. While I only worked with him for about one month, I could really see the impact I made as his therapist. This showed me how meaningful the work I was doing was and confirmed that I had made the right job choice for the summer. It also showed me that I can accomplish hard things with the help of others. I felt very positive leaving this child at the end of the summer, knowing I had helped him with more life skills and given him tools to succeed in the future.

Overall, this experience was very impactful on my life because it showed me a new field that I could work in. Before this summer, I did not really know what ABA Therapy was, let alone consider a career in it. But throughout the summer, I learned a lot about the field, including other ways to get involved besides what I was doing. Now, I could see myself working in this field after I graduate. I am very appreciative of my experience this summer and how it potentially will shape my future.

STEP Project Internship

Through my 10-week internship at Elevance Health, I helped support the Administrative Finance team in their daily tasks while also developing myself through training and leadership discussions. I had the opportunity to meet with countless executives, newly hired employees, and members of different finance teams at the company to learn about the various roles in the company.

One of the impacts that this internship had on me was it allowed me to discover the career that I want to pursue following completing my degree. Going into this internship, I felt kind of lost as to what career I wanted for myself. I was torn between a role in finance and operations, as well as, what specific role I would want in these fields. When selecting finance, I still felt lost about what specific aspects of the financial realm were of interest to me. Elevance Health provided me with an excellent structure that allowed me to make self-exploration. Through this structure, I was able to discover the world of Corporate FP&A. Along with this self-discovery, I felt more confident in the work I was doing and sharing that with mentors, peers, and even executives at the company. I have become a stronger speaker, leader, and worker because of the setup of this incredible internship program.

As previously mentioned, Elevance Health gave a very flexible schedule for the internship program that allowed me to make some self-discovery, while also leading us through specific trainings to develop strong work skills. Specific events allowed me to make this discovery, but the biggest one was getting to meet with other full-time professionals at the company to talk about their roles in the company. In these discussions, I was able to pick the minds of some very successful professionals at the company. I was able to talk with younger professionals who provided advice for my future career and gave me insight into what a full-time role would look like. I was also able to meet with individuals who had been with the company for a while and held powerful roles in the day-to-day decisions of the large company. These allowed me to discover what my interests are and led me in the direction of finding a role in the company.

Along with these 1 on 1 discussions, we got to attend small seminars to hear advice from many of our executives. The two that stuck out to me were the discussions with our CFO and CEO at the company. The CFO gave us great input on the financial outlook of the company and described how to make an impact on the company. He also allowed us to ask questions which was a unique opportunity to hear from a successful Ohio State Graduate. The meeting with the CEO gave more insight into the company’s outlook and goals for the foreseeable future. She also described various leadership styles that we could use in our future careers. Overall, both of these discussions, along with those by other executives, gave the interns a good understanding of the company, and how to make an impact as a leader and worker.

Lastly, the internship had a full schedule of trainings called “Lunch and Learns”. These “Lunch and Learns” were often talks with employees in different aspects of business at the company. They often entailed interactive sections where we would learn more about different applications or skills. This was super helpful in growing as a professional in the field. Being able to hear from successful individuals and learning directly from them allowed me to grow as a professional and start making an immediate impact on my team’s day-to-day tasks.

The transformation that I saw over the course of a 10-week internship was truly remarkable. Going into the internship with minimal experience, I felt as if I was lost on my career path. However, the events mentioned above allowed me to discover my passion for finance and the direction that I want to go with my life. This has allowed me to focus on new goals to allow myself to have a successful future career. I now know what classes I want to take to best prepare me to make an impact in corporate FP&A at Elevance Health. By seeing a goal in the future, I feel more motivated to learn more about the career, and also explore various certifications that can allow me to be very helpful to my team. This change was truly life-changing, and with the help of this internship program, I now see the impact that I can make with a role in finance.

STEP Project Internship

The main activities of my STEP project included all things related to my internship with Carnahan and Carnahan Law. These activities included helping to schedule new clients, sitting in on mediations, and learning general skills that would help me later down the road in my law career.

My understanding of the legal profession and my future place within it definitely changed during and through this experience. Before this internship, I was unsure of where I wanted to work within law. Not that I am completely certain now, but I feel I have a much better idea of where I would be happy. This internship showed me the different worlds that attorneys live in based on which side of the law they are on. I learned many commonplace techniques lawyers use, as well as learned more about the culture of practicing attorneys. I gained a ton of knowledge of the reputations of law schools, which will help me greatly as I decide which law school I want to attend in the future.

I learned and was transformed in many different ways through this internship. The first of which was simply having an official internship with two respected attorneys. Having this experience allowed me to feel much more confident in myself as I was able to learn what working a nine to five was like. I learned a great deal of what a future job could potentially look like, and I started to learn how to create a work life balance. I learned simple workplace things like what to wear, how to address unknown situations, and how to build relationships with coworkers.

The next way this internship helped to transform me was allowing me to sit in on mediations. This was an incredibly unique and interesting experience. Through this, I was able to see what actually happens in a mediation, which is something I am interested in for the future. I saw how plaintiff lawyers argue and go after more money for their clients. I saw how defense lawyers negotiate and handle losses. This was a very impactful benefit of the internship as it was hands-on experience in a very low stress role, which was perfect for allowing me to grow more confident. 

The last way this internship truly transformed me was through the relationships I formed with my bosses, Mike and Nancy Carnahan. I grew very close to these two and they gave me great advice for the future. They really helped me figure out where I wanted to work in the future, and they helped to create a roadmap to get there. They were a wealth of information, something I was desperately looking for. This is a benefit that will not stop after the internship ends. I know I will be keeping in touch with these two for a while to come, and they will always try to help me when I need it.

Like I said before, these changes will help me in the short and long term. In the short term, I will be applying to law school and the information I learned about specific law schools and the lawyers I met will guide me through my decision of where I want to be. In the long term, this experience will help to show me not only where I want to work, but what kind of lawyer I want to be. I also believe this experience has helped me to start building a work life balance that will be necessary in the future with a full time job. This experience will help me in my academic goals of going to a prestigious law school, but also in my professional goals of becoming a lawyer.

(Me and Nancy Carnahan)

STEP Project Submission- Internship

  1. Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project. Write two or three sentences describing the main activities your STEP Signature Project entailed. 

I interned with Amtrak’s Labor Relations department based in Washington, DC. My primary tasks included composing and submitting arbitration briefs and writing claim and declination letters. I expanded my knowledge of collective bargaining and the intricacies surrounding the balance of company-employee relations. 

  1. 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 gained a first-hand perspective observing the company-employee operations, I became much more open-minded. Working with labor relations experts and observing their day-to-day work shifted my initial opinions on company-union operations. Reading and hearing the professionals discuss the facts of each arbitration case made me quickly realize that there was much more detail involved in the collective bargaining process than I had originally imagined.  Ultimately, I gained a new respect for the collective bargaining process and arbitration operations. I now feel like I have a more informed perspective on the field and am able to contribute knowledgeable thoughts and opinions on the subject matter 

  1. 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 worked closely with my team, who all individually dedicated time to teach me about labor relations and expose me to their day-to-day work. My team fostered a very positive and nurturing environment, allowing me to shadow their meetings and assist them in writing letters. My positive relationships with my team members further maintained my interest in their work and allowed me to absorb the new information I was learning through the process. I was able to communicate with them my ideas and ask many questions that they were happy to answer. I learned a lot from my team members and gained invaluable insight into the labor relations field from them. 

Drafting claim letters exposed me to the great amount of detail involved in each case that I read. I learned that there is a lot more time and money involved in company arbitration than I had originally believed prior to completing the internship. It is important for both the company and the employee’s representation to understand each case’s details, and this can be a difficult task because new cases come in every day. Sometimes, cases can be highly complex with hundreds of pages of transcript to read through. It is important to understand all sides to each case, no matter how long or convoluted they may be. In collective bargaining, it is important to find a balance between the company’s and the employee’s needs, and this balance requires compromise and long discussions pertaining to the details involved in every case. 

When I attended my team meetings, I learned professional communication skills that will be useful for me throughout my career. I quickly recognized that it is necessary to communicate with a mature, professional tone. I observed the importance of each individual’s ability to listen to each other’s thoughts and effectively communicate, allowing everyone to speak their thoughts fully. Additionally, another very crucial aspect of each other’s success is to understand each person’s roles and responsibilities. This way, everyone can complete their own tasks accordingly and meetings are completed successfully. 

  1. 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. 

My internship experience with Amtrak exposed me to the new field of labor relations, which became a significant area of interest for me. While I plan to attend law school upon completion of my undergraduate degree, my experience interning in labor relations inspired me to study new areas of law, including arbitration and labor law. After completing my summer internship, I gained the ability to understand and interpret arbitration proceedings, which will be useful when I complete labor law courses while I pursue a J.D. All in all, my internship contributed to my well-roundedness as a student by adding a new perspective to my education. As a Security & Intelligence and French dual major, labor relations relates both my undergraduate studies to my interest in pursuing my career as a lawyer.

Abigail Geesling STEP Project- (WAIP D.C. Internship)

  1. 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 Signature Project consisted of three main components: taking 13 credit hours of course work, my internship, and professional development and study tours. This all took course in our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. Every week I would complete up to 5 assignments for the coursework section, intern 32 hours a week at NASPAA, and attend a workshop and study tour. Throughout the entire summer I also worked on a research or capstone project that would be reviewed by the John Glenn College faculty and staff.
  2. 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. 

    • My understanding of myself greatly shifted throughout my summer. I gained a federal perspective on higher education policy, and it has altered the way I think about financial literacy, equity, and policy in general. This may seem insignificant to some, but I never had to navigate public transportation before living in Washington, D.C. I am proud to say that I can get around and have the lines memorized. After completing my project, I know that I want to pursue a career in the federal government as a lobbyist or consultant focused on education policy and other areas.
  3. 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.
    • During my STEP signature project, I also had a mentor through the program who is a federal lobbyist for Ohio State University. He was one of the most impact professional relationships I had throughout my summer, and I am grateful that he connected me with various professionals in D.C. He transformed my experience by giving me tips and advice on how to properly network with people and coffee chats.
  4. 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.
    • After this summer, I feel more equip to enter the workforce and be an informed and engaged public servant. Before I started, I lacked confidence in reaching out to professionals for advice or small favors. I realized that the Buckeye community wants to help out students more than anything. As a woman, I felt afraid and uncertain about asking for things, and just how to advocate for myself more generally. This summer taught me the tangible skills on how to communicate properly with others and actively listening to professionals stories during informational interviews. I know how to activate my network when needed and being a better advocate.
    • Also, I have realized that I love academia and made the right decision to continue my education by pursing my MPA at Ohio State University. I am a curious person at heart, but have more questions and passion since leaving Washington, D.C. I am curious about the multidisciplinary nature of public policy, and how that affects education policy and political feasibility. After this summer, I have a research paper that I would love the opportunity to continue if I decide to get my doctoral degree in public administration. I am eager to apply my knew knowledge on the nonprofit, private, and public sectors to my educational inquiries.

STEP Reflection Internship ARC

Post-Project Reflection


I completed my STEP signature project by doing a twelve week internship with Forge Biologics located in Columbus Ohio, where I was part of the Analytical Development team. During my internship, I learned a number of assays, or tests that are completed on drug products as part of the manufacturing process on AAV gene therapeutics. I completed multiple projects, including a platform development project on two different serotypes, a project comparing efficacy of a primer probe set, and a project that included organizing and recording equipment in the Analytical Development lab.


Before completing my internship I was unsure of my plans for post-graduation. I was, and honestly still am, considering a number of career paths, which could include working in science, in business, or pursing higher education. Before my STEP project, I thought that my major was too specific to be applicable to a lot of jobs, or that I wouldn’t be able to broaden my horizons out of a scientific field and into something like tech or business. This summer helped me to realize that in actuality, plenty of people don’t know what they want to do, and that’s okay. Part of finding a career you like is trying on lots of different jobs, and experiencing new companies and workplaces to see what you might be missing out on.

The most important thing I learned is that your major is never too narrow to find a job. Most employers don’t really care about your major, they are much more interested in your skills and ability to learn. Lots of the other interns in my company were from a variety of fields, and were interested in departments outside of their designated internship. While at Forge, I made efforts to explore outside of Analytical Development and connect with people working in Business Development, and sales. I really liked my department, but appreciated the ability to explore other areas of a business as well.


The most valuable asset brought to me by my internship is the ability to not limit myself to what I have already experienced, and to push myself to try new things by not worrying about mistakes. Many times over the course of my internship I was running laboratory experiments, and many times these experiments failed. There was a two day span where I was doing experiments for my final project, and I had to repeat an experiment 3 times in order to achieve the outcome I needed. Instead of stepping in to instruct me on what was going wrong with the experiment, my mentor told me to keep repeating it, but figure out points where I could be making a mistake. He made suggestions like using a higher concentration of my solution, and letting the experiment incubate for a longer period of time to try and help me get it right. In the end, he refused to tell me exactly what was going wrong, but forced me to think about possible problems and design a solution on my own. This helped me to realize that one day I will be looking for a real job, and the most valuable asset I can bring to any table is the ability to solve problems on my own and in collaboration with others.

            Another takeaway from my internship was that my field of study is never too narrow to be applicable to a job. Soft skills can be just as important as hard skills or the things I have learned in my major. I have learned that demonstrating a willingness to learn is one of the most important traits that an employee can display. Willingness to learn shows that an individual is not too set in their ways, and is open to uncomfortable change when necessary. By taking opportunities to take with employees at my company, I was pleasantly surprised to find out how diverse everyone’s education was. Though my knowledge is mostly in life sciences, I also have an interest in business development, project planning, and management. By initiating conversations with wonderful people that work in the Business Development department of Forge, as well as the Technical Sales department, I found genuine interest in careers I never knew existed. The people I talked to all told me that my knowledge of science is very valuable in the pharmaceutical field. But it is equally as valuable as the ability to learn new things in fields that I am not an expert in.

            By having conversations with people in many different departments, I learned to accept that I don’t know my perfect “dream job” yet. It used to seriously stress me out that everyone else seemed to know exactly what they wanted to be in their careers, but I felt like I didn’t know, or my dream job doesn’t actually exist. What I discovered however is that tons of people feel exactly the same. People on my team in Analytical development told me that it is wise to jump around jobs and take as many career opportunities as possible. You never know you will love a certain job until you try it. By having these meaningful conversations, I learned that I am not alone in not knowing what I want to do with the rest of my life. I learned that not knowing is totally okay, as long as you keep trying new opportunities and never stop taking away from your experiences.


I would say this transformation experience has given me much more confidence than I had before this experience. I had an incredible experience in my internship, and I learned that working hard, collaborating with your team, asking questions, and always being ready to learn will take you far. By doing those things, I was awarded an impact award at my internship, and nominated for others. Having this experience has built my confidence and taught me that hard work is appreciated and recognized in the right workplace. This transformation has taught me not to undervalue myself by saying my gpa is too low, or my experience isn’t enough, or I’m too dumb for a certain job. I won’t get every job I apply for, that is totally unrealistic. However I can set myself up for much greater success by refusing to not try. Even if I think I may be unqualified for a job, there are tons of other maybe even less qualified people also applying for the same job. It never hurts to try, so I refuse to let my own grievances with myself hold me back from taking a shot at an opportunity.