Leading the Industry on FUN – Project Post Reflection

On 17 October, I flew to San Diego to attend the ASTM F-24 Committee on Amusement Rides and Devices conference. The purpose of this conference is to bring experts from all branches of the industry together to create standards that affect the majority of stakeholders involved in the amusement industry. As a student attendee, I had the opportunity to network with other young professionals and professionals alike.

Attending this conference definitely helped me realize more about myself. I came into the conference with an expectation for how the weekend would unfold, but boy was I mistaken. There was so much in store at this conference. Listening to subject matter experts deliberating over details in writing a standard really opened up my eyes to how much consideration and effort goes into ensuring that rides and patrons are safe. Further more, I was exposed to many other students who shared the same passion as me for the amusement industry. Getting to know these other students from all across the country put into perspective how small this large industry really is.

Towards the end of the conference on the Friday, the students were funneled into one of the banquet rooms along with the professionals. Each student in the room was given the opportunity to ask the professionals questions. After that, every student was asked to introduce themselves and answer the question, “How would you like to change the world for the better?”

As all 50+ students began to introduce themselves throughout the room, I could not help but have the biggest smile plastered on my face. The best part was that I did not realize I was smiling the full 45 min until my cheeks started to cramp! The stories that the students shared were so inspiring. The fact that I could be working alongside so many eager young professionals one day validates my enthusiasm for the industry.

One of the biggest changes that happened to me is that I realized that I am no more special than any other student that was at that conference. I am not trying to diminish my accomplishments, so much as to bolster the precocious nature of my peers. It was honestly a humbling realization for me. By corollary, I knew I needed to do something spectacular to be able to stand out among so many talented students. During the course of the weeks following the event I had been brainstorming projects that could help separate me from the masses. The idea that I cannot help shake, follows me from my youth: Building a backyard coaster.

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This mentality change in ambition will prove significant for me for multiple reasons. If I do decide to follow through with a backyard coaster project, it will be incredibly risky. The factors of risk that I am considering is the financial and time investment that the project would demand. If the attraction were to be completed then a whole plethora of risks arise as the question of allowing patrons on the ride comes up. Even if I do not follow through with this one project, the manifestation of the idea of doing something spectacular will continue to propel me through my future. I want to work in an industry that makes magic and fantastical experiences consumable. Life may be a roller coaster, but I am here for every aspect of the ride.

Building Character Through Strength STEP Post Reflection

My STEP Signature Project was building character through strength. I purchased weight lifting equipment for a local gym to prepare myself for collegiate nationals 2019 in Columbus and develop a strength program for youth in my community.
My understanding of myself changed as a result of this experience. I found ways to overcome challenges that I had not foreseen and learned to adapt. I found that nothing comes as easily as I once thought it would be and the endeavor, I took became much longer than initially anticipated. My assumptions on my ability to coach others in the sport of powerlifting transformed. They became more honed and personal communication and relationships became stronger as a result of the learning process I undertook. My understandings of helping others in strength training improved through hands-on development and my patience and drive to teach others the sport of powerlifting grew as a result.

Three reasons there was a resultant change was I was now coaching a few individuals which was something I had previously not done, I competed in the largest powerlifting meet to date while representing Ohio State, and I met many like-minded individuals who I have built meaningful relationships that have furthered my learning and experience to develop stronger character. The coaching aspect affected me by teaching me how to become a leader for others and utilize my resources to better find a path for individuals. The meet itself introduced a certain vigor I had previously lacked for the sport upon seeing the positive effect it had on a diverse group of people’s lives. Meeting like-minded individuals has allowed me to invest more in my passions and further certain cornerstone aspects of leadership and service I developed along the way.

My understandings of myself changed because of these. I can better find ways to improve my own training and psychological approaches to the sport of powerlifting. These personal interactions and relationships I’ve built have affected me positively by establishing almost a system of support for the sport and easily reachable individuals to convey and discuss different ideas.

A few events that led to an improvement in my personal motivation to prepare for 2019 Collegiate Nationals were competing a few times leading up to nationals. I found competing very motivating and to continually see improvements in my training and work ethic. Watching a few of the people I aided in training become successful because of this project when they competed aided in my understandings of how to help others on the path to success and not just myself. These events affected me on a positive level which has further developed my character.

The USAPL 2019 Collegiate Nationals was one of the largest powerlifting meets ever held and was a phenomenal experience. The ability to see hundreds of other college students with similar goals and at similar points in life while dedicating time to training reaffirmed that strength training is worth pursuing while handling work and coursework. As a result of all this, my character has grown and my ability to be able to guide others in the sport has improved tremendously.

The transformation, personal growth, and changes I have gone through over the past year have been valuable in a few different ways. Being committed to something months away and using that as motivation can be transferred to different aspects of my life to improve my work ethic whether it be during the academic term or being motivated to work in future employment. I have also learned to manage my time significantly better because of taking strength training consistently and seriously five days a week for over two years now. Having this level of consistency yearly now has led to increased success academically and personally through continual character growth and improved self-management. I have developed stronger leadership skills that I can further apply to other aspects of my life such as academia, work, and my future career. My personal success grew as my opinion-based assumptions were thrown away and a more scientific research-based approach was taken towards my training and the training with which I helped others. The service I have completed along the way for others has taught me a valuable lesson in commitment and patience as nothing comes easy and many things take a great deal of time. Both of these will further the skills that must be had and developed for future aspirations in my career by having a stronger character.

Becoming an EMT-B

For my STEP Signature Project, I enrolled in a 15-week program through Central Ohio EMS Training in Lexington, Ohio in order to become an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Some of the lessons I learned from this program included: how to handle cardiac emergencies, how to properly handle and move patients from a scene, how to perform a vehicle extraction, what psychiatric emergencies entail, and how to properly take a patient’s vital signs. During this 160+ hour course I was required to read and complete assignments for 40 detailed chapters, take 7 module exams, participate in lab and practical skills while attending class, complete additional clinical time while riding in ambulances, as well as much more that contributed to what I would call a life-changing experience.

Although this course was challenging, it helped me discover who the true me is along the way. It helped my indecisive mind make a decision towards my future goals. But most importantly, it showed me a different perspective of the world we live in. My clinicals welcomed me into a stranger’s home with a simple 911 call, it allowed me to care for others at their worst times, and it showed me the lines between different social classes. The very first day that I stepped into the classroom, I knew I belonged there. I wasn’t so sure of that prior to the first day of class but once I entered, I knew that being surrounded by others who wanted to help adults and children just as much would allow me to make new connections instantly while in a positive learning atmosphere. We were there to help each other get from the beginning to the end; we were a true team. Throughout the lessons I found my stronger and weaker areas with the help from them all. Some lessons were easier for me based on previous courses I took here at The Ohio State University and helped me with certain practice patient scenarios, which I anticipated would happen. One of the biggest takeaways in those 15 weeks was learning how to properly communicate with your patient and your partner when on a 911 call, and then with the nurse in the ER. Overall, I’m amazed at how much more came out of this experience than I ever thought was possible.

There are so many different events, interactions, relationships, and activities in class that made this such a transformational experience for me. I’ll start with how I found myself this summer. Coming into this course, I was a very anxious person whenever I was put in stressful situations. You’re probably wondering why I even considered becoming an EMT knowing that I was signing up to automatically put myself in emergency/stressful situations. The answer to that is that I wanted to test myself and gain confidence in my skills. When I don’t have confidence in myself, I fall apart. However, confidence is something you need to be an EMT for sure so I had to learn how to find confidence in myself in order to give the best care possible. Knowing the responsibility this profession carries, I learned to stay on top of learning my lessons so I was prepared for whatever call I would receive, which allowed me to gain confidence when I knew exactly how to handle each situation. I also gained confidence when working with classmates and taking turns during practice assessments. I wanted to show them that I knew what I was doing for sure and be able to carry myself well during a call. However, I gained the most confidence from my clinicals. At each of these different settings I was placed with experienced paramedics. During the calls they would expect me to know a decent amount of material and at least be able to write a proper patient report, take the patient’s vital signs, know where material was in the ambulance, and communicate with the patient. As this was all new to me, it was a lot of pressure at first but after a few times of the paramedics watching and trusting me to do part of their current job helped give me the confidence boost that I knew what I was doing. This is something that took a lot of practice, but I learned just how different life is when I walk around with confidence. It felt good finding the person who I’ve always wanted to be. I even touched upon learning how to manage my time better with traveling over an hour to class or when completing assignments. I learned how to balance this hectic course with my 7 other credit hours over the summer at Ohio State. This course definitely helped me get my life together and pushed me towards the right direction.

The interactions I had during my clinicals were each so different, but all memorable. Even the settings of my clinicals were unique in their own way. I spent 8 hour days either at a fire station, at a county EMS station or with a transport EMS company. Throughout many interactions with my classmates and clinical partners, I learned all about the different kinds of shifts you can have as an EMT and how each place is set up differently. One place had a gym and one place had little bedrooms for overnight shifts. The place of my second clinical shift stands out to me the most as far as interactions go. I met a paramedic who asked what I was and then proceeded to ask what my plans were after EMT school and why I decided to do this. When he asked what I was, I responded by saying that I’m going to school to become an EMT-Basic and he gave me one of the best responses that will leave an impact on me five years from that day. He said, “No. Don’t say basic. We are all EMTs no matter what level we are. We all play an important role. All of us paramedics once started where you are today.” I felt that message. The conversation then continued and he ended up making me think about even pursuing my education further and going to become an Advanced EMT and then to eventually become a paramedic. At the end of my shift that day, he even gave me an offer at that time to come back and either do an internship or apply for a position there after I complete my certification. Each one of these clinicals and guest speakers during our EMT class has led to an improved with my professional network in the healthcare field and I feel grateful for this opportunity.

All of the hard work I put into this class really paid off and I’m happy patient assessments were a requirement. I got to watch my skills come to life and it was so rewarding. But what was even more rewarding was seeing the world from a view I’ve never really seen before. Each one of my clinical locations were located in different areas in the state of Ohio. The kind of calls were different in each spot. Some clinicals were located in an area that focused on geriatrics or some areas typically focused on patients primarily from a neighborhood facing poverty. This was extremely interesting seeing this. We are here to help all kinds of people no matter what their background may be or how old they are. One of the 911 calls I received hit home with this topic. I went on a call for a patient who was seeking help for their drug addiction. The patient explained the history of their use without me even asking and told me that’s why they are where they are today. This patient was homeless. They began tearing up as they told me that they want to get better, but can’t afford to pay for health insurance. This was an eye opener. It made me realize that I want to be an advocate for homeless people to help share their stories; they are worth more than how you see them on the streets and don’t deserve the disgusting facial expressions most people give them. The beauty with being on this call was seeing the variety of kind of calls we can get. Whether it’s helping take someone to a hospital for something like this call to seek further help or a traumatic life or death call, I want to be there for it all. All 911 calls are special in their own kind of way and I truly do love being a part of it.

I’ve learned that it takes a special kind of person to become an EMT. I’ve transformed over these past few months into what I think an ideal EMT would represent. I’ve already talked about how this experience has impacted me by building my professional network, opening my mind to future plans in this field, how it made me find myself, allowed me to see the world in a different view, but I haven’t shared what one of the most important things I learned about becoming an EMT. My instructor shared some pretty serious 911 stories. I say it takes a special person because of what they go through. This is their job. They see some things that haunt them many years later. But I still want to become one. I’m glad I was taught just how much first responders are affected by PTSD. It’s a real and scary thing to think about. However, I just realized how important therapy can be and I shouldn’t be afraid to go if I ever struggle with this as an EMT. I’m glad that I became aware of how real this “downside” is before working each day doing this because I can be proactive about it. This change is something I didn’t really think of prior and it matters.

This transformation has been valuable for my life because it gives me a backup plan after college graduation. If I don’t receive a job I want right out of school, I can work as an EMT with this certification to make money while I search for other job opportunities associated with my Ohio State degree. As an EMT I will make decent money if I am put in this situation. Having pre-hospital care now and this additional education on my resume will definitely help me towards getting a job in a hospital like I want. Just in case though, I always feel more comfortable having a backup and thanks to STEP and Central Ohio EMS Training, I now have one!

Leadership in Marketing STEP Reflection

My STEP signature project entailed serving as a project lead for the planning, marketing and execution for Buck-i-Frenzy a lifestyle event attended by over 20,000 students here at Ohio State’s campus. I had the opportunity to assume a leadership role and take on tasks including but not limited to leading the weekly planning meetings with university staff, establishing meetings and training the new Event Marketing and Communications Intern.

After completing my STEP project, I definitely had a better understand of who I was as a person and also about my personal leadership style. I was able to learn a little bit more about both my positive and negative traits as a leader. An area that needed improvement in my leadership style was that I needed to learn how to delegate more. At the beginning of my project, I had a fear of delegating specific components of planning Frenzy. Although it was my job to train Joanne (the new intern), I still had moments where I was afraid to let things go and entrust her with different tasks. I would slightly micromanage things, overcome with my fear of letting go and entrusting my peers. In the beginning I was able to train Joanne on the processes of the office and the tasks that needed to get done, but it wasn’t until later on the summer that I no longer felt the need to watch over every single step of the process. As someone who had the experience on the event, I had to constantly remind myself in the beginning that I started where she was last year. As the summer progressed, I was able to work on delegating more tasks and having trust in my partner and new co-worker. Obviously, we would still use both sets of eyes to proof read and look over agendas, marketing materials, and pieces, but now it was less so I could have control over everything but so we could catch any small errors. Through this process I was able to realize how crucial it was to effectively work with others.

A positive trait that I found was actually my love for working on a team. After overcoming my slight hump with my issues regarding delegating, I realized how much I enjoyed working with others. It is said that a leader only as good as their team. Through this experience I was able to learn a lot about effective leadership and how to manage and work on a team. Teamwork is a crucial part of nearly any business project that needs to be done in the world, especially in the marketing field. Through this experience I learned not only the importance of teamwork but that I really enjoy the collaboration and the sharing of ideas that comes from working with others. For our Buck-i-Frenzy project we would work with other staff in the marketing and graphics department, Rec Sports, Ohio Union staff and other Student Life Departments. After learning to delegate more I was able to see how effectively a team can work with each person doing their part and bringing something to help complete the project or in this case, plan and set up the event from start to finish. I had the opportunities to contribute of graphics designs and promotional pieces created for the event on a content management system and the opportunity to work closely with an amazing staff who worked tirelessly to physically set up the event. After completing the project, I also had a new found confidence in not only my abilities as a leader for such a large project but also in transitioning into a career that involves marketing, logistics, and event planning.

The main focus of my leadership position was to serve as the leading student coordinator on Buck-i-Frenzy, a signature event during Ohio State’s Welcome Week. I was able to work on the process planning the event from start to finish. This began with contract reviews for legal documentation that would eventually be sent out to hundreds of vendors nationally and locally. Afterwards I would be conducting sales to try and pitch the event to those companies.

During this time, I assumed a role that was a large part of what helped me develop as a leader. The previous student coordinator who had mentored and trained me would be leaving the position. I would experience going through the hiring process, which taught me a lot about desirable traits and communication skills for a team. Once we hired my new co-worker, Joanne, I began the training process. I not only had to familiarize her with all of the procedures and responsibilities of planning Buck-i-Frenzy, but also with her role as a student intern in Student Life. Helping to train Joanne for the job truly helped me grow as a leader and as a professional. Going through the process I was able to become very introspective about how I guided, taught, and communicated with people. I was able to grow my confidence in others (Joanne as my coworker and teammate) and also in my self-confidence. I was able to gain confidence in my choices as a leader and for the project, whether that was smaller decisions like how many posters needed to be printed off or something larger like assisting in the coordination of an impactful road closure decision.

After the growing and learning period, I was able to (with the help of the rest of the team of university staff) help to build an event that was attended by over 70 vendors and 20,000 students. I was able to lead and structure weekly planning meetings, assist with the creation of both print and digital marketing pieces for the event and plan the physical layout of the event. I also had the responsibility of helping to coordinate not just our planning team for the event, but also a large group of Mount Leadership Society Scholars volunteers.

All of the steps in creating this event allowed me to interact with some amazing people within Student Life. I think that one of the best relationships that grew out of my experience was one with my supervisor, Kellie Uhrig. We would attend weekly touch base meetings to update her on what we were working and making sure that we were accomplishing our goals for the project. The relationship that I had with her allowed for enough responsibility and autonomy within the project that I felt like I was planning and marketing such a large event, but it also provided me with guidance along the way as well as a mentorship. Something that Student Life has worked into their student employment is also conducting GROW conversations with all of their employees. By having this conversation with Kellie, I have been able to really reflect on how the experience has impacted my learning and also the applicable skills that I can take into future positions. Through the process I have also been able to work closely with Jen Cottrell, the director of Student Life Marketing. Working closely with her has also help me to shadow and observe what a leader in the marketing field would look like. All of my interactions with both of my supervisors and the rest of the Frenzy planning team have truly shaped my growth and experience as a leader in a marketing related project this summer.

Learning about who I am as leader was a crucial experience for me to grow as not just leader but as a person overall. By going through this experience, I have been able to develop leadership skills not just this internship, but also in my classes and different student organizations. I think one of the most important things to growing as a person is understand who you are. That can include things such as your work preferences, your leadership style, and how you communicate and interact with others. Through this leadership role, I have been able to reflect on all of those things and how I am as person. I have seen this self-awareness positively affect my leadership position in my sorority where I serve as Public Relations Vice President. In my chapter, I manage a department of ten people and through the skills I have learned on teamwork and about my leadership style I have been able to effectively manage the department. I have also seen this translate over to my classes where I find myself working in many group projects. I am able to take initiative in group projects, while also making sure everyone has a role and not overstepping on any projects. I found I have also greatly improved both my verbal and written communication skills. Finally, this leadership role in marketing has helped inspire my future professional goals. I have been able to observe others in leadership positions within marketing roles at the university and it has further inspired my motivations to work within the marketing field. Furthermore, I am excited to see how the skills that I have learned in leadership and in this position such as team work and effective communication can be applied to future jobs and roles after graduation. BUCK-I-FRENZY_sales_sheet_2019 (2)

STEP Reflection

My STEP Signature project was to attend a 9-week summer leadership project (SLP) in Petoskey, Michigan from May 29-July 31, 2019 with Campus Outreach, a Christian campus ministry. The mission of the project is to help college students grow in character, leadership, professional skills, and their personal walks with God. These goals are achieved through several key aspects of the project. All participants worked full-time jobs, working Monday-Friday during the day, then time not spent working was devoted to discipleship groups, Bible study, evangelism, worship, and exploring Northern Michigan. 

My perspective on leadership changed quite a bit through my STEP project and also helped me better understand myself as a leader. This summer, I was very frequently shown how good leadership comes with a lot of leading by example, serving others, and being willing to do many tasks without receiving recognition. Good leadership requires sacrifice and a willingness to step up even when its inconvenient or uncomfortable. These are things that are not always reflective of our instincts or natural desires, however, growing in a mindset of serving and caring for others, they can slowly become more natural. 

I would say taking on the role of a servant leader this summer provided the most avenues for growth and transformation. This role entailed leading a group of young women in weekly discipleship groups, planning for how to help them achieve their own personal growth, investing extra time into building relationships with these students, and reserving time weekly for additional leadership trainings.

First, our weekly leadership trainings helped me gain a deeper understanding of what good leadership looks like and how to personally grow in these areas- in the context of SLP and also other areas of life. This was a lot of practical head knowledge on what it means to be a leader, understanding different roles within leadership, and then guidance in making practical applications of this gained knowledge. 

Then, through the planning and leading of my discipleship group I was able to actually put these applications into action. This aspect required discipline and sacrifice in my time management as I needed to set aside time to fully understand our content and then prepare questions to facilitate discussion during our time together. Also, considering what would be best for the young women in my group and how to best serve them and help them grow was something that took practice too. This was helpful in removing my focus from myself and instead transitioning to a mindset of how to best help them in a personal and individualized way.

Growing in understanding and experience in leadership this summer has helped me gain a confidence and excitement in the idea of myself as a leader in everyday life. This was an area of personal growth I hoped to have this summer that was definitely fulfilled, even more than I anticipated. The ability to lead with confidence and also an attitude of humility is helpful in really all areas of life (academic, personal, and professional). It is helpful in accomplishing goals in school, whether that is through individual or group work, in personal relationships and every day interactions with people, and in marketability to both graduate schools and future employers.

Below is a group photo of the 2019 SLP participants in front of Lake Michigan.

 

Leadership IQ Reflection

My project was a leadership conference held in Chicago. This conference was led by CEO Mark Murphy, and he discussed many different aspects of what great managers do differently, and why great managers are not only managers, but leaders as well.

 

One change that I underwent when going through this project is how to deal with many different types of people. Mark had names for these people such as “Talented Terrors”, “Bless your hearts”, and “high performers”. These people were put on a dual axis scatter plot based on performance, and attitude. Within these realms of people, they have even more characteristics that can describe them even further. But one commonality between all these people, is this use of “word pictures”. Basically what word pictures are, are you gather all your team for a meeting, and you (the boss) talks about what you are looking for from your employees. Then these employees, converse between each other what each expectation looked like if it was performed excellently, up-to-standard, or poorly. Then you write out what each action is. These expectations can be performance based, but what really also needs to be in there are expectations for attitude as well. That way, when you meet with your employees for reviews, you can point to the word picture that they themselves created, and can point out where they were stellar, and where they were lacking.

Before, I figured you judged your employees totally on the premise of performance, but Mark made it clear that in order for your team to be totally cohesive, and function as a team, you need to set guidelines for attitudes while working as well. Overall, it changed a mindset that I had on team functionality, and I will be utilizing this method when I come to lead a team in the future.

 

There were many events that led to this mindset transformation. I will try to name a few as detailed as possible. One event we conducted was the actual creating of a word picture. We were split up into teams, and our team’s focus was on change/adaptability. We started with 3 key topics within change: how they responded to it, how they relayed it with other people, and how quickly these changes were implemented. After creating our topics, all four of us started describing what each action would look like if it were executed excellently, good, or poor. When going through the exercise, it made me feel as though I was a part of the creation of my own expectations, which I think is exactly why you have your team do it instead of the boss.

Another activity we did, was create an interview question using that word picture. We went through our word picture, and decided which one was the most important, and can we create a question that implements multiple expectations into one. We started discussing and ultimately created a question based on a topic that was most important to us. The key to this question, that Mark emphasized, was to leave it hanging. What he meant by that was to not give them a lead to the question. For example, don’t say “tell me about a time when you faced a difficult situation and how you overcame it.” Rather say, “tell me about a time when you faced a difficult situation.” It was hard to come up with questions that were based on your word picture and not leading towards a right answer. The reason for it to be left hanging was it gives the opportunity for the candidate to mess up, and make it easier on yourself when deciding. Mark explained that he uses this tactic and a lot of candidates will bring up a time without actually giving an answer of them overcoming that situation. Or they will just complain about how difficult the situation was, and that’s it.

A final activity we went through was going through how to deal with talented terrors. For reference, talented terrors are exactly how they sounds. An employee is one of your best, and highest performing, but they have attitude issues whether that is narcissism, constantly blaming others, and/or being very manipulative. Mark said you can try to use the word pictures, but most of the time they will have a well thought out excuse and it will get you nowhere. Mark’s best tactic he describes as this. One by one bring in all your team starting with the highest performers, that are not talented terrors, and praise them and/or give an immense amount of gratitude towards them. And continue doing this will every employee down the line until you get to your talented terror. Once you’re done, you bring him/her in and sit them down and tell them what they are doing wrong and what they need to change within the next week. This will do one of two things, it will have that person realize how their attitude is poor and they will really change it for the better, or they will quit. Even though they are a high performer, their toxicity usually isn’t worth having around within your team if you want it to run as cohesively as possible.

 

  1. This transformation is significant in my life because it will allow me to one, realize how to be a high performer in the eyes of my future superiors, and move up the corporate rankings. And two, once I become a boss of my own, I will lead by example using the mindset that it takes two things to make a star in your team, performance AND attitude. I believe this is probably not utilized enough in current office spaces, and it will give me a leg up in the future years to come. This conference also helped me with other things as well such as; time management, learning how to navigate through having a cancelled flight, booking hotels, and all sorts of travelling necessities that you don’t learn in school. Overall, I really appreciate Ohio State giving me the opportunity to go and develop my leadership skills that I will be able to utilize in the years to come.

STEP Reflection

  1. My STEP signature project was an internship with an engineering firm located in Grandview as a mechanical engineering co-op. Heapy is a consulting engineering firm with offices in Dayton, Findlay, Cleveland, Indianapolis, and Columbus. During my time I learned about the company and the industry in itself.

 

  1. Heapy is a consulting engineering firm that advocates for green design and human comfort. Most of the full time engineers at Heapy are LEED or WELL certified. LEED is a certification that states you are able to design building systems (electric/plumbing/HVAC) in a way that will impact the natural environment in the least negative way possible. WELL certification is focused on designing building systems that contribute positively to human comfort. This emphasis on environmental and comfort consciousness showed me that not all large companies are just concerned about money.

 

Something I learned about myself is that I work well when given a lot of work. Often during the week I found myself bored due to a lack of work. Additionally I worked slower and less efficiently. However when I was given a heavier workload I worked quickly and without distractions.

 

  1. During my time at Heapy I learned a lot about working at larger companies. My past two internships were with small companies with less than 20 employees. Additionally I was the only intern at those companies. At Heapy I was one of 5 interns at the Columbus campus. I was able to work with other OSU students as well as students from Cincinnati and Dayton. Something I didn’t experience at my past internships was forming personal connections with other employees as they are 10+ years older. At Heapy I was able to share my experiences with the other interns and learn from their mistakes and successes.

 

A specific event that influenced my experience was the annual co-op site visit. This event was a full day experience where all of Heapy’s co-ops/interns drove to Dayton to tour a building in its construction phase that Heapy itself designed. We visited a large hospital in the Dayton area. During our visit we were able to see all that goes into designing systems for large buildings. It was truly amazing to see the amount of order and coordination that goes into projects of this scale.

 

A specific relationship I enjoyed forming was with another mechanical engineer that had just graduated college a couple years ago. He wound up being the main source of information whenever I needed help with Revit or AutoCAD. Additionally, he took multiple hours out of the work week to ensure that I understood some of the systems we were designing. His help really kept me on track when I started falling behind on work. I would not be the same employee without his guidance.

 

  1. My transformation during this experience is very important to me and my future. As a mechanical engineer I will use the skills I learned not only for my part time work with Heapy, but also in future occupations. Heapy taught me that there is importance in companies visions and missions, something that I never put much stock in to. Personally I will value the friendships that I made with many of the co-ops and full time employees. Without their help I would be very similar to the person I was when I started this experience. In short this experience vastly improved my professional and engineering skills and knowledge.

STEP Reflection

My STEP signature project was a leadership project, with a focus on leadership within physical therapy. I gained valuable personal leadership skills from my mentors in research, observation, and employment settings, all pertaining to acute care physical therapy and clinical research. I volunteered in a health sciences lab in Atwell studying at mobility and exercise in neurological disorders, and worked at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center for the acute care rehab team, and shadowed therapists at the James Cancer Center. 

While completing my STEP signature project, I learned much about professional leadership in physical therapy and furthered my understanding of my personal leadership skills. Before this project, I had ideas about patient care and professionalism in physical therapy, but this project modified my assumptions. Although I was able to generally envision what patient care would be like in acute care settings, my perceptions were dramatically changed and I realized that I love working and being in acute care patient settings. I also was able to modify my time management skills, and improve my self discipline throughout this project. Furthermore, my view of neurological disorders was drastically changed. Before my research experience, I only really knew about Parkinson’s and Huntington’s Disease on paper. Working with patients with neurological disorders was eye opening and helped me discover my love of working in a clinical research setting. 

The professional leadership skills that I learned about came from working closely with five different mentors I was privileged to work with. My mentors in the acute care settings were excellent models of what professionalism and patient interactions should look like. Both of my mentors were excellent physical therapists and further taught me the valuable skills of teamwork, direct communication, ethical healthcare treatment, and the necessity of trust between patients and therapists. Learning these professional skills that are important to possess in order to lead as a physical therapist has helped me develop my own patient- interaction skills and my abilities to work within the acute care hospital system.

My time management personal leadership skills were also improved from this project. In order to complete this STEP project, I had to be constantly utilizing my calendar in order to efficiently use each moment of the summer. Since I was taking seventeen credit hours of classes, completing my STEP project of research, work, and observation, and applying to physical therapy school, I needed to make sure I had the self discipline to complete each area with excellence. Thus, my time management and personal leadership skills greatly benefitted from this project. 

My research in the Mobility and Exercise in Neurological Disorders Lab was extremely eye opening. I was extremely lucky to help with two studies. The first utilizing a robotic exoskeleton and its effects on Parkinson patients, and the other study is analyzing if a balance mat could gather useful data to assist in the treatment of both Parkinson’s and Huntington’s Disease patients. Being able to first hand meet, observe and test patients while learning about their conditions was very rewarding. I had excellent mentors, Drs. Kloos, Kegelmeyer, and Minarsch who all helped guide me in lab set up, data collection, data entry, and professionalism within the context of research. Being in this laboratory helped transform my perceptions of neurological disorders while simultaneously helping me discover my passion for research. 

This STEP experience is extremely rewarding to my professional goals and future plans. Having my professional and leadership skills formed in the context of physical therapy will be beyond valuable to my future. Not only do I have the ability to grow these professional skills as a hopeful future physical therapy student, but I also have the basic skills to build upon throughout the rest of my undergraduate career. Furthermore, having these new professional leadership skills will hopefully shine through during my job as an acute care rehabilitation aid at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. 

During this project, I hoped to increase my capacity to collaborate with others, and explore my individual and community values, and also learn how to leverage my leadership methods to create change for the common good; reflecting on this summer, I can truly say that my goals came to fruition. Using the leadership tactics that I developed this summer from my STEP signature project, I will be able to apply these new personal and professional leadership skills to enhance my Ohio State experience and apply them to my future as a hopeful future physical therapy student. 

This is a photo of me wearing Honda’s Robotic Exoskeleton!

Washington Academic Internship Program Reflection

For my STEP Signature Project I participated in the Glenn College’s Washington Academic Internship Program. As part of this program I had the opportunity to live, work, and learn in Washington D.C. for 12 weeks over the summer. I interned for the federal relations firm Alignment Government Strategies which represents many central Ohio businesses and non-profits in DC. I completed my senior capstone policy research paper as part of 12 credit hours of Public Affairs classes. Additionally, we were able to live just a 5 minute walk from the Capitol Building, and took weekly tours to sites in the city such as the White House, Capitol Building, and State Department.

This opportunity helped me to truly grow as a professional. I was placed in a fast-paced and intense environment that forced me to learn and grow every day. I was presented with the opportunity to learn about new policy areas that have helped give me clarity as to what I would like to pursue in my future career. I was able to get a clear vision of what I would like my future to hold, and I feel fairly certain that I would like to end up back in DC at some point in my career. My most transformational experiences were interacting with career professionals in a working environment. I was able to learn from many great mentors who helped guide me through the craziness of Washington and give me advice to advance my career. I feel confident that following graduation I would like to work on a 2020 Democratic Presidential campaign and then attend law school soon after. I would like to leverage a winning campaign to gain a job in the Administration or on Capitol Hill for 1-3 years, but I would be more than happy to go to law school soon after a campaign ends.

Following my experience in Washington this summer, I feel like a true young professional. My experience was incredibly impactful and it translated into a year-long fellowship with the Columbus Partnership–a client of my firm this summer–which I am currently working this school year. I have seen my professional skills increase drastically and they are currently paying off in both my academic life and my current position with the Columbus Partnership. I am tremendously grateful to STEP and the Glenn College for making this incredible growing experience possible.

Embedded in the post are two photos of me in DC. The first is at an event my internship had at the White House Eisenhower Executive Office Building, and the second is outside of the United States Capitol Building following a meeting with an OSU alum this summer.

STEP Entrepreneurship Project

My step project was to explore entrepreneurship on Ohio State’s campus. I launched a software consulting LLC and became treasurer of D3, a student organization that acts as an on-campus incubator.

Participating in the STEP program has allowed me to grow as an individual. Before the STEP program, I had little leadership experience. Having more responsibility through the consulting company and especially D3 forced me to become a more effective leader. During the STEP program, four main aspects of my leadership have developed greatly. Firstly, my work ethic and time managements skills have improved. Secondly, I have learned that an effective leader should know his limitations and be willing to ask for help. Thirdly, I have learned to better interact in a professional environment. Lastly, I have learned to enjoy the process of mentoring younger students. Overall, I am more confident in my ability to be a leader due to the STEP program.

Being involved with the company and D3 has created more commitments for me during the school year. Juggling these extracurricular activities along with classes and working in a research lab has helped me to develop a stronger work ethic and better time management skills. Both of these qualities are important for a leadership approach that focusing on leading through example.

The process of starting a company was a humbling experience. Coming into the project, I had a rather bullish attitude towards my abilities as an entrepreneur. This experience helped me realize the value of advice from experienced entrepreneurs. In almost any field, there will be people more experienced than me that can provide advice and I would be wise to seek out this advice. As a leader it is important for me to be aware of my deficiencies in knowledge, so that I can create a network that I can learn from so that I can improve upon my deficiencies.

Through this project, I have interacted with a plethora of individuals. I have met with faculty numerous times to talk about project ideas. I have helped run sections of weekly student organization meetings and hosted local entrepreneurs as speakers at these events. I have interacted with members of industry, such as engineers at Honda R&D, to bring more industry exposure to D3. I have also met with three different venture capitalists to gain insight into the operation of venture capital companies. All of these interactions have allowed me to develop my soft skills and to develop professionally.

Mentoring younger students through D3 has been particularly rewarding and has inspired me to seek out more opportunities to mentor students. My knowledge about entrepreneurship has vastly expanded over the last 11 months, and I hope to pass that information on to younger entrepreneurial students at the university. I have created a two-page document that shows a road map for entrepreneurship at Ohio State. I plan to disseminate this document around campus as a resource for students that are looking to become involved in entrepreneurship.

My development as a leader will be invaluable in the future. After the completion of my undergraduate degree I plan to pursue a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. I eventually would like to lead a robotics research team in industry, at a national lab, or as a professor. The leadership skills that I have learned through the STEP project are transferable to the positions that I intend to pursue during my career.

Here is a link to the document I created during the STEP project: Ohio State Entrepreneurship Road Map. This document is meant to help guide those who would like to become involved in entrepreneurship at Ohio State.