Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project.
STEP allowed me to live in Columbus this summer and work as University Ambassador within the Undergraduate Admissions department at The Ohio State University. During this time, I gave nearly fifty tours of Ohio State’s campus to about 600 prospective high school students and family members. I was also able to be a mentor for a new hire in the program and guide her through the training process.
What about your understanding of yourself, your assumptions, or your view of the world changed/transformed while completing your STEP Signature Project?
Working as a University Ambassador over the summer helped me develop my critical thinking and leadership skills more than I could have ever imagined. Prior to this summer, I did not feel very confident in my role as a University Ambassador, because I was still fairly new to the program. I was not given any real challenges while on tour, and I definitely did not feel that I was a leader within the office. By getting more experience as a tour guide, becoming a mentor within the program, and interacting with more prospective students, I definitely feel that my critical thinking skills and leadership skills transformed this summer. After touring this summer, I am much more confident in facing any situation that makes me think on my feet and I feel that I am looked at more as a leader in the program.
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?
A key aspect that led to my transformative critical thinking skills was experiencing new aspects of touring that I had not before, from a lack of experience. This summer, we experienced a number of thunderstorms in Columbus, Ohio. Prior to this summer, I had never experienced any severe weather conditions on a tour. I can remember one afternoon specifically, where I was giving a tour and a thunderstorm suddenly began while I was walking my group back to The Union. It is definitely not safe to be walking around campus in the middle of a thunderstorm, so I had to quickly improvise and get my group to safety since we would not make it back to The Union before the storm cleared. Once we were safe in University Hall, there was still a large part of the tour left and an abundance of information that I needed to share with the group. During this time, I was forced to think critically and improvise a way to portray the information to the tour group in a space that was different from my usual route. Once the storm had passed, I was able to get my group back to The Union in a safe and efficient manner. Thinking critically and staying composed in front of this large group of people was very important. I am thankful that I was given experiences like this to help improve my critical thinking skills not only as a University Ambassador, but throughout all aspects of life.
A key aspect that led to my transformative leadership skills was the ability to become a mentor in the University Ambassadors program. At the beginning of each summer and fall semester, The University Ambassadors program hires about 20 new members to begin own their journeys in the program. The beginning of the journey includes an extensive amount of training, that is not always easy to navigate. Therefore, each new hire is given a mentor to guide them through the certification process, before they are able to give their own solo tours. This process allows for Ohio State to keep its remarkable reputation, since the tour guides are knowledgeable and ready to represent the university the best that they can. Since I was hired in the fall of 2017, I had always been one of the “new hires” up until this point. This summer was the first time that I was able to step into a new leadership role.
Working as a mentor is a great way to gain leadership skills, which I did not realize until I met my mentee, Megan. At the very start of Megan’s journey in the program, I knew that she would be a great addition to the team. It was a lot of fun getting to know her and also showing her what it means to be a University Ambassador. Through this process, I was always there to answer any questions about the process that Megan had and assist her through every step of the way. Being a mentor helped me improve my leadership skills, because I had to take more responsibility within the program. I was now able to coach Megan through her certification journey, and make sure that she was able to become the best Ambassador for Ohio State that she could. This was an experience I will always be thankful for, because it allowed me to improve on my leadership skills in ways that I did not know I needed to.
Why is this change/transformation significant or valuable for your life?
I am so thankful that I was able to strengthen my critical thinking and leadership skills this summer as a University Ambassador. Both of these skills will help me in my future as a nurse in so many different ways. As a nurse, you are constantly forced to think critically about your patient’s compromised health condition. You must be aware of every possible complication that can occur, and what nursing interventions you must be prepared for. Leadership is a very important quality to have in the field of nursing and in life in general. I do hope to continue my nursing education someday and become a Nurse Practitioner. As a Nurse Practitioner, you are responsible to take more charge in the patient’s plan of care. They are expected to act more as a leader, and they hold more responsibilities than a bedside nurse. These leadership skills will also help me become a role model in the field of nursing someday. I know that the critical thinking and leadership skills that I developed this summer working as a University Ambassador will greatly help me throughout my entire nursing career and every aspect of life.