My first week at Boston Scientific (BSCI) was interesting, informative, and came with its own set of unique challenges–just as any of the previous internships I have had. The week started off with a standard new hire orientation on both Monday and Tuesday. This orientation, though the content was “standard”, was actually all in Spanish. I am well-versed in English and Mandarin Chinese, and even know a little bit of French, but I have never in my life completed a Spanish language course nor said a complete sentence in Spanish. Needless to say, having two days’ worth of orientation in Spanish was a bit challenging, but luckily I had some help translating information from fellow GMI student, Luis Diego Gené. Luis and I are both working at BSCI in Heredia this summer. We will both be contributing to two projects under the same supervisor in the manufacturing engineering department, focused on products for electrophysiology. Our projects will include evaluating the manufacturing processes and standards of BSCI products that were acquired from various companies in the last couple of years, as well as researching ways to optimize those processes to increase production efficiency.
Our supervisor and the team we will be working with have been incredibly kind, welcoming, and eager to have me and Luis begin on our projects. Since BSCI is a multi-national company, English is a requirement for many of the employees, including the manufacturing engineering department. It is comforting for me that I will be able to use English to communicate with some of my BSCI colleagues until I further develop my Spanish language skills. By the end of the summer, my goal is to be able to have basic dialogue with my BSCI colleagues, and maybe even have some technical discussions, in Spanish.
On Friday of our first week, what I thought would be a normal work day turned into quite the unexpected. After about an hour of being at work, I started to feel a burning sensation in my stomach. I tried to ignore it, but as time went on, the pain grew and the less I was able to focus on my work. I unfortunately had developed food poisoning from something I ate the day before. After only two and a half hours at work on Friday, I returned to my condo feeling terrible. Having lived abroad for a few months before, I came prepared with antibiotics that are used to treat food poisoning. I took the medicine and lied in bed for a few hours, later waking up feeling much better with a bit of an appetite. By Friday evening I was feeling almost back to normal, but took it easy since I had not been able to keep down much food throughout the day.
Friday night, our friends Jorge and Guiselle came to our condos to have dinner and hang out with us. It was really nice to see them again and to have a little more time to chat than our first meeting. To help us learn and practice our Spanish, Jorge and Guiselle said that they would start messaging us in Spanish throughout the summer. I’m hoping that this way of communicating will help me learn some conversational Spanish and allow me to practice grammar and formulating sentences.
On Saturday, Jeannette, Erica, and I hung out for most of the day while Luis was at his teaching job. We went bowling at Bol Cariari down the street from our condos, watched some Netflix, had dinner, watched Monster’s University (their apartment came with a Blu-ray player and about 15 movies), and went out for some ice cream from Pop’s Ice Cream (one of our new favorite ice cream shops). It was a great day to relax and unwind from our first week of work.
Time seems to be going by fast now, so I’m sure the next 8 weeks will fly by! Very excited for what’s to come!