The Internship Begins

At last our main reason for coming (back) to Costa Rica has begun: each of us has started our own internship at a couple of medtech companies. While it is still too soon to come to any conclusions regarding the development of our internships, every day that passes I realize there is always something new awaiting in each of our current endeavors. Also, I must add that we are now fully settled in our condos, in the same neighborhood of Cariari.

Michael and I were both assigned to the same Boston Scientific (BSC) location, here in the outskirts of the city of Heredia, while the girls were assigned to the Coyol locations, around 25 mins away. We are lucky enough to be able to walk to work every day –I am familiarized enough with the area to know how horrible the traffic can get in the mile it takes to get to BSC from our condos; it is either a 15 min walk or a 30 min drive.

The first two days of our BSC internship consisted of a mandatory orientation regarding company policies, requirements, benefits and related affairs. We got familiarized with the building and we were introduced to our supervisor, Vanessa. We also met Ruben, who has served as our guide and mentor for the past few days. Both of them, as well as many of our co-workers, have helped us greatly in our first week – I am glad we get to work with kind and diligent people like them for eight weeks.

While I will not get into too much detail on our specific tasks during the internship, I must mention that I am impressed on how different a medtech manufacturing plant is from what I previously imagined. As engineers we learn many ways of finding concrete ways of expressing abstract processes, but seeing such a complex system work in harmony without much room for failure is surely a satisfying experience that I had not been exposed to before. Both my teammate and I will have to research, test, analyze and put together a broad spectrum of tools from our skillset in order to accomplish what we are being asked to do. Honestly, I do find it somewhat of a steep learning curve and definitely challenging, but that is exactly the kind of work that I enjoy the most.

After living the excitement of a new environment with new projects to go with it, perhaps my weekend strikes as somewhat uneventful. I taught my college-level course on Saturday, sharing my new experiences with my students; I also met with my family and friends, celebrating father’s day accordingly. At time it feels odd switching between the Rice Summer Program and my normal routine that I am so used to here in Costa Rica, but so far I get to enjoy the best of both worlds, sharing the experience with my peers, friends and family. Perhaps on another weekend I might join my teammates in their exploration of my beloved country but for now I must focus in doing my best during the upcoming weeks.


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