Erica, Jeannette, and I are just returning from our three-day beach vacation in Manuel Antonio, coming back to San Jose rested, relaxed, and ready to make the most of the last three weeks of our internships. If the next three weeks are anything like this past work week, I am going to be quite busy with a jam packed schedule. This past week at work (fifth week of the internship) was the busiest work week I’ve had yet. In addition to deliverables and work done on my main project, I have been added to another project with high urgency. This new project is quite exciting, and allows me to collaborate with engineers I haven’t yet worked with. However, because of the urgency of the issue the team is attempting to solve, there is little time to waste. After a quick debriefing on Thursday to bring me up to speed on the issue, I was off with my own set of tasks and objectives.
The manufacturing issue my team is challenged with solving has no simple solution. The engineers on the team have been working towards a solution since May with only minimal progress. My addition to the team adds a new perspective and viewpoint to a problem that has stumped the engineers for far too long. Rather than focus on what has already been investigated by the team, the engineers encouraged me to start from square one, giving me he freedom to propose an investigation of any part or process in the manufacturing line. Because of my lack of experience with the problem, the hope is that I may come across something new that has been overlooked by the team. Given the time I have left at work, it’s uncertain if I will have sufficient time to complete this new project with the engineers, however I do think I will be able to contribute useful results from the investigations I conduct over the next few weeks.
With the internship quickly coming to an end, I have begun reflecting on my summer experience thus far. This summer has been challenging for a number of reasons, but has presented a multitude of learning experiences both at work and in other settings. I have traveled abroad quite a bit in my life, but working in a foreign country provides completely different experiences and perspectives than I had anticipated. I will leave Costa Rica with a better understanding of how a US based multinational medtech company operates in a foreign country, as well as an understanding of the importance, benefits, and difficulties of the global medical device industry. As someone who aims to work abroad in the medtech industry, gaining this perspective early on in my career is an incredible opportunity.