Week 7: Getting The Ball Rolling

I always thought I wanted to work in a small company. And maybe I still do. But I have most definitely enjoyed working at Boston Scientific due to the wide access of its large interconnected web of intelligent minds. I assumed that working in a smaller company allows more collaboration or even fosters a greater sense of independence due to having less resources. While all this may still hold true, I have learned to apply that mentality within a big company like Boston Scientific.

This past week, my projects have led to me to consult with a wide variety of resources throughout the company- from engineers around my department, different departments, and even to locations in the United States. In addition, I have needed to confer with several employees within my site, such as through the process of purchasing a material in the onsite material shop (where I was able to use my Spanish skills at work!), configuring a 3D printing process with in-line technicians, and consulting chemists on tests I aim to run. A company like Boston Scientific opens up the doors for the ability to contact a larger pool of engineers and specialists who all have different expertise to offer and, most importantly, the willingness to help others within the BSC family. Even as an intern, I have felt the motivation of my fellow colleagues and supervisor to help me reach my goals during my short time here.

Filming for GMI at Invenio University!

Working in the collaboratory (open space for collaboration) at Boston Scientific.

Speaking of goals, this week was a busy week! I took Monday off of work to help with the filming of our new GMI video, which should be ready by August on our GMI page! The rest of the week was spent starting and making progress on my projects. My first aim dealt with understanding an R&D engineer’s design ideas and factors to be included in an animal study. Using XMind, I fleshed out every possible configuration of the factors the R&D engineer had listed and it came out to about 150 different combinations! In an ideal world where time and money were not an issue, it would be so useful to test out each one of these ideas. However, in our time frame, a much narrower scope was required and only the most representative combination of factors can be analyzed. This was something that I will need to discuss with the R&D engineer so I can effectively plan for the tests. My second aim caused me to run into some obstacles in designing a process for using a new material in urethral stents. Upon confirming the process I needed to prepare the material, I next needed to determine how to utilize the material. I spent two days learning to use Solid Works and then creating a design for my intended approach. I made sure to keep in mind the quote Dr. Richardson told us “Plans never work but planning always does”. With my first draft approach in hand and submitted by Thursday to 3D print, I targeted to have this ready by Monday morning to begin running tests. Disappointment dawned when I was told of the cost to print my design leading me to scrap my CAD drawing, especially because I knew a simpler method was possible. Immediately I began brainstorming alternatives on Friday so that I could have something ready by Monday or Tuesday. Although my plan did not work I was very happy to have the opportunity to introduce myself to CAD and understand more about the mechanisms of 3D printing, both which will be useful to me in the future regardless.

Solid Works drawing for one approach.

Our active weekend was a wonderful way to end the week. On Saturday we visited a dog sanctuary called Territorio de Zaguates, which means Territory of Mutts. This non-profit runs solely on donations to bring in hundreds of stray dogs around Costa Rica, cleans them up, and provides them a home on an expansive grassy area in the highlands of Heredia. If you love dogs, this was a dream come true! We finished up the day with a Chocolate Fair in downtown San Jose with about 40 booths of different chocolate companies from Costa Rica. On Sunday, a group of co-workers from Boston Scientific and a group of us from GMI went hiking at a nearby mountain in Escazu, called Pico Blanco. We were not prepared for the intense vertical climb on this hike, but regardless it was a fun way to start a Sunday morning and we had beautiful views of the Central Valley of Costa Rica.

Territorio de Zaguates

BSC crew on top of Pico Blanco

View of Central Valley Costa Rica

Tune in next week for updates at Boston Scientific! Pura Vida.

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