Week 8: Turning Limones into Limonada

This week presented me with the challenge of time: too much of it! Both of my projects hit a speed bump, and I found myself with more autonomy than expected.

On Monday morning I converted my potential solutions for Project 2 into a Powerpoint presentation I would give later that afternoon. At this meeting I’d present my solutions to 7 people from different departments. I was eager to receive constructive feedback in order to change or confirm my plans. My goal for this week was to identify the top two solutions, refine the concepts, and pitch the results to several external vendors who would help me create a working prototype. However, this Monday meeting didn’t quite go as planned.

The first 30 minutes were dedicated to solving technical difficulties with the projector. Once resolved, another 30 minutes was spent redefining the problem. There was debate over the efficacy and accuracy of a 3D system compared to the current 2D system. Unfortunately, our meeting could only last one hour. As a result, no ideas or solutions were discussed and another meeting had to be scheduled.

After a short powwow with core team members and the project manager, we discussed several key points on how to improve the next meeting:
• Make sure everyone has a clear understanding of the problem and purpose of the meeting
• Create and follow an agenda
• Dedicate one person as the ultimate Decider on the scope of the project-typically the project manager
• Have a timer

As frustrating as it can be to reschedule a meeting, this experience gave me significant foresight into some Do’s and Don’ts for managing time and people.

Another challenge this week was consistently keeping myself productive and busy, since this week’s progress for both projects hinged on other people with busy schedules. I had three days of free time- here is what I did with it!

 

• I brushed up on some trigonometry, geometry, and calculus from high school, thinking it may come in handy when communicating the geometric orientation of Project 2.
• I redid my Project 2 Powerpoint presentation, eliminating bulky words with better graphics
• I drew Project 2’s medical device in 3D
• I shipped “Pass” and “Fail” medical devices to external vendors
• I answered the vendor’s questions on the shipped devices, background, and problem statement for Project 2
• I began emailing different departments to arrange 30 minute informational meetings in order to better understand Boston Scientific as a whole
• I learned how to use Minitab statistical software

On Friday I was able to present my ideas for Project 2 at a meeting, and began contacting vendors about designing a prototype. I also ran some tests with Veronica for Project 1, using Argon to flush out air in a metal bag. The bag contained some wires, which were heated in an oven. The intention was to see if the color of the wires would change. As I was researching the safety and use of Argon, I stumbled across a fun fact-during the wine bottling process, Argon is substituted for air inside the bottle because air can facilitate microbial growth on the surface of the liquid!

Veronica and me after testing the wires with Argon-filled bags

Even though this week didn’t result in huge progress for my projects, I took advantage of the free time to gain new skills, self-improve, and network. I’m appreciative I experienced a “slow week” like this, because it allowed me to self-reflect, plan my future weeks for the remainder of the internship, and establish professional goals.

Aside from work, the team visited Arenal this weekend! One morning we hiked Arenal volcano, crossing  lava beds formed in 1968.

 

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