Week 9: Taking Charge

This week was a little slower for me! Because my supervisors are out of town, I was, unfortunately, unable to do much hands-on work at the office. Instead, I had to be more proactive in finding things to do. I took this extra time to speak with other employees in my department to see if they had any ideas on what the next steps of the project should be, and I received very valuable feedback from a few process development engineers. One engineer suggested that I acquire some of the research done by marketing that would allow me to more clearly articulate the market for the project, so I acquired some of these documents to read and incorporate into my findings. I even brought some work home with me, and spent time reading and writing about my project after work hours.

I also was able to create a comprehensive presentation that summarized my research findings and recommendations. In our short courses, Dr. Richardson emphasized how helpful it is to create presentation slides as you work through a project, rather than waiting until a final presentation or deadline to do so. I have been trying to keep up with this suggestion throughout my time at Boston Scientific, and it has been really helpful for me. Not only does it allow me to keep track of key project milestones, but it also helps me contextualize the work I’m doing and clarify my next steps. It also is a great way to quickly get other employees up to speed on the project, and will definitely be useful when I meet with my supervisors this week after they return.

Additionally, I have been working on creating documentation that summarizes the progress I have made thus far into my project. Documentation is one of the necessary evils of working at an engineering company – it’s not the most exciting thing to do, but it’s incredibly important. Documenting progress makes it easy to share work with others and ensure continuity of a project. The continuity aspect is especially important for a short internship. Once I leave, it’s important that the team be able to easily follow my research and findings, and clear, well-written documentation will make this possible.

Last week, I discussed the importance of holding myself accountable to my work, and this week made that sentiment more important than ever. With the absence of my supervisors and a temporary halt on my project, I was a little lost at the beginning of the week. It took me a while to regain some direction, but once I did I was able to find productive things to do. I am excited about the return of my supervisors this week, and hope that I’ll be able to really get going on my project this week!

This past Tuesday was Guanacaste Day, a Costa Rican holiday celebrating the annexation of the Guanacaste province! Because of this, we had the day off from work, and the GMI team decided to host a barbecue for some of our friends in Costa Rica. We spent a good chunk of the day cooking, but it was definitely worth it – the food turned out delicious! We were joined by some of our collaborators, including Luis, Jorge, Guiselle, and Guiselle’s newly adopted puppy, Daisy! It was a really fun way to celebrate the holiday and show our appreciation for our Costa Rican friends.

Our team also took a trip to Manuel Antonio this weekend, which is a national park on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. This area is beautiful, with gorgeous beaches, green rainforests, and tons of wildlife (sloths, monkeys, and birds) to observe! We kayaked through a mangrove forest and spent some time on the beach. With the end of our time in Costa Rica coming closer and closer, I’ve been feeling especially appreciative of all that this country has to offer – I’m really going to miss it!

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