Week 10: Learning From Others

This week I worked mostly on Project 3, creating and verifying a test method and test method validation protocol for colonoscopy devices. Since I only have one week left in Costa Rica, I wanted to make sure I made the most out of my time here at Boston Scientific. Unfortunately I can’t intern in every department at BSCI, so I arranged a couple short meetings with people in various departments.

One day I met with a project manager named Oscar and learned about his job at BSCI. A project manager is not an entry level position- it takes refined leadership skills, excellent communication among different departments, and significant foresight into the engineering process. To put into perspective, Oscar had worked at BSCI for 13 years before he was promoted to project manager. One question I asked him was a quality he would like to change when interacting with people on the job. His response highlighted some interesting habits he believes occur mostly in young employees. Oscar said they tend to wait to give bad news. However, if someone reported the problem immediately when it happened instead of sitting on it for a few weeks, the problem is significantly easier to handle. This example was one of the many perspectives Oscar shed light on in our conversation, and I greatly appreciated his time and words of experience!

Throughout this week I tested 65 colonoscopy devices on an Instron tensile test machine. The best part about long tests like these is the data. As soon as I finished a round of testing, I plugged the results into Minitab and ran some statistical tests on them. Once all testing was over, I summarized my results into a report and sent it to my team consisting of 2 coworkers, a manager, and an R&D BSCI employee in the United States. The purpose of the data I collected drove the team to make certain decisions about the protocols. Project 3 has been fun- I especially enjoy the collaboration among everyone and their discussions offer fantastic insight into the engineering process that I can’t learn in the classroom. At the end of the week, both the test method and test method validation protocols were sent off for approval. Once approved, I’ll be the author of my first test method validation protocol!

Boston Scientific also has English classes for their employees here at Coyol. The instructor asked the GMI interns if they could give a presentation so the class could hear native English speakers. I made a Powerpoint presentation and talked about myself, my family, and where I’m from (the great state of Nebraska). It was fun seeing the class learn and ask questions about the place I grew up, even though talking about home made me very homesick!

With one week remaining, I plan to work as far along into my projects as I can. I’m well on my way to finishing 2 of the 3 projects (projects 1 and 3). Project 2 is a long-term project that will last for the next 6 months. I’ve been very happy with my projects, and have learned so much in this internship- I’ll share those insights with you next week!



Pictured above- a slide in my presentation for BSCI’s English class, featuring one of my favorite places in the summer, fall, and winter.

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