With only one week left, I find myself looking back and contemplating about Week 1 here at our internships. I still recall those feelings that I had on the first few days at a job because of having to learn everyone’s names, their roles, how to get around the site, assimilating to the work culture, etc. Given our 6 weeks here, that period of adjustment had to be fast-forwarded to get a jump start on our projects as soon as possible, such that I knew I had to be proactive in taking advantage of every moment and interaction.
In my drive to accomplish as much as possible in our given time frame, I have learned to apply patience in each step of my projects. My friends and family know that I am first an idealist and then a realist, meaning I tend to make many, many plans because there is so much I want to do! Really, if there were more hours in the day then my idealistic mindset would work out just fine! Now how does this apply to my internship? These past five weeks I have effectively planned out how I was approaching my projects and picking up the pieces along the way, but because the gathering of supplies was not all in my hands then it took a little longer than I had hoped in order to execute the plans. And thus, patience was integral.
This past week I was finally able to collect the last few parts for my prototype builds, with the exception of two items arriving on Monday! However, one of the parts was provided to me in a suboptimal storage method, leaving me to untangle a plastic extrusion string for several hours on Thursday and Friday. If you thought untangling your headphones is frustrating, then this was much more intricate! Although this may sound like an unnecessarily difficult task, it was my only option in the material available for my project. As an intern, I think it’s important to do as many parts of the process as possible yourself because no task is truly pointless. Whether this involves filling out paperwork, reaching out to other employees for questions, delivering something, or even untangling a string of extrusion, there can be something valuable to learn from each one. Next week I will begin the urethral stent prototype preparations and builds now that I have organized the extrusion!
In closing out our internships, I have also been preparing to turn in my final deliverables. This included organizing and documenting all that I had done so that it could be passed on to the next employee in a seamless fashion. It’s remarkable how much we were able to do in 6 weeks and makes me excited thinking about how much I can accomplish in a year or two years once I start working!
Aside from our projects, this week we participated in different aspects of the Boston Scientific community here at Coyol and enjoyed a day off on Wednesday for a national holiday. On Monday afternoon, the site held a BSCx event (TEDx talk for Boston Scientific) and included several interesting topics such as agile thinking, women in leadership, innovation and science, and managing different generations. Although many of the talks were in Spanish, I enjoyed seeing all the employees gather to hear these passionate speakers and how the messages radiated through the audience. This week we also happily presented to two English- learner classes held at Boston Scientific. The teacher had asked us to talk about ourselves to the students in English and then have conversations with them in groups after we presented. The students were ecstatic to have us there to practice with native English speakers and had several questions about our time in Costa Rica. I remember when I was taking Spanish courses in high school and how helpful (and a little intimidating) it was to interact with native Spanish speakers, as it was completely different than a sheltered classroom environment and validated what we were learning.
For our final weekend in Costa Rica, some of us from the GMI team along with some coworkers from Boston Scientific went to Limon, the Caribbean side of Costa Rica! We specifically visited Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo because the beaches there are beautiful. The food and culture in Limon is a bit different from the rest of Costa Rica, for example their version of gallo pinto (rice and beans mix) is called Rice and Beans and is cooked with coconut milk. Overall, it was a very relaxing way to conclude our travels around Costa Rica and I will definitely be going back home with a tan now!
In 5 days we will be back in United States! Tune in next Monday to hear about our last week in Costa Rica! Pura vida.