Fall 4: Fall Reflections

The semester is over! I have completed all my final tests, presentations, and papers, and am free to enjoy a month without any commitments. This will likely be the last time I will have this long of a break from work or school in a very long time, so I plan to enjoy it thoroughly!

One of the classes I took this semester was Leadership Coaching for Engineers, because of which I got to coach a friend of mine to achieve professional goals she set for herself. The result of our coaching sessions was not only that she made meaningful progress towards her goals, but also that she was equipped to tackle future goals because she learned to reproduce what we did. Seeing the joy she had because of how much she had changed over the course of the semester and realizing she was more equipped for success because of our interactions made me happy to know that I had made a meaningful impact on someone’s life. I hope to keep using these coaching skills to support those around me in all their endeavors.

PalliAssist continued to face regulatory barriers for most of the past month. While waiting for these issues to be resolved, I did what I could to prepare for future tasks. However, in preparation for the end-of-semester presentation for PalliAssist, as I was preparing information about its background, I was reminded why it is important – of the people that could greatly benefit from its use. This gave me a much-needed boost to persevere through the slower season I was experiencing. Almost poetically, the day that I gave the presentation (the last day of classes), I found out we got approval from the IRB in Brazil to move forward with the clinical trial! I’m looking forward to pressing on with PalliAssist to improve palliative care in Brazil when I return from the break.

Another big final presentation I gave was in our Healthcare Innovation and Entrepreneurship course, where we pitched our engineering solution and business plan to address an unmet clinical need to venture capitalists and others involved with startups in Houston. Karlee and I were on a team with three MBA students, and we were addressing a way to diagnose a specific type of internal bleeding that can occur after a femoral catheterization, RPH. This class significantly broadened my knowledge in business and startup areas, talking about things like financing term sheets and building financial models for our business. This experience will for now give me a broader context in which I see my role as an engineer, but may also prepare me for future roles in companies. It was also a privilege to get to work with our MBA colleagues. I feel that I grew from seeing the way they approached certain problems.

Team Mharck Medical after our final presentation

After most of our finals, Tasha hosted us for a GMI Christmas party pot luck at her apartment. After the busy semester, it was a great way to celebrate the season and the hard work we had put in (not to mention enjoy the food made my colleagues, who are way better cooks than I)!

Christmas celebration!

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