Getting in the Swing of Things

This week at Boston Scientific, I continued to work on my three main projects. Since my role is often dependent on hearing back from suppliers, when there is wait time on one project, I am able to spend my time on others. Hannah and I try to meet with our supervisor, Gerardo, at least once a week. He is able to steer us in the right direction when we don’t know what next steps to take. I like his hands-off management style. He is clear in what he wants us to accomplish, but he does not micromanage us along the way. He expects that we will approach him if questions come up, and when we do, he is generous with his time and thoughtful in his advice.

Hannah and I divided and conquered vendor communications in order to complete a Supplier Definition Form for the acquired new device we have been working on. This form details each component of the device and its corresponding part number, price, vendor, minimum capacity order, lead time, and material. This form must get approved by the Supplier Quality department in order for it to move forward.

While waiting on replies from vendors, we were able to spend time in the lab assembling and testing prototypes for a biopsy tool for the process development team. We performed pull tests using an Instron to determine if the UV glue we are using will be strong enough for the processes the device will perform. The results were a bit inconsistent, and we are looking into whether the issue is coming from the UV bonding procedure or the glue/material interaction. I have been comparing spec sheets of different glues and might communicate with the glue supplier to discuss alternatives. We will also try a different UV curing machine because the one we are using in the lab has not been calibrated in a few years.

For the stent project, most of my week was spent communicating with extrusion and compounding companies to see if they already have a material or are able to create a material that would function as we would like it to (I can’t explain much here because I signed a confidentiality agreement). Since the material we are looking for is novel and unique, it is no surprise that this process has been slow. If the answers were obvious, it would have been done before.

Work has settled in and I am glad to be getting exposed to the inner workings of a large company. As I feel more comfortable, I am trying to listen more carefully to the Spanish around me and use it when I can. Although I came to Costa Rica without ever having taken a formal Spanish class, it is important to me to try and use the language of the people I am working with and the country I am living in. I don’t want to fall into the stereotype of an American tourist, speaking loudly in English and assuming everyone will be able to understand it. As it turns out, most people here are bilingual (or more) and often want to practice their English with me, but I am making an effort to speak in Spanish at restaurants, stores and other situations where, for the most part, Duolingo has given me all the vocab I need.

This weekend in La Fortuna, our group went hiking and our athleticism was hard to miss!

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