While I learned an incredible amount during my undergraduate years at OSU, there is just so much that school can’t prepare you for. My engineering classes gave me the basics of all the important technical skills and subject matter, and the difficult courses taught me how to figure problems out, but nothing can teach you what actually working in industry will be like. One major thing I’ve learned so far is how much the workload can vary from day to day. At the beginning of the week, I was almost overwhelmed with tasks. For my test method validation project, we had to finish researching possible test materials, meet with several engineers from other departments to discuss the feasibility of our plan, and prepare a presentation to update our colleagues on our progress. It was especially exciting because the team decided to move forward with purchasing a new testing material that Sarah and I discovered and proposed. We will be using the synthetic tissue to simulate venous tissue for our test method, as well as in other tests to characterize the guidewire. For my torque device project, I had to finish the tolerance analysis and write my first tech report to summarize all the results.
I really enjoyed doing my work to contribute to the team, but then the workload drastically slowed down. In a company as large as Boston Scientific, things can move a bit slower. Now all of the work I completed has to be processed with the right people before we can move to the next phases. Learning how the workload flows is really important in order to manage my time more effectively so that I can avoid days with a huge burden and days spent waiting for the next steps.
But no worries, I have not spent my waiting days sitting idly at my desk. As I’ve mentioned before, I think that connections with engineers inside and outside R&D will be one of the most important things I can take away from this internship. During my downtime I have met with (or set up meetings with) engineers from IC/PI R&D, Neuromodulation R&D, Packaging, and DA. One engineer in R&D is currently on assignment here in Heredia, but typically works in Maple Grove, Minnesota. It was super interesting to learn about the similarities and differences between the work and culture between the U.S. and Costa Rican offices. He was also able to put me in contact with Process Development and New Product R&D (vs Sustaining R&D that is present in Heredia) engineers in Maple Grove. I can really see myself working in PD or NP R&D, so I am looking forward to talking them this week.
Once again, we GMIers took full advantage of the weekend. After work on Friday we headed up to La Fortuna. La Fortuna is a cute little city in the Alajuela province near Arenal Volcano. On Saturday morning we went on a beautiful (and tiring) hike around Arenal National Park. We couldn’t see the top of the volcano because it was too cloudy, but the hike was still filled with gorgeous trees, birds, lake views, and lots and lots of mud. After the hike, we treated ourselves with an evening at the Baldi hot springs. The hot water felt amazing after all the walking of the morning. On Sunday, we had time to explore the shops around the city and then went to La Fortuna waterfall. The refreshing water at the bottom of the falls was well worth the 500+ stairs we had to trek up to get back to the bus.
It’s hard to believe that our internships are half over! I feel like the time has gone so fast, but I’ve learned so much already.