What a summer it has been! Upon leaving Costa Rica, I have had some time to reflect on the experience as a whole, and remember all I have learned. The Costa Rica experience was a good mix of working hard at our internships, and relaxing and having fun on the weekends. Although my favorite memories came from traveling this beautiful country with my classmates, who have now become great friends, the internship provided me with a lot of valuable knowledge as well.
At my internship, the projects I worked on throughout the summer were document summaries for design ownership transfers, a test method creation for a guidewire, and complaint analysis. I learned so much about what design assurance is, the functions of all of the team members, and why it is important. I got to know an amazing group of coworkers who were always willing to help me and teach me new things. I also got to experience what it is like to work at a big medical device company. This was my first internship experience, so my goal was to learn as much as I could, both about the company as a whole, and about my own department. Some of the things I learned were:
- At a big company like Boston Scientific, each person has a very specific function. If you need a CAD model of something, you send it to the department that specializes in that. Each employee is a specialist at something, and everyone is very friendly and willing to work cross functionally across departments.
- The FDA can change a regulation at any time, and you always have to stay up-to-date and ensure compliance.
- Customer safety is always a top priority. Complaints are collected from patients, physicians, and more and analyzed to identify problems with devices that are currently on the market so that BSC can fix them.
- It is important to have a “big picture” understanding of the products you are working with.
I also learned a lot about communication and scheduling within a large company. When you have a question, there is almost always someone nearby who will be willing to help you. All you have to do is send them a quick Skype message or request a meeting through Outlook. I was surprised at how kind everyone was and how easy it was to set up meetings to learn more about someone’s role in the company. Overall, it was a great experience, and I am so happy I had this opportunity to learn and meet new people.
While I am sad that we had to leave Costa Rica, I am so excited to spend this year surrounded by my incredible friends and classmates. I am looking forward to traveling back to Costa Rica during the year to work on DialOasis, and to work on all of the other GMI coursework. I am especially excited to be able to work with and observe at the Texas Medical Center. Based on how fun this summer was, I’m sure the year will be a blast, even though we’ll still be working hard.