Happy World Cup, fútbol fans! I’ve never considered myself interested in soccer, but since I’m living in a country whose team is participating, I couldn’t help but get swept up in the excitement. The cafeteria and offices were abuzz every morning with video streams and excited cheers, and Costa Rica wasn’t even playing until Sunday morning!
I’ve successfully completed the first week of my internship at Establishment Labs. The first day and a half consisted of onboarding presentations, but Razi, Drew, and I dove in headfirst to work immediately after to establish a plan, learn about our projects, meet our co-workers, and start research. I am working with the RDI department, which stands for Research, Development, and Innovation. The innovation part is key. Establishment Labs is a medical device and aesthetics company that began in Costa Rica and since then has sold products all around the world. Their main products are breast implants, a product that in general had not undergone any major design changes in a long time despite serious potential health complications like causing capsular contracture. EL places safety as their highest priority, and this shines in the many unique characteristics of their implant designs.
I am sworn/legally-bound to secrecy on my project and I also want to keep this blog safe for work (ironic), but here’s a general description of what I’m doing: I am helping to write a document entailing initial project design criteria and safety considerations. Writing this document will include extensive researching of safety standards and regulations, compiling information about materials needed, and my favorite – designing what the end product will look like! I feel lucky to be working on this because, by happy accident, it aligned with my interests and will help me grow my prior experience in working on this specific stage of the engineering design process. I’m thrilled to experience this at a real company and I really hope I can make a difference here.
Before jumping in, however, I needed to center myself and invest time on an important task: writing a detailed set of SMART goals for the internship, both professional and personal. We learned about this goal-writing format with Dr. Van Kleeck before leaving for Costa Rica, with the intention of focusing on personal growth and getting the most out of these short two months. At first, I was skeptical of this method, but its structured format helped me push past an abstract idea and flesh it out into something more realistic and attainable. Wish me luck in completing my goals!
Three fun facts about Volcán Irazú:
- Volcán Irazú is the highest active volcano in Costa Rica at 11,260 feet above sea level, which was higher than my Snapchat altimeter filter could handle.
- The latest eruption was a phreatic eruption on December 8, 1994 (magma + groundwater = intense buildup of steam)
- The lake at main crater is caused by heavy rain and recently reappeared after a long drought. Its color is reportedly due to runoff sediments.
Fun facts courtesy of Wikipedia. I left all my good research habits at work.
Bonus: Week 3 Exotic Fruit Bingo: Cas (Costa Rican guava, sour guava): I didn’t try this one in a whole fruit form, but that’s probably a good thing. Cas is so tart that it’s almost always served sweetened in refrescos. The juice is acidic and has the same gritty granules as any guava does. I tried an unsweetened version in Cartago and it was definitely too sour for my liking.
BONUS bonus EFB: White guava: The sweeter cousin of the more common pink guava, this fruit can best be described as “a pear apple”. Its flesh, seeds, and rind are all edible, and it’s high in vitamin C. I found the seeds very slippery and tough to chew, so I swallowed them whole. Apparently, they’re good laxatives.