By: Kristen Miller – MEng ’13
This past summer as a part of my MEng degree in Biomedical Engineering I completed my summer internship at Boston Scientific in St Paul, Minnesota. I met my manager at the Spring Career Fair at Duke in January and interviewed on campus with him several weeks after. I was very excited to get a position in the Cardiac Rhythm Management division, since my concentration for my Master’s degree is cardiac and neural engineering.
When I arrived at Boston Scientific in May I was assigned a mentor in the Leads Engineering group to help guide me through my summer project. Both my mentor and my manager were part of a committee working to create new ISO standards for implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) leads. For my summer project I was responsible for characterizing and testing two of the mechanical testing methods proposed in the new standards. Throughout the summer I designed and completed studies for fatigue buckle testing and bending stiffness testing methods. At the end of the summer I presented my findings and recommendations, and my final report for the bending stiffness testing method was distributed to the standards creation committee.
Throughout my summer my experiences at Boston Scientific gave me a lot of insight into what it is like to work for a large medical device company. The size of the company meant that there were many resources open to interns and employees that wouldn’t necessarily be found at a smaller company. Employees at Boston Scientific were very open to meeting me for lunch for informational interviews, and throughout the summer there were multiple speakers that came to talk about current issues in industry. I also observed some of the more negative sides of corporate life, such as a layoff that occurred at the company in the middle of the summer.
One great thing about interning at Boston Scientific was the large intern program. There were about 80 summer interns at the three different Boston Scientific Minneapolis locations, so there were multiple programming events throughout the summer as part of the intern program. The internship program a networking breakfast with several managers and directors, a resume review, and additional mentorship through the company’s Young Professionals Network. The housing set up by Boston Scientific was a great opportunity to get to know the other interns, who were from all across the country. Throughout the summer we went to Boston Scientific sponsored Twin’s games, took a boat cruise down the Mississippi River, and got to be part of the Boston Scientific dragon boat racing team!
My summer experience showed me the importance of taking part in company activities outside of the work setting. It was great to work on a meaningful project, learn more about working in industry, and spend the summer getting to know a great group of interns.