- Major: Biomedical Engineering
- Company: Smith and Nephew
- Graduation Year: May 2021
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
I completed my three co-op rotations at Smith and Nephew in Memphis working in Hips Product Support within R&D. Smith and Nephew is a multinational medical devices company with a wide range of specialties from biologics to orthopaedics and robotics. During my three rotations, I had the opportunity to work on a few projects of different sizes.
A major project I was working on was Unique Device Identification (UDI) where my responsibilities include determination of drawing print changes, requesting for the changes, and implementing the changes in the final drawings. This project can be important for distribution and recalls but is more importantly beneficial for corrective and revision surgeries. At the same time, this project is crucial to ensure our products comply with various regulations such as US FDA, EU MDR, and Brexit.
I decided to do a co-op because my previous experiences have all been in research and I wanted an opportunity to explore different fields within engineering before I graduate and start looking for a full time job. This co-op allowed me to meet people from various backgrounds and also allowed me to interact and see what engineers in other departments and specialties do in their everyday life.
While I gained a lot of technical skills, I think the most beneficial skill I obtained on the job was actually communication and public speaking. I can learn a lot of technical skills online, in classrooms, etc., but effective communication and public speaking skills are best learned by exposure- doing more presentation and talking to suppliers, vendors, etc.
Many of the projects I worked on during my assignment had hard deadlines that would impact the company—allowing me to learn how to work under pressure which is an extremely important skill to have professionally. Doing a co-op was also very rewarding academically because I was able to see how a lot of classroom concepts or knowledge were applied in the real world, and it also gave me further appreciation for what I learned in class.
To the students who are unsure about doing a co-op, I would recommend stopping by the EPP office to talk to an ambassador and write a list of pros and cons. People often shy away from doing coops because of potential delay in graduation, but having industry experience before graduating not only sets you apart in job search but also allows you to have better insight of what field you might be interested in! The work terms between school semesters also allowed me to have a break from school and made me more excited and motivated for school!
When I am not busy studying or working, you can find me out of breath teaching group fitness at Golds Gym, hiking in the smokies, or traveling to eat (for now Mangonadas from La Michoacana will do).