Interns from across the United States share how they’re virtually saving lives this summer through Medtronic’s 10-week summer internship program.
July 30, 2020 – Written by Corporate Communications Intern Elizabeth Courtney
Today is National Intern Day and Medtronic wants to recognize and celebrate the nearly 300 hardworking summer interns across the country participating in our annual summer internship program.
Although our summer internship programs look a little different this year due to COVID-19, Medtronic remains fully committed to developing early tech talent and has transitioned 100 percent of this year’s internship placements to be virtual so we can continue our 10-week program.
Why was it so critical for Medtronic to keep these internships this year? For one, we want the best and the brightest minds to keep Medtronic top of mind. And we benefit from the fresh perspectives and big ideas contributed by interns each year. These interns, selected from the country’s top universities, fill crucial roles in in departments such as engineering, marketing, finance and operations. The work they do in these roles leads to developments in areas such as robotics and data science.
Medtronic’s summer interns have been working for several weeks on a variety of projects in different departments throughout the company. Our virtual program has allowed individuals throughout the nation to participate in this program from their respective locations and gain some different perspectives.
Learn more about some of our interns who are saving lives virtually this summer:
Allison Chang is a R&D Electrical Engineering Intern working for the Minimally Invasive Technology Group (MITG) in Surgical Innovations, focusing on Lung Health. She is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she said she is “loving having [her] own private lab set-up at home.”
“It is great to be able to build circuits and problem solve whenever any idea comes to me,” Chang explained about her workspace. Chang also expressed that she is “excited to create something that will actually be implemented in real-life, making it easier for doctors to diagnose lung cancer in their patients.”
Allison McKinney; based in Lakeville, Minnesota; is a Systems Engineering Intern in the Restorative Therapies Group (RTG) where she is specifically working for Pain Systems Engineering on developing requirements for a drug-delivery pump and spinal cord stimulation.
“Some other interns that are working in groups close to mine will meet a couple times a week just to talk about what we’re working on or even have people to talk to while we are working.” McKinney said, “We like to say that we are pretending that we are working in person since if we were in the office, we would most likely have desks by each other.”
Amanuel Matias is a Design Quality Engineering Intern in MITG’s Surgical Robotics department who; though from San Diego, California; is currently working for Medtronic from North Haven, Connecticut. There, Matias is currently creating a system that tracks the risk of potential failure during reliability testing, a measure of reliability obtained by administering the same test twice over a period of time, ultimately resulting in an accurate capture of failure occurrence rates.
“Since I have undergone two minimally invasive surgeries, I truly understand the benefits of the work I am now a part of.” Matias explains, “My passion for improving individuals’ quality of life aligns seamlessly with Medtronic’s overarching focus to alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life. Each day I know that I am contributing to a cause much greater than myself, and that provides boundless motivation.” Matias said.
Daniel Bermundez is an Engineering Intern, who works within manufacturing for Medtronic Diabetes, from Northridge California. His is working to identify the root cause of Glucose Transmitter Sensor (GST) devices as well as working with R&D and Test Equipment to increase yields on this equipment.
“I outline tasks on my to-do list to stay organized and make a small agenda of discussion topics for my one-on-one meetings” he shared.
Elizabeth Heyde is a Research and Development Engineering Intern in Medtronic’s Structural Heart division (CVG) from Santa Clara, CA who is currently developing a design verification test method strategy – an intensive testing program which is performed to deliver objective, comprehensive testing, verifying all product specifications – to incorporate autosewing manufacturing techniques for the Evolut heart valve product family. Elizabeth is also updating a correlation model, comparing two test machines to accommodate the effects of autosewing.
“This is my third internship with Medtronic, and I am still always amazed by the breadth of our company’s product portfolio. My first introduction to Medtronic was through deep brain stimulators and glucose pumps, which both have immensely improved my dad’s quality of life. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to converse with people across all of Medtronic’s business units and have learned about therapies I didn’t realize existed.”
Patricia Garcia, Manufacturing Engineer in the Cardiac and Vascular Group (CVG), is working on quality improvement projects related to the packaging and labeling processes for Medtronic’s Brooklyn Park location – however, this year she is doing this work virtually from her hometown Miami, FL.
“When I found out the summer internship was transitioning to virtual setting, I was initially worried that I would miss out on the programming that is associated with a traditional in-person internship such as connecting with other interns and partaking in outreach. However, that has not been the case! Despite the “new normal”, Medtronic has kept its commitment to creating an impactful internship experience by creating opportunities and virtual socials for interns to connect with other interns from places like California and Colorado, and I have also been able to experience Medtronic’s commitment to giving back by participating in a virtual volunteering event.”
Patricia passion for the medical device industry hits extra close to home, stating that “during my senior year of high school, my mother became terribly ill and spent months in the hospital. Watching helplessly as my mother was plagued with this undiagnosable illness, I found myself asking one question: ‘How can help?’ The only answer for my questioning would consist of the application of engineering principles and design concepts. At that point in my life, I was captivated by the world of medical devices.”
Robby Waxman is participating in his second internship at Medtronic from his bedroom in Baltimore, MA – this year as an Engineering Summer Intern in Surgical Innovations, part of MITG, focusing on lung health by working on data science for the research and development of a new surgical tool. Last year, Robby worked on software engineering and product security (cybersecurity) for dialysis machines.
“I co-founded a start-up with my college roommate two years ago called Cellular Analysis Technologies, LLC that we are still working on to this day.”
Selina Kwarteng is a QA/QC Laboratory Engineer Intern for the Diabetes Group, working on implementing a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS), as well as building a database with bioburden organisms, from her home in Virginia.
“I’ve always been interested in the healthcare industry and helping people so knowing that I am working for a company that puts patient’s needs first, inspires me.”
Simon Schriber is an R&D Intern in MITG’s Renal Care Solutions division. From his college apartment in Madison, WI, Simon is working on designing a printed circuit board (PCB) capable of interfacing – or connecting – a dialysis machine to stimulate expected signal outputs from sensors involved in dialysate and blood detection.
“Every night I try to listen to a podcast on a topic I am either interested in or know little about to stay up to date on current technologies.”