My experience at Boston Scientific
I’m interning at Boston Scientific Corporation, Gurgaon, a manufacturer of medical devices. They own several manufacturing and R&D facilities around the globe, and run an R&D setup in Gurgaon. They are one of the few R&D interns specific to the Mechanical branch that hire through the PT cell.
How I got here
One fine morning, I received a call from an IC, informing me that I had a group discussion for the Boston Scientific summer internship in 5 minutes. Apparently, the shortlist was released late the previous night and I had (uncharacteristically) gone to bed quite early. So I got ready and reached the venue about 15 minutes late. After we had the group discussion and were waiting for our interviews, I read about the company on google (which you guys should do before signing the IAF, by the way), and realised that interning there would make a lot of sense since I had yet to explore working in a core job. The interview consisted of a few questions on Mechanical Engineering and math, and a few common HR questions.
Life in Gurgaon
To say that Gurgaon is not the ideal city would be a massive understatement. We were greeted with dust storms on the very day that we arrived. The temperatures go up to 42 degrees during the day and drop ever so slightly to 37-ish during nights. And with humidity levels ever so low, you’d get dehydrated pretty quickly. And the roads! They do not have traffic signals anywhere and you have to cross highways all the time. The crime rate in the NCR area is also very high, and you won’t find a single person on the streets after 10pm. Inside my first week here, I was warned not to roam around in the streets alone in the night by at least three different people! And did I mention the air quality? It’s bad. Kejriwal better get to work.
We were provided accommodation for our first week, during which we had to look for PGs to stay in for the rest of our internship. There are several PGs all around, because of a large working population in Gurgaon. You generally do not have to worry about food. Most of the places here have an awesome north-Indian taste, and you’ll feel more at home here than in our hostel messes.
Working at BSC
On our first day, we were shown around the campus and given a brief about the various business units and the organizational structure of the company. Quite a few sessions follow throughout our stay, each one introducing us to various verticals in the company. We were then assigned a buddy and a mentor, both of whom generally have had several years of experience in the field. The company follows an open culture, and one can approach any employee anytime to ask a question or just to interact with them. In addition to the weekly reviews within your own business unit, there are monthly reviews for interns, to assess our progress and to give feedback and suggestions. The work timings are pretty flexible. As long as you are getting the work done, no one cares when you come or go. In certain situations, you may even need to work on weekends in case a particular lab equipment is not available during weekdays!
Places to visit in NCR
Needless to say, Delhi is filled with monuments from the Mughal era, along with other places of amusement. The city is well connected throughout by metro, which is an extremely convenient mode of transport when compared with the Mumbai local, though I must say that the scorching heat at this time of the year isn’t the most ideal kind of climate for wandering around. There are a few great malls in Gurgaon, and many places known for their street food. Apart from that, one can visit quite a few cities in the north, like Rishikesh, Dehradun and Agra, to name a few.
What was my role at BSC
Boston Scientific has six R&D business units in Gurgaon, along with other departments such as marketing, HR, IT and so on. I worked in the Interventional Cardiology division, that focuses on designing devices used for the treatment of lesions inside coronary arteries by catheterization. I was decidedly overwhelmed by all the biology involved in understanding the anatomy, but soon realised that one only needs to know a few basic details in order to design mechanical equipment.
I got to experience the entire cycle that a product undergoes from ideation to mass manufacturing. After a problem is identified and a project is assigned to a department, the performance characteristics that a product has to meet are identified, and then various test methods are constructed to quantize the performance of a device. Prototypes are manufactured in-house after a process is determined to manufacture them, which are then tested using the defined test methods. Based on the results, improvements are made to the prototypes and several such iterations are carried out until the desired performance is met! And so a project is given for large scale manufacturing and the project is completed. Depending on the complexity, a project takes about 2-3 years to get completed.
Innovative ideas from interns are always most welcome, and even the most far-fetched ideas that I had were given a fair hearing, because one never knows what may work in a project that is being done for the first time.
One of the most important things that I have experienced during this intern is that the theories that we learn in courses seldom apply directly to real-life situations and we have to manipulate them and make proper assumptions and judgements to make stuff work. My intern has shown me how companies go about doing R&D, specifically in the healthcare field. Your ideas sell if they solve an existing market problem and you have the data to verify this fact. Overall, it has been a wonderful experience for me so far, and (at least in my case) I finally got to use a lot of the stuff that we learn in courses in a corporate setting.