Coming into the final couple of weeks of my internship I can't believe at how fast the summer has flown by. Eleven weeks ago I was sitting in orientation listening to HR representations, learning what office-place harassment is and how to avoid it and now I am a few days away from giving my final presentation. Coming into this internship I had little full-time work experience and even less med device experience (zero) and I initially found myself overwhelmed with the enormous amount of medically terminology and corporate acronyms that gets thrown around in the office. In my first week on the job I quickly realized that I knew nothing about the products I was working on, the procedure it was used in, or the med device industry and I could not help but feel overwhelmed. I wanted to apologize to my manager for wasting his time, pack up my things, and go home because I didn't feel like I could add any value to the company.
Fortunately I decided that instead of giving up, crawling under my desk and curling up into the fetal position, I would immerse myself in the interventional cardiology world to learn as much as I could about the product and its associated procedure. I quickly learned to ask for help from those around me and the response they gave me positively unexpected. Not only were my coworkers willing to meet with me, they went out of their way to make sure that I was connecting with the right people, resources, and experience. I had incredible opportunities to learn through conversations with coworkers, physician interviews, interactions with sales reps and a number of other internal resources. As time flew by my initial horror quickly faded and I became much more comfortable and confident in the office and with my project without even realizing it.
Today one of the directors at my company asked me what the best part of my internship experience has been and I honestly told him that it was a moment last week when I was discussing my project with a manager and all of a sudden I felt like a bomb went off. No literal bombs went off, but the manager pointed out that I had become the subject matter expert on "space" that my internship covered and I was dropping knowledge bombs left and right. In that moment I realized how much I have learned and how far I had come from my initial feeling of horror, doubt, and confusion. It felt incredible knowing that I was able to overcome my initial this feeling and work to develop a deep understanding of a market segment in such a short period of time. I then realized that while Carlson had not prepared me for the initial shock that came with entering a new role in a new industry, they gave me the tools to break down the seemingly impossible problem in front of me and take the necessary actions to solve it. The moment I realized that I was no longer faking that I knew what I was talking about is one that I will never forget.