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This summer, I interned at Edwards Lifesciences, a medical device company headquartered in Irvine, California. This was my first internship a) at a company and b) working in an industry related to my major and what I want to do with my career, so I was super excited and simultaneously extremely nervous going into it. I worked in new product development manufacturing, which was unbelievably cool because I got to see many different stages of product development and also got to work directly with tricuspid valves, which was amazing. 


My role was to design a fixture for the valve assembly process, which was honestly really challenging for me because it relied heavily upon knowledge that I didn’t really have prior to coming into my internship—although I knew how to use SolidWorks, I didn’t really know how to design with the intent of 3D printing and eventually machining something. I was super lost at first and it was definitely difficult initially, but over the summer, I was able to learn so much and come out of my internship with a much wider array of skills under my belt than I had coming in.

On top of getting the experience of working in an engineering role at a company, I got to meet so many cool interns from across the country—there were over 180 of us this summer, which was a bit chaotic but also wonderful. Many of the interns I met came from the east coast and made so many plans for exploring the SoCal area this summer, which was super convenient for me because I could just tag along without actually having to plan anything myself 😅 I realized, though, that I hadn’t really explored SoCal despite going to school in LA—this summer was really the first time that I actually got a sense of Southern California outside of Los Angeles. Going to Newport Beach and hiking in the Laguna Beach area with the interns was a core memory from this summer. Also, my sister came to visit me during my internship and we went to Joshua Tree National Park together for the first time, which was an absolutely unforgettable experience. 

This summer taught me a lot of things: I got a much better understanding of the medical device industry and what role(s) I would be interested in pursuing as a career; I made a lot of new friends who taught me how to paddleboard and kayak for the first time; and I finally got to fully experience the ~Southern California~ life.

Viterbi Voices