Student Co-Op Spotlight

Anne Straits

Year: Fourth-year
Major: Biomedical Engineering
Co-op: Becton Dickinson (BD) Providence, Rhode Island, from June to December

What is your role?

Research and Development (R&D) Engineering Co-op. 

What are your day-to-day tasks?

My day to day tasks include researching disease states, building hernia mesh prototypes and performing mechanical testing.

What was your favorite part?

My favorite part was that I had the opportunity to attend two different engineering cadaver labs with my project team! We invited 2 surgeons to the lab to work with our hernia mesh prototypes and asked them for feedback and their opinions on usability and different device features we were investigating.

What is something you've learned that you didn't know before starting your co-op?

One thing I learned throughout the course of my co-op is that marketing personnel work very closely with engineering and R&D personnel. This was initially surprising to me, but it makes sense given the fact that a project must demonstrate its profitability in order to be pursued by the business.

How did you find your co-op?

I found my co-op with the help of Genine Apidone. She was able to connect me with a current BD employee, who I developed a relationship with. When BD started to recruit for co-op positions, that employee passed my resume along to my manager, who reached out to me to see if I was interested in a co-op position with him.

If another student asked you about co-op, what would you tell them?

I would tell them to absolutely do one! I never really knew what engineers did in their day-to-day jobs and my co-op was a perfect way learn about the professional work setting. I'm glad that I was able to experience being fully immersed and integrated in a professional work environment before I look for my post-grad job; now I have a much better idea of what to look for in different companies and what kind of positions I will and won't enjoy working in.