When people think of summer they think of hot days by the pool sipping cold drinks or a fun day with friends and family at the beach, but here at Synectic, summer signifies a new intern. Synectic’s highly sought after paid internship program is an excellent opportunity for young engineers to get valuable hands-on experience that will help them throughout their careers. After careful review of the many applicants, we chose Heather Stratica to intern with us this summer. Originally from New York, Heather is a Biomedical Engineering major, with a concentration in Biomedical Instrumentation, at Worchester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts. I had a chance to speak with Heather about why she chose to intern at Synectic and what her internship experience was like.
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today. I know all the projects here have kept you very busy the last few weeks. Starting off, let’s talk a little about your background. What made you pursue a career in engineering?
HS: From a young age I noticed that I was naturally good at math and science and I really enjoyed those topics in school. Because of this, as I grew older, I began to take part in STEM and particularly women focused STEM programs to get a better understanding of what my options where in those fields. It didn’t take long before I realized I wanted to become an engineer and not just to design new things, but to have the general mindset of an engineer and have the ‘problem solver’ mentality. This mentality is something that has been useful in every aspect in my life and I’m glad to have chosen a path that has impacted me so positively.
Heather, you’re originally from New York and go to school in Massachusetts, out of all the places you could have interned with, why did you choose Synectic?
HS: My concentration is in biomedical instrumentation and Synectic’s main focus for years has been medical devices. This is exactly what I want to work with after college so I reached out and learned about the internship program. I thought it would be a great way to learn about what medical device engineers do at a company like Synectic.
We are so happy you were able to spend your summer working at Synectic. As you are preparing to go back to your final year in school, how has your time here advanced your knowledge?
HS: Most of my engineering education has come from a classroom setting, with some projects thrown in as we assess mechanical and biomedical designs. My time at Synectic allowed me to utilize what I learned in school, in a ‘real world’ setting. Since it’s a rather small company, I learned a lot about how a medical device company actually functions and not just from the engineer’s perspective. I also participated in pilot production of a major product allowing me to participate in the entire process from concept to production. To me, all of this is valuable knowledge that can’t be taught in a classroom, and I am glad Synectic gave me the opportunity to gain this experience.
Heather, given your experience while working with us, would you consider coming back to work at Synectic full time?
HS: Yes, I would love to come back to Synectic! It’s a great atmosphere to work in and the projects are plentiful and intriguing. You are required to think outside-the-box and challenge yourself daily. One of the best parts about working at Synectic is that you get to see the entire concept to production process. It’s great to see all your hard work pay off when the product goes to market.
We would love to have you back at Synectic as well. One last question that I’m sure everyone reading this wants to know. Tell me something about yourself and what you like to do outside work and school?
HS: I am a first generation American scholar, as both of my parents emigrated from Romania and worked very hard to get where they are today, instilling in me a very strong work ethic. I’m from Wappingers Falls, NY and came from a very small high school where I had about 30 people in my graduating class. I swam competitively for about 8 years and just retired that this spring, however, I teach swim lessons to share my passion with others.