Growing Outside My Comfort Zone

I’ve been told that you grow the most when you’re outside of your comfort zone.

I was born in Michigan, spent grades K-12 in the same city, and decided to accept my admission to The University of Michigan knowing that two of my hometown best friends would be right there with me. Sure, I’ve been outside my comfort zone plenty of times before moving out East (Mahwah, New Jersey… aka ~630 miles away from home). However, there’s something completely different about moving to a new place, with all new people and working a new job that’s absolutely terrifying. The faces would lack familiarity, the accents would leave me in confusion (and probably make me laugh), and why can’t I make a “Michigan Left” off Route 17? In all seriousness, I was pretty worried about taking on the challenge alone.

Six and a half weeks later, I’m here to tell you that I don’t want the summer to end.

How’s this new place working out for me? To answer that question, I don’t know if I could be any luckier. Mahwah, New Jersey is conveniently located about an hour away from New York City, the Jersey shore or the many surrounding state parks.

How are the new people working out for me? Once again, I’m not sure if I could have been any luckier. I’m currently living at a local college with about 15 other Stryker interns. Every weekend has been an adventure—exploring New York City, hiking and cliff jumping, watching horse races, thrill-riding at Six Flags, relaxing on the shore and making late night ice cream runs. There has not been a dull moment since I moved out here and we plan on carrying the adventures into the fall by visiting each other for football Saturdays.

How’s the new job working out for me? If you are seeing a trend here, I couldn’t be any luckier. As a biomedical engineering student, walking into Stryker Spine’s office every morning is essentially a dream come true. My team welcomed me in with open arms and continues to challenge me every day with real, impactful work. My fellow interns are not only some of the funniest people I’ve ever met, but are also some of the most driven. The full-time employees have been extremely welcoming, helpful, and motivational. The emphasis on enjoying what you do here is quite apparent—morning coffee chats are never groggy and 3:00pm meetings are full of energy. I really do love coming into work every day.

Although I’ve been forced to learn and grow a lot in these past few weeks, I’m excited to see where the second half of my internship takes me!

Brittany Gadigan

Spine (Allendale, NJ)

University of Michigan

Brittany Gadigan group 2

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