As May came to a close, the day was approaching where I would finally start my internship at Stryker. I was excited for orientation because it was my first exposure to Stryker and the corporate world. Jen Bernasconi, my intern director at Orthopaedics in Mahwah, New Jersey, did a wonderful job welcoming and acclimating all of the interns to Stryker; we learned about the Stryker culture and what Stryker expected from us this summer.
What I Have Accomplished This Summer
As an intern, I have the opportunity to work in Global Communications and Strategic Marketing for Corporate. In this role, I assemble and distribute the Daily Media Clips, complete weekly media logs, proofread reports such as the 2012 Corporate Social Responsibility Report and write multiple articles. I have also been asked to do extensive social media research and assist in formulating a proposal to improve our customer experience. This has given me tremendous exposure to many aspects in the field of communications.
As an unexpected surprise, I also had the opportunity to sit in on a Chinese doctor education program at the Homer Stryker Center. This experience was especially interesting because as a Chinese minor at Tulane University, I was able to use some of my Chinese skills to understand the doctors’ interactions with each other and Stryker products. Since my career aspirations are in global communications, my Stryker internship is helping me narrow down what I really like about communications. I could not do this without the communication leadership team and the other employees’ support. With their help, I am able to get a great look at communications in the corporate world.
Friends, Activities, and Networking
While I knew I would get work experience during my Stryker internship, I did not anticipate making great friends along the way. The Stryker intern program promotes adhesion among the interns, bringing together many college students from various universities who are extremely bright, humorous and fun. Interns have the opportunity to join a social or volunteer committee where they are able to foster these innate skills further by having the opportunity to work on a team to organize Stryker-sponsored events.
The social committee head, Samantha Fink, a marketing quality intern who attends Johns Hopkins University, acts as a liaison between committee members and Jen Bernasconi. From this experience, Sam learns how to be a leader and collaborate with a small group creating events that affect all of the interns, which goes beyond her day-to-day intern duties. She has been given a budget, and with the help of her committee, she plans fun events for the interns, such as a beach day, an ice cream social and an “end of the summer” celebration. One of our coolest events was planned by Jen Bernasconi, where we had a live Q&A with Stryker’s own Kevin Lobo. Kevin gave us a lot of advice, the most significant to me being staying curious, keeping the hunger to learn, having self-confidence and having fun.
Even when the interns do not have formal events scheduled, we still have casual outings to get to know each other. We’ve already arranged several happy hours, trips to New York City and Hoboken, New Jersey, and multiple dinners. Many interns at Orthopaedics in Mahwah even sit together for lunch every day! Stryker also promotes the participation of interns in activities with other employees. Michael Leddy, a Trauma R&D intern who also attends Johns Hopkins University, is a member of the local Stryker basketball league. He explains that this experience has helped him relate to other people that share the same interests: “The league has allowed me to bond with people around the company across divisions. It is a great networking opportunity outside of the workplace.”
Stryker: There for Interns
The intern experience provides us with the tools we will need to succeed in the future. However, Stryker’s program is no ordinary internship. Alex Dvoretsky, a financial analyst/accounting intern who attends Villanova University could not agree more. She said, “When talking to my friends who intern at other companies, I found that Stryker goes above and beyond to make their program interactive. I am able to learn about the company and other interns, apply what I learned in school to real life and feel like I am a part of something bigger than myself.”
At Stryker, we are looked at as co-workers, not interns. The level of acceptance, respect and caring that we receive says a lot about Stryker itself. Stryker cares about all of their employees, no matter what their title or department, which allows all of us to feel like members of the company and community. Most importantly, every job we do contributes to the saving and enhancement of lives, which is the reason we come to work every day. The intern program allows me to learn about Stryker, corporate life and myself. I am very lucky to have had the opportunity to intern at Stryker this summer.
On behalf of all of the interns, I want to thank Stryker for a great summer!
Global Communications and Strategic Marketing
Orthopaedics – New Jersey