Endless Opportunity

I was lucky enough to begin my internship experience early at Stryker in January of 2016. My team welcomed me with open arms, armed with a fantastic onboarding plan and my very own onboarding partner. From the moment I walked through the glass doors at the Corporate Headquarters in Kalamazoo, MI, Stryker’s welcoming culture was apparent. My onboarding partner graciously welcomed me to Stryker and took the time to show me through everything I would need to begin my Stryker journey.

As an intern with Stryker, I have incredible opportunities I would have never had anywhere else. I was able to attend our annual Diversity & Inclusion Conference and experience the ever-evolving business case for strong diversity in the workplace, I have had the opportunity to create a Stryker-wide video series featuring some of Stryker’s best managers, and the chance to test some our life changing products during product demo day. It’s not just all work and no play here either! We’ve had ice cream socials for employee appreciation, carnival games to celebrate the Summer Solstice and team bonding trips to “Escapology” where my team and I were all locked in a room and had to escape (which, by the way, is not as crazy as it sounds).

Working in Corporate Human Resources, on the Talent Management team has allowed me to truly learn and grow as a young professional. My projects are adding lifelong value to Stryker as a whole and helping our organization grow. My mentors and managers have taken the time to meet with me regularly to discuss my professional development and goals. During the 12 week internship I’ve also made some pretty great friends. I want to thank Stryker for this once in a lifetime opportunity, one that I will never forget.

Elise Maley

Talent Management – Corporate (Kalamazoo, MI)

Western Michigan University

Elise Maley

 

 

And Then I Came to Stryker

I wouldn’t say that I’m a voracious reader, but in my spare time it’s definitely something that I enjoy. Last summer, my dad suggested that I read a book called Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers because it was “right up my alley.” Slightly offended and somewhat reluctant to read 300 pages about dead people, I caved.

The book detailed a subject I knew very superficially: what happens when people donate their bodies to science. I was amazed by the seemingly endless uses for a single cadaver and completely struck by the bravery of these people and their families to donate their bodies for the education and betterment of others

And then I came to Stryker.

Everything that I had read the previous summer, all of the pictures that I imagined in my head of these practices, suddenly became real. I learned about tissue banks and our biologics products, and how the bodies of these individuals help alleviate the pain of the living. I would leave work completely enlightened about the field of medical devices and felt an extreme sense of pride because I was one of the lucky people chosen to work here this summer. I bragged to everyone about what I was learning and the responsibility I was given, and just when I thought that it couldn’t get any better, it did.

I experienced my first cadaver lab last week, and it was overwhelming to say the least. I was excited and sad all at the same time, but the experience as a whole left me with an intense feeling of gratitude. I’m thankful that I’m a Stryker intern and that this company gives me opportunities to learn and grow every day. I’m thankful for the families who decided to donate their loved one’s body to science so that we can make healthcare better. I am thankful for the surgeons and their patience when explaining procedures and techniques they use to get the best results. I feel so privileged to say that I worked for Stryker and was brought into this close-knit family. I know that I wouldn’t have been given these incredible opportunities anywhere else.

Julia Wescott image

Julia Wescott

Lafayette College

Product Marketing Intern

Spine – Allendale, NJ

No “Coffee Runs” Here

All too often, my friends, who work at other large Fortune 500 companies, tell me they are bored at work making “coffee runs.”  To which I generally respond, “Talk to you later I have 58 projects going on simultaneously.”  And that’s what makes Stryker’s internship program exceptional: the fact that they actually give responsibility and purpose to interns (although I did make a “chipotle run” once, but it was more than okay because it’s chipotle!!!).  The level of responsibility I received here was unmatched and I believe that it is a testament to Stryker’s formulated interview process, which practically ensures that almost everyone you work with is a high achiever.

As I near the end of my internship at Stryker’s Sustainability Solutions in Lakeland, Florida, I am blown away by how fast the summer flew by.  I look back to the first day when I arrived in Lakeland and thought to myself: “Wow, I am a long way from home.”  Sometimes the unfamiliar surprises you though:  I familiarized myself with the area and explored Central Florida on weekends, planning side trips to Orlando, Clearwater, Tampa, and more.  I quickly found myself as a part of the Stryker Surgical ME Team family—from Adham to Daniel to Nicole to Vincent to Tim to Erik, and to so many more, I could not have asked for a better, more welcoming team.

These engineers are some of the funniest and most intelligent people that I have had the pleasure of working with.  If they decide one day that engineering is not for them, I would highly recommend comedy as their next career move…especially Tim!  My entire team was confident in my abilities from day one, or at least did a very good job pretending to believe in me!  It felt really great to have an entire team there to support my efforts and consistently push for excellence.

I still have a few weeks left, and even up to this point I have worked on more numerous and impactful projects during this summer than during my other internships combined.  And I guess that is one of the reasons this summer went by so fast…when you are enthralled by what you are doing and look this good doing it (see below), it is easy to lose track of time.  I don’t like coffee that much anyway.jason van esso 1

 

Jason van Esso

Manufacturing Engineer Intern- Surgical Division

Stryker’s Sustainability Solutions- Lakeland, FL

 

World of Opportunity at Stryker

In my time at Stryker’s Sustainability Solutions I have been given the opportunity to intern in three different areas of engineering: Quality, R&D, and Manufacturing. Each position taught me valuable lessons and introduced me to new skill sets. Stryker was my first experience to the medical device industry and what an experience it has been so far!

My first project as an intern on the Quality team involved taking parts I had never seen before, deforming the parts in an inconspicuous manner, and creating an inspection procedure capable of identifying the good parts from the bad ones. The biggest struggle during my internship was determining, no matter how much you research, sometimes you just have to ask for help. I spent a few days trying to locate the parts online but it wasn’t until I started asking questions did I find the answer. By the end of the internship, I had spoken to, emailed, or met with nearly all of the support staff at my building. I would have never imagined myself as being extroverted but with so many employees eager to lend a helping hand, I gained all the necessary confidence to complete my projects and make lasting relationships along the way.  Tiffany blog post

At the end of the summer, I was still very eager to continue working at Stryker. When I was offered a position to join the R&D team as a spring intern, I was overwhelmed with excitement.  In this role, I was assigned specifically to one product team but was a floating resource between 3 other teams as needed. Various tasks included: executing functional tests to verify reprocessed devices performed with statistical equivalence to a new, unopened device along with performing cleaning validation activities. It’s easy to think “I’m just an intern, I’m not experienced enough to do that” but with the Stryker culture interns are treated with esteem and responsibility of tasks often given to full-time employees. By the end of my time in R&D, I was able to take accountability for the initiation of a risk document regarding one of the new products.

Just when I thought I had tried every area of engineering, a position opened as a summer manufacturing engineering intern. So far, I have been working on implementing a design change to save the company more than $250,000 annually. In addition, I was also tasked with converting one of our current manual processes into an automated process to improve quality and cut costs. In both of these projects, I was able to feel the impact and importance of my projects for the company. Every day, I come into working knowing that my opinion is valued and my work is substantial.

While the positions I held varied greatly, there was one thing that remained constant. The culture. At any given moment, I could always find someone that would listen to my wild ideas, would give advice when I was stuck in a rut, or would lend a helping hand to when I was in need. The idea that an intern is just as capable as full-time associate is a radical idea to most companies, but not Stryker. Every one of my projects impacted the company by improving quality systems, saving capital, or assisting in the execution of performance testing to characterize new products. By investing my time in Stryker, I was able to develop and grow personally and professionally more than I ever had hoped. I will remember my time at this company as one of the most difficult yet rewarding times of my career. The satisfaction of completing all of the difficult hurdles knowing that every time you fall there is a crowd of Stryker employees waiting to help you get back up is what drives me to continue to pursue Stryker as my employer of choice after graduation.

Tiffany Pifher

Manufacturing Engineering Intern 

Stryker’s Sustainability Solutions- Tempe, AZ

 

 

A Stryker Summer

Wow. Four weeks have gone by and I’m completely blown away by everything that has happened with Stryker so far. The opportunities, experiences, and relationships that have already started to shape my internship in California are life-changing. Remembering back to the first day of work seems like years ago. I was excited, nervous, intimidated, and anxious. Just 28 days later I feel empowered, motivated, and eager to pursue all the opportunities that are part of the internship program at Stryker, Endoscopy.

The environment that characterizes the professional workplace of Endoscopy is unique. Everybody comes to work each day excited to be together, positive about their impact on Stryker as a business, and filled with just enough goofiness to make every moment a blast to be at work. I have already found friends here that motivate me, inspire me to be a better person, and make me want to work harder. I hope to continue to build these relationships with people that are so easy to connect with and be impressed by.

The projects that I have been assigned for this summer are incredible! I can directly see the impact that I have the potential to make not only with Stryker, but with the healthcare professionals that we work with every single day and with the patients that we ultimately are inspired to change the lives of. During my short time with Stryker I have already interacted with 2 surgeons, facilitated a cadaver lab on site, and finalized plans to visit a surgery case in the coming days. These opportunities give me an insight in to how important my day-to-day work is and how my individual work can have a positive impact on the lives of the patients we work to serve as well as on the innovation which can shape the medical technologies field.

The internship program with Stryker is the opportunity of a lifetime. Only four weeks in to the program I can say with confidence that I have met some of my best friends within the group. These guys are awesome and there really is no limit as to what can make your summer experience incredible. Highlights for me have been skydiving, kayaking with otters, and exploring San Francisco. And the best part is we have 8 more weekends to take on! I couldn’t be more thankful and excited to be a part of the Stryker team!

Victoria Janssen                                              

 Quality Engineering Intern 

Endoscopy- San Jose, CA

 

“We’re having a Day!” – Everyday

Like any other ambitious college student, I began the search for a rewarding internship experience prior to my sophomore year. I dabbled in the realm of project management the second semester of my sophomore year and acquired professional services and marketing experience through my second internship during the summer before my junior year. Although I succeeded in both roles and built long-lasting relationships, I found myself unsatisfied and looking for more. Rather than marketing business technology or creating an implementation plan to launch a non-profit organization, I was looking to personally make an impact.

Although it is only three weeks into my summer internship, I feel as though I have already found what I was looking for here at Stryker. As a ProCare Marketing intern, I am positively impacting lives through completing projects that ACTUALLY affect the company and customer. I was amazed and honestly overwhelmed by how much responsibility and accountability both my advisor and manager had instilled in me with such large-scale projects when I reviewed my project list the first day. Each day is a new challenge that never leaves me bored or unmotivated and I am constantly surrounded by people that genuinely want me to succeed. This is an environment in which I was unfamiliar with in my previous internships as I was scared to reach out for help or ask questions in fear of looking dumb; this is NOT the case at Stryker.

Although the interview process can be pretty exhausting, our university recruiter Lindsey Cooper discovers top talent and has a knack for finding the right role for you. I initially wanted to interview for product marketing or marketing communication, but was persuaded by Lindsey to interview for ProCare marketing after she told me the team would benefit from my talents and I would be a great fit. I continue you thank her for seeing what I didn’t as I couldn’t be happier with my role or team!

Not only was I looking for an experience that would help me grow professionally, but I envisioned my dream internship to help me grow personally. Our current group of 13 interns (9 more start next week!) here at Endoscopy have grown to be my family in such a short time already, which is something that I never thought was possible. Our great sense of pride for Stryker was reaffirmed after one of our fellow interns dislocated his knee during our hike at Big Sur. The paramedics extracted him and placed him on none other than a Stryker bed to make his journey to the hospital comfortable. The nine of us saw first-hand how Stryker was making healthcare better and felt honored to be an integral part of the company.

All after-work hours are spent together hanging out at “the Res”, exploring California, pushing ourselves beyond our comfort zone, doing activities that require listing Lindsey Cooper as our emergency contact (oops), and creating memories that the full timers are thrilled to hear about each morning.  For instance, a large group of us drove an hour south to Monterey Bay and spent the day surrounded by otters, sea lions and dolphins on Saturday. We used our prime location to our advantage yesterday by spontaneously choosing to Skydive in Hollister. On any other occasion, I would think that plummeting to my death wouldn’t be my activity of choice, but I was surrounded by the other interns who purposed as my support group and helped me face my fears.  I would have never envisioned that I would find myself so far out of my comfort zone both professionally and personally three weeks ago and am beyond excited to see where the next 2 and a half months lead!carolina Sky diving

 

Caroline Pryor

 Marketing Intern

ProCare- San Jose, CA

 

AO’s Stryker Story

The Advanced Operations Team hosts monthly events through their SEGA (Social Events, Games and Activities) planning group for team members of all levels to engage in leisure activities. Recently in the month of July, they hosted three days of events which promoted friendly competition amongst the members. We were separated into four teams and played games including a basketball shoot out, a home run derby and an obstacle course.  Being that one of the top strengths among Stryker employees is competition, these “SEGA games” were very popular!AO Pic

Even as co-ops, we each came in one morning to find our team’s colored bandana on our desks.  Not every company includes their interns as much as Stryker, and we are all very grateful for that. The informal structure of the games let us get to know everyone we work with a little better, while fostering a sense of community. This attitude spills over into the projects we’ve worked on throughout the summer, where we are included like members of the team instead of being handed busy work. Sometimes it can be hard to articulate, but this summer has been a one of a kind experience and we’re all glad to have shared it.

Co-written by the AO interns:

Jaimie Mastrogiacomo

Timothy Charles

Casey-Ann Smith

Andrew Falcone

Jacob Shotmeyer 

Orthopaedics- Mahwah, NJ