Sinead Bohan - Graduate Quality Engineer at Boston Scientific

Hear from Sinead Bohan about her experience with Boston Scientific as a Graduate Quality Engineer!

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Sinead Bohan (Graduate Quality Engineering)

Brief introduction:
My name is Sinead Bohan and I am a recent graduated from NUIG with a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Science. I am currently working as a Graduate Quality Engineer at Boston Scientific, Galway. In this role, I am involved in a range of areas. These include line support and continuous improvement projects, to strengthen the processes and production of Self-Expanding Stents.

Can you tell us about Boston Scientific’s Graduate programme and your experience with this programme?
Boston Scientific Galway offers two graduate programmes in Quality Engineering and Manufacturing Engineering. These programmes are a great way to begin your career in Boston Scientific as they place a huge focus on personal and career development. The Graduate programme hiring process usually takes place from applications opening in October, the recruitment process starting in January and offers going out in March.
I was attracted to the Quality Graduate Programme due to my background in Biomedical Science, where I developed my problem solving and analytical skills and received a comprehensive education and insight into the medical device industry. I knew that I wanted to start my career in a large multinational company like Boston Scientific. While on the graduate programme, I have had the opportunity to rotate between Project Roles and Line Support Roles. This has built up my network, developed loads of new skills and had plenty FUN along the way!

Can you tell us about your day to day role as a Graduate Quality Engineer?
My day as a Graduate Quality Engineer starts and finishes the same - with a collaborative team meeting. These meetings set our team up for the day, to ensure that everyone is on the same page and our objectives and goals are aligned. The impact from the Covid19 crisis has undoubtedly both challenged and changed the way we work. However, through the virtual medium of Teams, we are very fortunate to be able to ensure a high level of cross-functional collaboration daily.
During the day, a lot of my work is focused around investigating and resolving quality issues with products, problem-solving and discovering and implementing measures to prevent issues reoccurring. The fast-paced environment of our day-to-day work means that no two days are the same, and any routine work is always punctuated with varied project work and activities. There’s always an innovative project to work on, problems to be solved and ideas to be put into practice. It is a privilege to be a part of the expertise of Boston Scientific, working daily to face new challenges and new opportunities to learn together. This all links back to our vision, making a positive impact and advancing science for life.

How did you find the transition from ‘student’ to ‘employee’? What challenges did you face?
I think being a part of a Graduate Programme really helps the transition from ‘Student’ to ‘Employee’. There are other graduates in a similar situation to me, and we have been able to share the experience of starting and settling into the workforce together. I think for all of us, this has been a great source of support and friendship. Boston Scientific also runs an excellent induction programme, provides structured ‘on-the-job’ training, and implements a buddy system for your first few months. This really smoothens the transition.
For me, the biggest challenge in those first initial weeks was that I felt overcome by feelings: everything is new, I don’t know anyone, and I felt like I didn’t know how to do anything. It can be a bit overwhelming and daunting at first, but these feelings don’t last long. You are not expected to know everything. I have found that everyone is very respectful to new hires, they too remember what it was like to feel new and out of place. I really benefitted from the wealth of experience of my team members, who were always so supportive and very welcoming to answer any questions. The help of my buddy and team members, coupled with my background and the transferable knowledge I gained from Biomedical Science, really eased the transition from ‘student’ to ‘employee’, and the tasks became manageable and logical within a short period of time.

What is your favourite part of your job?
I love project work because I feel it pushes Boston Scientific forward, and when I see the projects that I’ve worked on being implemented, I feel a great sense of accomplishment. The work is challenging, but I find that it has brought out my creative side, and I love the mix of hands on operational work coupled with regulatory and special project work.
I also love working in such close proximity to the real heart of the business – our cleanrooms! It’s amazing to work in an environment where valuable life-changing and life-saving products are manufactured. In Boston Scientific, there is a very strong sense of community, that stems from the knowledge that, every day, our work makes an impact and improves patient care.

What advice would you give to students looking to get into the medical device industry?
My advice is: identify and be confident in your skills and abilities, do your research, find the field/company that interests you and go for it! Make the most of the opportunities that come your way, and above all appreciate how lucky you are! Ireland is a hotbed for the medical device industry, for our small country, we definitely punch above our weight! Boston Scientific alone has a huge geographical presence in Ireland, with sites in Galway, Clonmel and Cork. I think that if you demonstrate drive and ambition, the world is your oyster, and you will surely succeed!

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