What was your role as an intern at IMO, and why were you interested in interning with IMO?
This summer, I was the data engineer intern under the software engineering department. Back at school, I had taken a few software engineering-related courses, which piqued my interest and inspired me to pursue an internship in this area. I was interested in understanding the “back-end” of technology in healthcare, along with how decisions are made with the end users – clinicians – in mind. With IMO’s unique position in healthcare, it felt like the perfect place to learn more about how health IT was being used to improve the clinician-patient interaction. I was also curious to learn more about the transformation of electronic health record (EHR) data to bring about meaningful and practical information to the clinicians.
What was the most exciting part of your internship?
On the data engineering team, the most exciting part of my internship was being able to support a variety of teams in different ways – no two weeks were ever the same. To me, this speaks to the innovative nature of IMO in the health IT industry. There are new challenges that require dynamic solutions, and collaborating with different people allowed us to become better problem solvers. It was exciting to be a part of such a cross-functional team that welcomed new ideas to the table to find efficient solutions.
How has working at IMO changed your perspective on the healthcare industry or health IT?
Because I come from a biomechanical engineering background, I learned about the overlap between the medical device industry and health IT during my internship. Because IMO leverages EHR data to give clinicians insights into how to improve patient care, I learned that data engineering can be applied to different health care settings. More importantly, I discovered how critical data engineering is in health care, because simplifying large amounts of information is key to making it useable in a clinical setting. In the medical device field, there are also insights that can be obtained from product data to take intentional steps in the development of a product. Big Data exists in every corner of the health care industry, thus, it’s important to leverage the knowledge that is at our disposal to make meaningful improvements, and I enjoyed seeing this overlap during my internship.
How have you grown professionally or personally during your internship?
I have grown in a variety of ways during my internship. Professionally, I learned about the value in understanding what each department at IMO does, as well as how these teams fit together. By building working relationships with others at IMO, I was able get a better picture of the day-to-day tasks that departments are concerned with. This allowed me to piece together how IMO works at a cross-functional level.
Ultimately, this ties into the way in which I’ve grown personally. The work that IMO does is complex, and I learned to take ownership of my understanding. Only I knew what I had questions about, thus, it was up to me to speak up and ask about the topics I needed more insight on. The data engineering team – along with everyone at IMO – was extremely supportive and encouraged all interns to speak up without hesitation.
Tell us about a moment, an exchange, or experience you had at IMO that made you realize, “I’m in the right place.”
What is interesting is that when I was applying to IMO’s summer intern position, the description began with a quote that read, “Research shows that women and underrepresented groups only apply to jobs only if they think they meet 100% of the qualifications on a job description. IMO is committed to considering all candidates even if you don’t think you meet 100% of the qualifications listed. We look forward to receiving your application!”
I remember feeling a sense of excitement knowing the type of company that was going to be reading my application. This was the first glimpse I had of being welcomed into IMO. Fast forward to when I finally began the internship, I felt extremely supported and reassured that I was in the right place. I was encouraged to ask questions with no hesitation and inquire about the areas of IMO that I would like to learn more about – even if it was not directly linked to my intern position. Throughout my internship experience, I have been in such awe to see how intentional IMO is about fostering psychologically safe environments for people to feel comfortable speaking up in. I am grateful to have been welcomed into this incredible program by such a supportive team!