Minnetronix from an Intern’s Perspective
August 18, 2015 - Gillian McDonald, Mechanical Engineering Intern
Each summer, Minnetronix recruits a select group of interns hailing from engineering programs around the country (and other countries on occasion) to contribute to the company’s growing presence in the medical device field. Upon arrival, interns are paired with a mentor whose primary task is to teach the intern how to succeed in a specific discipline while meeting any learning objectives the intern has for the summer. Unlike many traditional internship programs, Minnetronix interns are immediately integrated into a variety of projects. They are encouraged to make meaningful contributions to work that significantly affects people’s lives. In other words, the interns are not hired to simply organize files or take inventory.
In addition to the benefit of being part of a two-way work relationship, Minnetronix is ideal for students who seek to learn multiple aspects of their discipline. As a mechanical engineering intern, I sat in on weekly project meetings, created CAD models, built prototypes in the machine shop, and presented my designs to a team of engineers who were eager to help me succeed. My work with Minnetronix’ TETS (transcutaneous energy transmission system) technology is a great example of the impact interns can have at Minnetronix. The marketing team created a demo for the TET system that was housed in a transparent mannequin named Claude. My mentor gave me the task of converting the old demo from a fluid pump to an LED setup that outputted the power and flow of the system. Taking the project from concept to completion allowed me to utilize my programming and electronics skills, while also focusing on the mechanical nature of the work. The most rewarding part of the project was presenting the demo to the entire company, watching Claude in action at the ASAIO trade show in Chicago, and eventually seeing a photo of the technology featured in an article on the front page of the business section in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Most importantly, the environment at Minnetronix is unparalleled. Interns are immersed in a variety of fun activities including Segway tours, Minnesota Twins baseball games, company-wide bike rides, and boat outings on local lakes. The employees are friendly and informative, yet challenge the interns to continue to learn and push their limits. Overall, Minnetronix is a great place for students to apply classroom knowledge in a professional setting while laying the foundation for a successful career.