Phelan Bybee

Company: St. Jude Medical
Company URL:
School: Biomedical Engineering
Hometown: Plainfield, IN
High School: Paola High School, May 2008
Expected Graduation: 2013

Purdue attracted me because of its strong engineering school and its Co-op program. I have heard only good things about the Co-op program and wished to take part. I saw the good education from Purdue complimented by the real world work experiance offered by the Co-op program. This experiance will help me make better decisions about my future interests and also be a good recommendation for any future employers I hope to work for.

St. Jude Medical is a medical device company which started out developing heart valves. They later grew to encompass Cardiac Rhythm Management (CRM), such as pacemakers and implantable defibrillators, as well as other technologies that are beginning to emerge from the company. My work with the Clinical Systems Engineering (CSE) team has taught me much about how corporate engineering takes place. CSE is the department that ensures that every peice of the products leaving St. Jude are working correctly. CSE tests, debugs, communicates with other departments, and if an engineer sees a way to improve, they can
develop their idea through research and testing. My work deals mostly with testing and Validating device features. I work with a team of about 5 to 10 other CSEs and perform whatever tasks they assign or I volunteer for on the team. It has been challenging trying to learn the system as it is very detailed, but after the first few weeks I had my tasks figured out and how to perform and learn more on my own.

Working for a company makes you realize why the classes you take are important and can refine your interests. Something you thought you were interested in may turn out to be a drag to work on. While other things attract you and make you excited to learn more. You also feel more relaxed at school after working. You understand that you don't need memorize everything and keep it forever because you will always be able to look stuff up on the job. It also improves you learning skill and information gathering skills. On the job you may be asked to do something you have never done before, this has happened several times to me. Currently I am developing a website on the company intranet for equipment tracking for the engineers and i have never dealt with web development or applications on pages. Things and tools that enhance the creative process become more clear. You realize how important it is to be as multifaceted as possible while still being specialized to you main goal.