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Engineer Gains Leadership Skills and Industry Knowledge through Medical Device Innovation Degree Program | Technological Leadership Institute

Posted on
February 29, 2016
Girish Kumar Ganesh

in·tra·pre·neur  (ĭn′trə-prə-nûr)
n.
“A person within a large corporation who takes direct responsibility for turning an idea into a profitable finished product through assertive risk taking and innovation.” – The American Heritage Dictionary

Master of Science in Medical Device Innovation (MDI) student Girish Kumar Ganesh hopes to one day live up to the definition, as he strives to become a medical technology intrapreneur within the next five years.

“I enjoy the brainstorming process, and I want to be an innovation leader to help a company go from the idea to the plan to the implementation of a medical device.”

Ganesh has taken the first step toward his goal by enrolling in the MDI program at the University of Minnesota Technological Leadership Institute (TLI). In May 2015, almost immediately after finishing his bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering at Manipal Institute of Technology in India, Ganesh began the 14-month MDI program at TLI. He isn’t short on industry experience, though.

“While in India, I was an observation trainee at the Asian Heart Institute in Mumbai,” he explains. “I also worked for Siemens Healthcare in a research group called Innovation ThinkTank.”

Ganesh says these experiences prepared him for the MDI program, especially the practicum courses at the University of Minnesota Medical Devices Center (MDC). As part of the core curriculum, MDI students take three practicum courses in collaboration with the MDC, where they have the opportunity to apply the skills they have learned through clinical immersion. In addition to the technical skills, the degree program also enhances students’ leadership abilities.

“Being in the MDI program has helped me develop my people skills. Especially Kirk Froggatt’s class, Leading Innovation and Change. I’ve learned about how to work together. It’s useful for knowing how to engage with a group, and how to lead others.”

The MDI cohort consists of approximately 20 to 30 students, who are broken into practicum groups according to their focused areas of interest, such as cancer, neurological or orthopedic. Ganesh is a member of the cardiovascular practicum group.

“The group dynamics were useful right from day one,” Ganesh says. “We gelled together easily.”

Although Ganesh isn’t currently employed, the evening class schedule allows his classmates to continue working while in school. He says it’s been beneficial to get insight into a variety of medical technology careers.

“I wasn’t expecting how much you learn about the medical device industry as a whole,” Ganesh explains. “Everyone in the program is working full time, and that allows us to learn how each company works.”

Ganesh will get an even closer look at one company in particular when he completes his capstone project. During the final semester of the MDI degree program, students tackle a relevant issue within an organization. Ganesh says this will the most valuable part of the MDI degree program for him, as he hopes it will lead to a job.

“I will be completing an industry-based project for three months, working closely with a company, and I hope that will direct me in the path I want to take by either securing a job within that company or making connections somewhere else in the industry.”

Ganesh will graduate in August 2016, but he says he’s already recommended TLI and the Medical Device Innovation degree program to others in India.

“I enjoy everything about MDI. If you’re interested in the medical device industry, this is a really good program. The hands-on application is great.”

The Technological Leadership Institute Master of Science degree programs are helping students like Ganesh reach their goals. Attend an information session to discover how an M.S. in Medical Device Innovation can advance your technology career.

Being in the MDI program has helped me develop my people skills. Especially Kirk Froggatt’s class, Leading Innovation and Change. I’ve learned about how to work together. It’s useful for knowing how to engage with a group, and how to lead others.

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